"Girls" actress Zosia Mamet opened up for the first time about her struggle with an eating disorder that almost killed her.
Mamet, who portrays Shoshanna Shapiro on the HBO series, said she had been dealing with the disease since childhood.
"I was told I was fat for the first time when I was eight. 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," she wrote in her Glamour magazine column "My Zo-Called Life." "At times it has forced me to starve myself, to run extra miles, to abuse my body."
Mamet admitted to spending hours standing in front of the refrigerator agonizing over whether or not she would allow herself to eat something.
"I was only 17, living in misery, waiting to die," she wrote.
It took an intervention from her father, director David Mamet, to get Zosia the help she needed.
"My dad eventually got me into treatment. 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."
The 26-year-old also commented on society's notion that skinny means beautiful.
"Society says, 'Hey, how about controlling the way you look? Skinny is beautiful.' Your obsession feels justified. It's no secret that we live in a country with a warped view of beauty. 'Skinny' sells us everything, from vacations to underwear, effectively."
She urged those who struggle with an eating disorder to get the help that they need and to "remind one another that we're beautiful."
"Today I'm at a healthy weight, though I realize that my obsession will always be with me in some way. For years the voice inside me has gotten louder or quieter at times. It may never disappear completely, but hopefully one day it'll be so quiet, it’ll only be a whisper and I’ll wonder, Was that just the wind?"