top of page

Eating Disorders aren't glamorous...

(Content Warning- eating disorders, inpatient, abuse, institutional abuse, trauma, suicide)

This blog is a bit different to my usual. The massive increase in eating disorders and the damaging content on sites such as TikTok has become a massive problem especially for teenagers of this generation. Eating disorders are not a choice. I have suffered for the best part of 12 years and at no point did I ever think this was something I wanted or made me cool. However, there is a growing trend of eating disorders becoming ‘fashionable’, a rite of passage for young teenagers. It breaks my heart but also makes me angry that this is the message young people are getting. An eating disorder is far from the fairy-tale portrayed and inpatient is very different from the boarding school vibes given off. This blog is for those young people who are questioning, teetering on the edge. Take this as advice from someone whose been there, don’t just don’t and if you feel like you already gone too far reach out. Get help, scream until someone listens. The earlier it is treated the quicker and the fuller the recovery will be.

The path of an eating disorder is not one you want to go down. Eating disorders ARE NOT GLAMOUROUS. They are not what they look like on TikTok, the units are not a fun boarding camp and you don’t get the attention in the way you think you will. They are horrific, they are a monster which takes over your brain. It takes over you as a person and you become this horrible monster who is capable of such evil and hurt. When taken over by my eating disorder I have hurt the people I love in ways which are unspeakable. Anorexia made me do things which you could not even imagine. Such horrendous things I can’t even write it. You may think it’s just losing some weight, just being small and that people will be worried and care more. Believe me I know all these thoughts but this isn’t something to play with. People die. I have seen it. Eating disorders kill. And for those who survive, the repercussions can be significant. My eating disorder will never go away. I will die with this. I can recover, I can enjoy my life but it will always be tainted by this. The long-term health complications are severe and impact those affected for the rest of their lives. Do you want to have to wear a nappy at 20 because you can’t control your bowels? Do you want to be in a wheelchair at 30 because your bones break at the slightest knock? Do you want to lose the chance of having children because of the damage done? The pain of eating disorders is indescribable and once it takes hold you no longer have the control. The hurt you and your family will feel means no good can ever come of it. The nights and days I have spent screaming, crying and the overwhelming feeling of wanting to be dead. Actually, dead not just a saying but believing the thought of an endless nothingness, never seeing those I love again all seeming better than the pain caused by my eating disorder – the fear of death overridden. An eating disorder is a bully in your brain which degrades you to nothing. Making you do things you never dreamed you would. Being chased by the police, restrained, handcuffed and shoved in the back of a police van like a criminal. Attending A&E in cuffs and people tutting and moving their children away from you as if you were a danger or a criminal. This happens and it is the opposite of glamorous. The mental health units I have been to have left me traumatised for life. I often can’t sleep at night due to the dreams and flashbacks from what I’ve been through. The images, the cruel words, the things that I have experienced at the hands of some of the people who were meant to help me haunt me. These memories can paralyze me at any time and there is nothing which can comfort me. I was assaulted in hospital. I was physically and emotionally abused while detained. This is a far cry from the videos you see on TikTok. Locked up in a room with nothing for days, no bedding, nothing. The plain white walls come in on you, there are two people watching your every move on a camera. There is a toilet in the corner but no privacy. The whole place smells and the other patients are so ill and they can be really scary. This is not overdramatised. If anything, it is underplayed because it’s just too hard to talk about. And after all this you are left with nothing, everyone has moved on. All my friends I had from school are gone. They have moved on, they went on to uni, they have boyfriends/girlfriends, graduated, got houses and jobs. They don’t wait. Quite rightly, life is hard enough for everyone they aren’t going to pause their own lives for someone else. No one knows how long we’ve got. All these people will stay to begin with if they are good friends but eventually, they get bored. It is boring and they will all move on. They will carry on going to parties, making memories, going on holiday and learning new things. They will grow up; have lives and you will become old news. They may reply if you message them however the difference in your life and theirs becomes too big. You can’t relate to them and they can’t relate to you. These friends who already have eating disorders will become toxic, because it won’t be you two being friends together but your eating disorders competing against each other. Nothing is ever enough for an eating disorder, even death. Which is ultimately what happens. If you aren’t recovering from an eating disorder you are dying from one. This is not the way to be different, this isn’t a way to connect with others or to get people to notice you. If I could go back to my younger self and take this away I would in a heartbeat. I wouldn’t take away my autism or my ADHD, they are what make me, me. But I would kick the eating disorder as far away as possible. It has ruined my life. It has caused pain not just for me but pain for my whole family, and although rarely spoken about it has left me with trauma. Real trauma, not the buzz word which is often misused. Trauma which will haunt me forever. Memories which I will never be able to erase. There are things which I will never be able to do because of all this. No one can make you do anything, no one can- not even your mum, a teacher or partner. But if you are teetering on the edge, if you choose to go down this path, it will come from you and no one can stop that if that’s what you decide. But once you go down it, the control will no longer be yours and it will no longer be a choice and that is the scary part. You will no longer be in control of your own actions or be able to choose your own future. It will all be dictated for you. Forget everything you have planned, a career, a partner, friends, college, holidays or a future. It all goes. You have a choice, an eating disorder or a life. You can’t have both. If you are struggling, reach out, change now before it’s too late. The way you look is irrelevant to your quality of life. Don’t allow a number or a clothes size dictate your happiness. Ultimately nobody cares if you’re a size 6 or a size 26. In real life that is so irrelevant. And if somebody does care boot them out of your life for good. What you look like has no bearing on who you are as a person. Are you kind? Do you think of others, are you fun to be around? Are you content? These are what matters. Not a number in a dress or a figure on a bit of plastic. Scales are rubbish and should be burnt anyway! Health is what is important. People may want to get healthier but if they base that on losing weight they are in for failure. Weight loss does not equal healthier. It’s so tough growing up, made harder with the pressures of social media, school, friends and fitting in. But an eating disorder is not the answer to this. An eating disorder and messing with your food is never going to make anything better. It only makes things worse. Causes more pain and suffering. Eating disorder can be fatal. This isn’t something that just happens to other people- anyone who has any form of eating disorder risks death. Every single one. This is a disease that is not to be messed with. So please if you are questioning or messing with your food take a moment. Think. Ask for help, look for the reason behind why you think this is the answer. Get help and keep talking.

Stay safe,

Lots of Love

Hannah xx

p.s. I will write a blog at some point for those who already have eating disorders 😊


bottom of page