Why not talk about eating disorders?

Sarah Robertson, freelance journalistWe both write and tweet about mental health daily, share our own experiences of eating disorders and talk about awareness, stigma and recovery on a regular basis…but why?

We don’t spend a lot of time together, but we’re equally passionate about spreading awareness and encouraging other people to speak out. Lots of people have asked us what it’s like to ‘come out’ about our experiences of eating disorders and recovery.

Why do we speak out and talk about such personal issues in such a public way? We say, why not?

Ilona Burton, freelance journalistEating disorders are a secretive illness, feeding on silence and therefore continue to be surrounded by stigma. So to both of us it seems obvious that talking about them is the antidote? We both want to enable people to speak out about their experiences in the same way and make it okay to talk about mental illness.

There’s a lot of power in knowing that other people have been through what you’re going through, people have recovered from eating disorders and it is reassuring to know you’re not alone. But without talking about personal experiences and standing up and not being ashamed about mental illness, how will we know this?

We want everyone to feel like they can be open about mental health and both believe that people should feel they can share their struggles and triumphs in recovery. This is our conversation about mental health…

Sarah Robertson, 28, is a freelance multimedia journalist and in recovery from anorexia nervosa. Once a features writer on children’s magazines, she now splits her time between writing on eating disorders and mental health, working as a broadcast journalist and taking time out for her own recovery. You can follow Sarah on Twitter @Sarah_Robbo

Ilona Burton, 26, is a freelance TV researcher and journalist with a long history of anorexia, bulimia and depression. She is also the author of Anorexia: The Essential Guide and writes for The Independent about eating disorders and mental health issues. Self-proclaimed ‘pretty much recovered’ and proud. You can follow Ilona on Twitter @IlonaCatherine

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Comments

great work

Guys, fair play to you for doing this, it's exactly what is needed. I am a stand up doing a show about anorexia for the Brighton Festival and The Edinburgh Fringe and audiences always get bowled away that I am talking about it. Reducing stigma will only happen when people talk about it. Great work, keep going Dave

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