Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario Talks About Her Struggle With Eating Disorder and 'Self-harming'

12:41 PM EST 1/7/2014 by Virginia Favis, Celebeat Reporter

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Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario revealed what was it like trying to be a grade-A student and wanting to please her parents that led her to a very dangerous path. In the interview with Seventeen magazine, the February cover girl revealed that she had an eating disorder and even had self-harm issues as she struggled with her insecurity.

"I started self-harming when I was a junior," she admitted. "I would withhold food or withhold going out with my friends, based on how well I did that day in school."

She said that being a teenager was a hard time. "Being a teenager is chaotic because you're kind of coming into your own. I didn't know what was right and what was wrong, so I think I created this bizarre system of checks and balances to create order in my world. But it really backfired."

The actress also revealed that studying at a college prep school became very stressful for her but she endured because she wanted to be perfect in the eyes of her parents. "It was about wanting to please my father and mother and wanting to be perfect to everybody. I just thought if I ever expressed [to my parents] any sadness or anger or anything that's going on with me, they would disown me. I kept a lot of it bottled up inside, and it turned into self-destructive behavior."

This continued until her friends intervened with her life and said: "We don't trust you, and we're gonna tell your parents. 'That was when my world kind of exploded,' she admits. 'It was kind of like an intervention. It made me ask myself, What do I really want to be doing? What would make me happy?"'

She also shared that being in the spotlight is not that easy for her given her past. "Sometimes I've felt like a fraud. I'm not like these other girls - I don't dress like that and I don't know how to do my hair,' she added. 'The minute I'm off that stage, I try to get as "me" as possible. I do that by piling on my black eyeliner, and I put on my ripped tights. Dressing like myself again helps."

Two people that have helped her are  her close friend and onscreen love interest Keegan Allen and her boyfriend Suits star Patrick J. Adams, according to the interview.

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