"Girls" star Zosia Mamet shared a huge secret with Glamour magazine: She has a long history with an eating disorder.
The dark-haired actress, who plays tightly wound, bun-loving Shoshanna Shapiro on the HBO comedy, admitted to the disorder in an informed column for Glamour saying that she struggled with it since she 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," wrote the 26-year-old.
Mamet, the daughter of
"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," she wrote.
The actress said as a teenager she would stare into the the refrigerator late at night "debilitated by the war raging inside" her.
"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," she wrote. "I was only 17, living in misery, waiting to die."
The "Mad Men" and "Parenthood" alum said her father eventually got her into a treatment program after telling her she was "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," she said.
Eventually, Mamet learned that her disorder hadn't been about weight or food, "that's just the way the monster manifests itself."
"Really these diseases are about control: control of your life and of your body," she continued. "For me 'recovery' was simply the flip side of the illness; everything was still focused on numbers and food. I was given a goal weight I had to reach by a certain date. Everything I ate was written down. And I did eat; I looked cured on the outside. But the monster inside wasn't brought to trial. So I was given permission to leave the hospital and enter back into the world as a 'healthy' person. Then I went away for the summer and lost every pound I'd gained. Nobody had helped me dissect why I'd abused myself."
Though she didn't specify what eating disorder she suffers from, the actress said she hopes to change what people consider "ideal" and urged readers to "diminish the stigma" and "remind one another that we're beautiful."