Kerry Washington contemplated suicide amid 'scary' eating disorder battle

Kerry Washington has revealed she contemplated suicide as she struggled to cope with her eating disorder in college.

The 46-year-old actress has candidly spoken about her past struggles in her upcoming memoir Thicker Than Water, recalling a period of time when she was consumed by binge eating and compulsive exercise.

Speaking to Good Morning America in an interview set to air in full on September 24, she said: ‘I was good at control. I could party all night and drink and smoke and have sex and still show up and have good grades.

‘I knew how to manage. I was so high functioning… And the food took me out.

‘Like, the body dysmorphia, the body hatred, it was beyond my control and really led me to feeling like I need help from somebody and something bigger than me or I am in trouble, because I don’t know how to live with this.’

The Scandal star found herself not wanting ‘to be here’ because of the pain, and the situation ‘scared’ her.

Asked if she contemplated suicide, she added: ‘Yeah. The behavior was tiny, little acts of trying to destroy myself.’

Now, she is in a much ‘healthier’ position when it comes to her relationship with food, and she noted ‘there’s no suicidal ideation’.

She explained: ‘I mean, I wouldn’t say that I’d never act out with food. It’s just very different now. It’s not to the extreme. There’s no suicidal ideation. That is not where I am anymore.’

The Little Fires Everywhere star has opened up about her battle with an eating disorder in the past, having described food as her ‘best friend’ and something she used ‘as a way to cope’.

Speaking to Essence in 2009, she said: ‘I’d eat anything and everything, sometimes until I passed out.

‘But then, because I had this personality that was driven toward perfectionism, I would tell people I was at the library, but instead go to the gym and exercise for hours and hours and hours.

‘Keeping my behavior a secret was painful and isolating. There was a lot of guilt and a lot of shame.’

Need support?

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

If you’re a young person, or concerned about a young person, you can also contact PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide UK. Their HOPELINK digital support platform is open 24/7, or you can call 0800 068 4141, text 07860039967 or email: [email protected] between the hours of 9am and midnight.

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