Seeking Professional Help

CW: Eating Disorders


Hi! My name is Brittany Uhlorn (she/her), and I’m a former scientist turned science communicator. I just finished my PhD in cancer biology at the University of Arizona, and I’m currently pursuing a career as a science writer. I also lead the #PhDStrongerTogether team with PhD Balance, write articles for the online publication Medium, and will be teaching yoga once I complete my training next month!


I’m incredibly passionate about removing the stigma around mental illness and helping others pursue wellness. For nearly 23 years, I lived my life to be a model of perfection and to please others. I had no sense of self because my worth was defined by my image and outward praise.


For nearly 23 years, I lived my life to be a model of perfection and to please others.

After a terrible experience with my comprehensive exams at the end of my second year in grad school, I developed an eating disorder to serve as a coping mechanism for all the uncomfortable emotions and underlying mental health problems that had been illuminated for the first time in my life.

There was no way that I, a 23-year-old graduate student, needed help from pills and some stuffy professional.

I thought I was strong, smart and independent enough to conquer anorexia on my own. I believed therapy was for “weak” people, and that antianxiety medication was only for “extreme” cases because that’s what society tells us. There was no way that I, a 23-year-old graduate student, needed help from pills and some stuffy professional.


But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Seeking therapy, the help of a non-diet dietician and internal medicine doctor, and using prescription antianxiety medication were the tools I absolutely needed to help me recover from my eating disorder, banish my perfectionist ways, and support my lifelong wellbeing.


I’m excited to share more of my story during my Instagram takeover today and to talk about seeking professional help during Saturday’s Grad Chat at 3 p.m. EDT!


Grad Chat with our hosts Susanna Harris and Fay Lin and this week's special guest Brittany Uhlorn will be live-streamed on Youtube, this Saturday 08/15 at 3 pm EDT/ 12 pm PST/ 8 pm BST!


You can find out more about Brittany during her takeover of the @PhD_Balance Instagram account tomorrow (08/14) and by following her on her Twitter account (@BrittanyUhlorn)!

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