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To Sam

I tried to make myself vomit

i really want to be thin. i tried to make myself vomit a few weeks ago, and did it again today. i know i shouldnt do it but i really want to be thinner and i have loads of insecurities, but when people mention them i just laugh it off and people think im so happt im funny, but im not. how do i get help without having to talk to my parents or friends? im quite a socially awkward person so i wont be able to explain to people. what should i do???

Ask Sam


Hi there,

An eating problem can develop for many different reasons. If someone is unhappy with the way they look they might fall into unhealthy habits like making themselves sick. The pressure that someone feels when they are around food can make day to day life very difficult. There is help available but it may mean taking the first step yourself. Childline can help you do that.

It can feel like there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way or to be a "perfect weight" - but there is no such thing. Everyone is different and the most important thing is to be a healthy weight for your body type. If someone starts to control their food in an unhealthy way this could be an eating problem.

There are lots of different types of eating problems and making yourself sick can be a symptom of many of them. Often people feel better when they make themselves sick, partly because they feel it gives them control over something they didn't feel in control of before. But making yourself sick can cause dehydration, problems with your organs and can damage your teeth.

Food is such a central part of everyday life that an eating problem is something that easily takes over your whole life. Having to think about each meal can be exhausting - especially during holidays and special occasions when food can be everywhere and there are more people around. Most people with an eating problem feel they need to hide what they are doing and this can lead to them feeling isolated and makes it harder to get help.

Unless someone notices then you may need to take the first step to get some help. Often one of the biggest steps is admitting to yourself that you do have a problem. There is no shame in having a problem with eating and help is available. The sooner you reach out for help, the faster you can start recovering and not have to think about your weight or get anxious over every meal.

If you don't feel able to talk to anyone yet, Childline can help you to prepare for that conversation. If you talk to our counsellors, they can help you decide what to say and the best time to say it. Try talking online or on the phone, as well as reading about real life stories that might help you understand what to do next.

Thanks for this letter, take care.


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