Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Do I need to go to my GP?

Hi Sam,

Since I was at least 11 I have struggled with my perceptions of my body. I have been hospitalised before and fed through an NG tube but that was a few months ago. Now I am at a really difficult patch in my life and I am cutting back on My food, I have also started taking weight loss pills. I have managed to lose a bit of weight over the past week taking my BMI to 17.8. I still see my self as really big and gross in the mirror. Do you think I should go to my GP or be honest with my CAMHS worker (both are really hard).


Struggling 17 year old

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your letter. It looks like you’ve done a lot to try and work with your perceptions of your body, but right now it’s hard looking in the mirror. Recovering from being so poorly is a lot of work and it’s natural to have times when everything feels harder. It doesn’t mean that things won’t keep getting better for you in the long run. I’m really glad that you’ve felt able to write to me when you’re going through a difficult patch.

You said that you’ve started to cut back on your food and have been taking weight loss pills. It sounds like you know that what you’re doing is really dangerous for your body. I can imagine the feelings of needing to do it are so overwhelming that it makes it difficult to admit what’s happening to anyone else.

You asked whether I thought you should be honest with your GP or your CAMHS worker about how you’re feeling. I can hear that it might be really hard to for you to do that. It’s important to remember that your CAMHS worker and your GP are both there to help support you, no matter what’s happening. It’s really good that you’ve recognised that you’re struggling with the need to lose weight again. I think it’s a great idea to ask for some support.

Sometimes when you’re worried about talking to someone, it can help to spend time planning the conversation first. You could practice what you want to say with a friend, or even just with yourself. You could also try writing things down. You might want to try showing what you’ve written to the person you need to speak to, as a way of getting the conversation started.

You might find it useful to look at the eating disorders message board. I’d also recommend checking out the b-eat website for young people. They’ve got lots of great information and resources for anyone recovering from an eating disorder.

It might be good to think about talking to a Childline counsellor about how you’ve been feeling. They could help you decide whether you do want to speak to your GP or CAMHS worker. They could even help you practice what you’d want to say. You can contact the counsellors by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat (which works like instant messenger), by calling them on 0800 1111 (it’s free and won’t show up on the phone bill) or even by writing them an email.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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