COVID-19 pandemic complicates healing for those with eating disorders

When New York City went on lockdown nearly a year ago to stem the spread of COVID-19, Stephanie Parker thought she might not survive. Her primary concern wasn’t contracting the coronavirus, but that her decades-long eating disorder might finally kill her. 

Parker would hoard food in her apartment, but rarely ate. She’d clean obsessively and only allow herself food when she felt the space was pristine. Even then, she’d find reasons to deprive herself. 

“I was worried things weren’t clean enough to actually eat off of. My plates weren’t clean enough, my hands weren’t clean enough,” said Parker, who also found the pandemic triggering obsessive compulsive behaviors. “I was locked in my apartment, and I was living in hell. I just felt so out of control. … I knew I was going to die from it.”

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