When a person first gets an eating disorder they may not even know what it is. Even then it is likely that they will try to hide what they are doing, whether it is pigging out and purging, excessive exercising or one of the other symptoms of the disorder. Sometimes they try to stop this kind of behaviour without help – and may even succeed if the disorder has not been going on for too long. But mostly, their success is only temporary.
This is the time when they have to best chance of recovery, but often they don’t get it because no one knows what’s going on. Eating disorders are a health problem that can easily be hidden. The problem is that often people don’t realise that they have an eating disorder as such, or don’t think it is as serious as we know today that it is. With a young person, peer pressure is applied so their friends don’t want to ‘dob’ them in. They just hope the problem will go away – but it does not.