"It became a compulsion that would completely debilitate me."

Laura Prepon SAG Awards - Lead 2016
Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Laura Prepon was raw and honest about motherhood in her new book You & I – even about some of the more difficult aspects that came along with sharing parts of her life.

"In order to have a real conversation about motherhood, we need to talk about what’s really going on, the stresses, the anxieties, how we were mothered," Prepon told People in a recent interview. "We need to share the truth."

Share she did, as the Orange is the New Black star shared the raw truth about her own upbringing while discussing the birth of her daughter Ella in 2017. As she realized she needed her own motherly voice to "connect to," she recounted how her mother was a lasting influence on her in a very concerning way.

"My mother taught me bulimia," Prepon claimed. "It started when I was 15 and lasted until my late twenties." Though Prepon was a "healthy, athletic kid" at 5'10 at 15 years old, she had been told by a modeling agency to lose 25 pounds, and her weight loss became a "shared project" between her and her mother.

“My mom started weighing me every morning and taking my measurements,” Prepon said of her youth. She eventually got down to 105 lbs., where her mother said she was so "proud."

"I always thought of myself as this strong, confident woman," she said, "but it became a compulsion that would completely debilitate me." Reflecting on that time in her life, she noted that she believed her mother was trying to "help her" in her own way. With a fairly recent diagnosis of Alzheimer's, however, Prepon has conceded that she wants to be happy with her mother while she can still spend time with her.

"I don’t want to be angry with her, especially now, because I don’t know how much time we have left. I want those moments when she is present to be good."

If you are struggling with an eating disorder and are in need of crisis support, you can contact the NEDA Hotline at 1-800-931-2237.