'Pretty Little Liars' Star Reveals Her Secret Struggle With an Eating Disorder

Rebecca Stokes This Just In

Troian Bellisario It's easy to look at famous actors and assume they've got it easy. In many respects, they do. They enjoy notoriety, a fun career, and more dollars than one could shake a stick at (that's a lot of dollars). But they're also just people capable of putting the same amount of pressure on themselves as some of us do.

Troian Bellisario, who plays Spencer Hastings on ABC Family's hit Pretty Little Liars, knows a little bit about pressure. The 28-year-old actress spoke up recently in a Seventeen interview about her struggles with disordered eating and self-harm. Most revealing, Bellisario shares that these aren't battles relegated completely to the past -- she still fights these demons today.

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The actress didn't hold anything back. She described how her food restrictions and self-harm first manifested:

I would withhold food or withhold going out with my friends, based on how well I did that day in school. Being a teenager is chaotic because you're kind of coming into your own, but you're not an adult; you're fighting with your parents over responsibilities and freedom. I didn't know what was right and what was wrong, so I think I created this bizarre system of checks and balances to create order in my world. But it really backfired.

These were ways in which she felt she was able to exercise control over her internal feelings. Luckily, she had a support system that helped her get well. The way she described her fear that no one would want to hang out with her if they knew how dark she felt on the inside really resonated with me. I'm sure it will with countless other women as well.

It's important that more celebrities come forward and bravely discuss their issues with food and self-harm. The most pernicious thing about these illnesses is the cloak of secrecy surrounding them. How can we expect anyone to take the first step toward wellness and ask for help if we still attach such a stigma to our own mistreatment of our bodies?

Have you ever struggled with an eating disorder? What helped you get well?

 

Image via Splash News

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celebrities, eating disorders, pretty little liars