Can I Write About My Eating Disorder In College Essays?

A crucial part of appealing to the college admission board is writing a good personal essay. The topic isn’t limited to anything as long as it’s that student’s personal experience. Some of the well-known compositions found amongst college students are related to family members and the part they played in their life.  Here we will see about Can I Write About My Eating Disorder In College Essays?

Eating disorder is a mental illness that many remain uneducated about, so it’s generally recommended not to write an essay about it. People familiar with various eating disorders have either friends or family who dealt with it or dealt with it themselves. Many people have false assumptions about this mental illness based on loose descriptions shown in TV shows and movies. 

When it comes to writing a college essay, people will recommend a student to write about something that highlights the positive aspects of their lives. It could be about how you solved a difficult problem that you faced during a tough moment, personal growth essays about if anything happened in your life that made you change your beliefs, and many more. The main theme remains that you learned something positive out of it. 

Recovering from an eating disorder can indeed be an amazing topic, but there is no guarantee that everybody would look at it the same way. If a student is determined to write an essay about this topic, they should word it carefully and focus essentially on the recovery part of the eating disorder than the tough times that it put you through. Unfortunately, many people still view mental illnesses as a crucial weakness in a person and you never know who’s going to be the one reading your essay and their personal experiences with the topic. 

As long as you keep the focus of your essay on how powerful your growth out of an eating disorder has been, it can be a good college essay. 

Can I Write About My Eating Disorder In College Essays?

Write about Eating Disorder and Other Mental Illnesses in College Essays

People often suggest against delving into issues that involve mental illnesses to write college essays, it’s often recommended that if you want to include your battle with an eating disorder in your essay, do it in a manner so that it doesn’t remain the focus of the essay. Why do people say that and why is it often recommended not to write about this?

The truth is that even though a student might highlight how much they’re fought to overcome the psychological imbalances in their body, it doesn’t leave a good impression on most college admission boards. Shifting from high school to college is a big deal, and it’s like the first step into adulthood where you won’t be confined to the safety of your home. College is much more stressful and competitive than high school where you have to stay on top of the game to excel in your field. 

A student that holds enough value to the mental illness that they fought to the point where they write about it in their college essay, there is a chance for relapse. College is a stressful environment where even the students that don’t suffer from mental illnesses suffer mental breakdowns. If you put a person who already dealt with that in the past, it’s uncertain how they’d react to this change even if they’re on medication or they’re still getting counseling. 

If a student’s desired college has a high acceptance rate, they could write about their journey recovering from an eating disorder and still get accepted. If they’re aiming for a top school with a less than average acceptance rate, then it’s recommended to choose a topic that sheds most of the light on the positive moments of their life and qualities that show their mental strength. 

Colleges with a low acceptance rate and high graduation rate only choose students who show the determination to thrive under a lot of stress. If a student discusses mental illnesses such as an eating disorder in their essay, there are high chances of them not getting accepted even if they have amazing grades and good references.

You Make The Ultimate Decision

The truth is that some essays surrounding an eating disorder can be well-received by your college of choice. It depends vastly on chance. The chances of getting into a top school with an essay like that are low because many people choose to write about various mental illnesses that they suffered from. 

The bottom line is that it depends on how you word it and how your college admission board will perceive it. Some exceptional writers can word their essays in a captivating way and engage the reader to emotionally tune in to their growth from this eating disorder. They strategically weave how much they grew from their experiences and shed as much positive light as they can upon their character after they overcame their mental health issues. 


There are no restrictions when it comes to writing a personal essay for college. As long as the experience was yours or if you feel strongly about the topic you chose, you’re free to write about it. This is one of the first things your college will look at when they look at your application and it shapes the way they view you as a person. If you’re confident about writing about your eating disorder and believe that it will shed a positive light on your application, you can write about it. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Eating Disorder Is Common Among College Students?

Anorexia and bulimia are not only common among college students but also two of the most common types of eating disorders globally. College students might also suffer from other types such as BED (Binge eating disorder) and EDNOS (Eating disorder not otherwise specified).

What Should I Avoid Writing In A College Essay?

Students generally avoid writing about controversial topics (such as related to politics), negative experiences they’ve had with high schools and academia in general, and a whole essay dedicated to the awards and achievements you’ve won since you were a child.