Help with eating disorders while outside the U.S.?

Originally Published: April 1, 1994 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: March 26, 2010
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Hello Alice!

My name is Mari and I am a student at Columbia from Spain. Two years ago, I had some problems with my weight; I lost a lot of pounds in a few months and I became anorexic. After this, now, I have problems with my eating. I can't get control of myself sometimes and I think that I would need help to lose almost three pounds because I think that I will not be able to achieve it by myself.

Every time I eat something that I shouldn't, I feel bad after it. I feel guilty. Please help me. I need to know where I can get help when I am not in school.

—Mari

Dear Mari,

Having an eating disorder is a challenge and a serious medical issue, but you are taking the right steps by asking for help. A variety of health care providers and treatment programs are available to help you manage your disorder while you're back home or anywhere else away from school. It's up to you to decide which form of treatment works best for you and then seek out the care you need.  

Back home, your family health care provider or local health clinic can refer you to a physician, nutritionist, or psychologist who specializes in eating disorders. Also, if you receive care for anorexia on campus, your Columbia provider may be able to help you locate treatment abroad. If you haven't already spoken with a counselor at Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), you may wish to do that while you're on campus; Columbia students can make an appointment by calling x4-2878.

You can also find support and links to treatment for eating disorders through many organizations worldwide such as:

Associación en Defensa de la Atención a la Anorexia Nerviosa y Bulima (ADANER) — Based in Madrid, this non-profit offers information, treatment referrals, and support groups for individuals and families struggling with eating disorders. ADANER is an affiliate of The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Eating Disorders in the US.

Eating Disorders Association, Inc. (EDA) — Their resource center in Australia provides information, support, and referrals to providers specializing in eating disorders. EDA also offers short-term counseling over the phone.   

International Eating Disorders Center (IEDC)— This organization offers a 120-day in-patient treatment program in the United Kingdom (UK) for patients with a variety of eating disorders.

Somerset and Wessex Eating Disorders Association — Also based in the UK, this organization offers information about eating disorders and support (both in person and online) targeted to young people, ages 18 to 25. Their website links to a variety of international services related to eating disorders.

Hopefully these resources help you find support for your eating concerns when school is out of session. Take care!

Alice