“What contributed to the development of your eating disorder?”

For me it was a combination of things. I know for some people one traumatic event can be the dominant cause, but not for me. I grew up with an extremely loving and supportive family, but I was a very sensitive kid. I was shy and naturally a worrier. I was a perfectionist and displayed OCD symptoms and anxiety years before my eating disorder ever developed, so genetics definitely played a part. Unfortunately, I also had some bad experiences early on in school in regards to being verbally bullied and not having any close friends. I had very low self-esteem and was often jealous of my younger sister who I thought was the family “favorite.”

Because I had no close friends and because I kept to myself, never expressing my feelings, it led me to put unrealistic amounts of pressure and stress on myself to excel in areas externally. I was a very bright student academically and a gifted tennis player and horseback rider. I falsely believed that in order to have friends, be loved and feel happy I had to be the best and famous. I mean, celebrities and famous athletes are popular and loved, right? In any event my predisposition to all or nothing thinking strongly took over and I thought the answer to my problems was to hide behind a talented identity that had nothing to do with Brittany.