Celebrities Fighting Eating Disorders

It is easy to think you are all alone when you have an eating disorder, but nothing could be further from the truth. Recently, singer and rapper Ke$ha entered rehab for treatment of an undisclosed eating disorder, proving even celebrities on the red carpet have image issues and self-doubt.

When it comes to these mental health issues, it is important to understand that eating disorders do not discriminate and can impact people regardless of socioeconomic background, gender, age, and more.  The reality is that eating disorders are severe psychiatric illnesses that are seen across the global as countless people seek out help and support.

The exact cause of conditions such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is unknown, but there are contributing factors that we must all face. Look at some celebrities who have opened up about their battle with the binge, and how getting gave them back their lives.

Mary-Kate Olsen

Celebrity Mary-Kate_Olsen_2009 with eating disorderOne-half of the Olsen twins, Mary-Kate has, for the most part, kept silent about her fight against anorexia. At the encouragement of her friends and the insistence of her family, Mary-Kate Olsen entered a rehab facility just prior to her 18th birthday.

Today, along with her sister, Mary-Kate is a successful fashion designer and has recently began acting again.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato, celebrity in eating disorder recoverySinger Demi Lovato has been candid about her “unhealthy relationship” with food. In 2010, the actress checked into rehab seeking help for bulimia.

For Lovato, the problem began around age eight but became more serious during her teen years. After getting help, she stated she was happy and healthy for the first time in many years.

Portia De Rossi

Portia_de_Rossi celebrity with an eating disorderThe star of Arrested Development wrote about her struggles in the memoir Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain. At one point, Portia dropped to a dangerously low weight as she survived on a highly restrictive diet while abusing laxatives.

De Rossi credits wife Ellen Degeneres for putting her back on a healthy path after a near-fatal combination of anorexia and bulimia.

Russell Brand

Russell Brand a Celebrity with an eating disorderAlthough eating disorders affect more women, they are certainly not gender-specific. Comedic actor Russell Brand started binge eating and vomiting at the young age of 11.

Brand claims he liked the euphoric feeling he got from the practice. He later developed addictions to both heroin and alcohol.

Celebrities Opening Up About Eating Disorders

By being honest about their eating disorders, these celebrities are building awareness and helping to promote a healthy body image. There may always be this feeling that you need to be perfect, but stars like Demi Lovato and Portia De Rossi are proving that being healthy is trendy in Hollywood too.

Taking an honest look at eating disorders can also help break many of the stigmas that surround mental illness.  Asking for help is crucial for long-term recovery, and seeking out professional interventions can be lifesaving.  The important thing to remember is not to remain silent in struggling.  Talking with someone you trust can help you move toward recovery and healing.


[1]:  http://www.mayoclinic.org/teen-eating-disorders/ART-20044635?pg=1
[2]: http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/health/2011/08/11/celebrities-with-eating-disorders/#slide=1
[3]: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20150478,00.html
[4]: http://www.seventeen.com/health/tips/demi-lovato-eating-disorder
[5]: http://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/819752/Portia-De-Rossi-reveals-ravages-of-eating-disorder
[6]: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2010/oct/24/karen-carpenter-anorexia-book-extract
[7]: http://www.popcrunch.com/30-famous-people-who-have-suffered-from-bulimia/

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Updated By: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC on August 8, 2017.
Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on August 8, 2017.
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com