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The Problem with the Problem

Arianna Hartloff has battled symptoms of eating disorders since middle school but has never been formally diagnosed or treated. One person among the five percent of the U.S. population that has symptoms of undiagnosed bulimia, she felt her problem was nothing to worry about–until it got out of hand.


Arianna Hartloff sat down at the table alone. The sound of others talking lingered in the background, but she was quiet. Sleep deprived. Annoyed. She wanted to be anywhere but here. Her homework needed to be done. She wanted to read her books. The nurses were watching closely. No one was allowed to go to the restroom. She knew breakfast would be served any minute.

She needed help with her depression and anxiety, but what her mother, friends, and the doctors at the St. Vincent Stress Center didn’t know was that she had purged six days a week for two months that year. Before that she had been starving herself off and on since sixth grade. But now, she had no choice but to help herself. She had kept her problem a secret from everyone. She intended to keep it that way.

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1 Comment

  • Millennials + Social Change | Ball Bearings Magazine says: January 11, 2016 at 8:59 am

    […] to light recently more than at any time before. One student opened up about her own battle with an undiagnosed eating disorder, addressing one of several problems and breaking stigmas to create social […]

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