Eating disorders: blogs and stories

The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of eating disorders. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.


It can be hard to talk about, but having a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of

Despite such a large number of people experiencing mental health problems there remains an undeniable stigma surrounding mental health, a stigma which I believe stems from a lack of understanding about the experiences of people with mental illness. It seems to be exactly this stigma which has prevented me (and undoubtedly many others) from sharing personal experiences with mental health problems; for fear of an intimate disclosure being met with judgment.

Recovery is hard, but now I'm able to talk about my mental health

People have asked me before, what is it like to live with a mental illness? I’ve been thinking about this question a lot recently.

Until a few months ago, I would have given the answer that I thought they wanted to hear, or I would have shrugged my shoulders and not really known what to say. I didn’t really know what it was like to live with a mental illness, because my mental illness was my life; it was all I really knew, and I couldn’t imagine life without it.

I was first diagnosed with an eating disorder at sixteen

What my stigmatising and supportive experiences have taught me

Memory is a fickle thing; if I need to remember to buy washing powder from Sainsburys then there is a 100% chance of me completely forgetting it. On at least three consecutive occasions. Before I give up completely and buy it online. On the other hand there's the trivial things that stay with you decades later. Here are two that have stuck with me across the years:

The 1 in 4 people that experience mental health problems aren’t faking it

I am all about authenticity. I can't stand hypocrisy. Yet I feel quite hypocritical when it comes to one topic: mental health. I'm always retweeting tweets about ending stigma, but I still stigmatise myself. This is probably just because of what I learnt and observed as I grew up, but now I'm aware that there is no reason to continue to stigmatise myself for something that is not my fault. That's something that I am still trying to accept.

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