Zosia Mamet is one brave woman. The Girls star, 26, admitted a big secret in the new issue of Glamour.
"Do you have a secret?" Mamet wrote in her column in the magazine. "Is your secret something that could kill you, a silent gnawing feeling that's slowly melting you away, little by little, something deadly that nobody else can see? Mine is. And it is this: I've struggled with an eating disorder since I was a child. This struggle has been mostly a private one, a war nobody knew was raging inside me. I tried to fight it alone for a long time. And I nearly died."
The television actress went on to give her perspective on disordered eating, explaining how her struggle started, and where she is mentally now.
"Here's how I think of my eating disorder: I'm an addict in recovery," she wrote. "I was told I was fat for the first time when I was 8. I'm not fat; I've never been fat. But ever since then, there has been a monster in my brain that tells me I am — that convinces me my clothes don't fit or that I've eaten too much."
"At times it has forced me to starve myself, to run extra miles, to abuse my body," Mamet continued. "As a teenager I used to stand in front of the refrigerator late at night staring into that white fluorescent light, debilitated by the war raging inside me: Whether to give in to the pitted hunger in my stomach or close the door and go back to bed. I would stand there for hours, opening and closing the door, taking out a piece of food then putting it back in; taking it out, putting it in my mouth, and then spitting it into the garbage."
Thankfully, Mamet, who said she was "waiting to die" at age 17, got help. She explained in her Glamour column that her father, award-winning playwright and director David Mamet, stepped in.
"My dad eventually got me into treatment," the actress wrote. "He came home one night from a party, took me by the shoulders, and said, 'You're not allowed to die.' It was the first time I realized this wasn't all about me. I didn't care if I died, but my family did. That's the thing about these kinds of disorders: They're consuming; they make you egocentric; they're all you can see."
"During treatment I discovered that my disorder has never really been about weight or food — that's just the way the monster manifests itself," Mamet added. "Really these diseases are about control: control of your life and of your body."
In her thoughtful column, the Mad Men alum goes on to give statistics on the prevalence of eating disorders, and the way society impacts mental health. Read her full piece at Glamour.com.