I have social anxiety, which has in turn influenced my problem with eating disorders. I was quiet and “shy” as a young child. I went to a private school which was both a primary and secondary school (ages 3-18), and I’d been there since I was 3. From the beginning of secondary school my confidence was increasing and by the beginning of year 9 I was happier. Then I started comparing myself to other people, my sister and my friends. My sister always had loads of compliments on her appearance and always had boys interested in her, whereas I was pretty much the opposite. My self-esteem and body image dropped, and I was determined to diet and become “thinner” (I thought that if I’m not pretty, then being thin could compensate for it), even though no one ever even called me fat. I got so thin and people started to tell me, including my friends who I’d clearly alienated. I became quieter again, and even more self-conscious – despite feeling better about my body. I found out last minute that I was moving schools after being at this extremely small one for 11 years. The new school was bigger, so me being quieter didn’t change and I was still scared of immediate rejection and being judged. I put weight again, but only because my new uniform was too baggy and my mum threatened to take me to the doctors if I didn’t eat. So I did. But then after two years, the anxiety got worse and I my mum got a new job in a new city, away from whatever friends I still had. I moved in the summer, and now I’ve never felt so depressed. Anxiety, low self-esteem and bad body image runs my life and I adopted binge eating as my comfort, but I’ve put on too much weight and I’ve had several days off school purely because I’m scared of people judging me for not looking nice and thin – like I used to be, even though I was thin in an unhealthy way. My mum and the school keep complaining about me not going in even though my grades are still good, and I’ve even bought laxatives. I know that I need help because this really sucks, but back in my home town, I tried seeing a councilor but she was really patronizing. I went because I still had the same obsessive, ‘anorexic’-like thoughts as I did when I was too thin to have periods anymore, though by this time I had put on a few pounds. She told me she didn’t think there was a problem because my BMI wasn’t too low, even though that’s not actually what and eating disorder should be determined by. So now I’m reluctant to get that kind of help again. Should I be doing something more like group therapy? Or drama? Is there any medication which would help me?