"I’ve struggled with an eating disorder since I was a child."
Mamet, who likens her struggle with an eating disorder to being "an addict in recovery," described how her illness stemmed from body image concerns and a desire for agency: "Really these diseases are about control: control of your life and of your body."
She also touched on how society's obsession with thinness fueled her disordered relationship with food. "You want to control something, and then society says, 'Hey, how about controlling the way you look? Skinny is beautiful,'" wrote Mamet. "Your obsession feels justified."
After her father intervened, Mamet sought treatment, relapsed, and says she has now reached a healthy weight. Her column encourages sufferers to reach out to loved ones about getting help, and reminds them that disordered eating is nothing to be ashamed of. "Let’s diminish the stigma," she wrote. "Let’s remind one another that we’re beautiful."
Mamet's brave column puts her in the company of other celebrities who have shared their experiences with battling eating disorder. In 2011, pop star Demi Lovato told Seventeen magazine that she continues to struggle with bulimia, "because it's a life-long disease." She went on to say, "I wish I could tell every young girl with an eating disorder, or who has harmed herself in any way, that she's worthy of life and that her life has meaning. You can overcome and get through anything."
In 2012, news anchor Katie Couric revealed that she "wrestled" with bulimia through college and beyond. "What I'm describing is something so many people have gone through or are going through," Couric told The Associated Press. "It's so damaging, both psychically and physically."
We're thankful that public figures like Lovato, Couric and Mamet are sharing their experiences and reminding other sufferers that they're not alone. As Mamet wrote: "The first step, I think, is for those of us who are suffering to start talking about it."
To read Mamet's full piece, head over to Glamour.com.
Need help? Call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.