Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsROMY WOLDRING: Due to the massive weight loss, I eventually got anorexia and I got hospitalised with serious underweight in my 15's. Through nutritional drinks, and later on small portions of food, I gained weight slowly and received help from therapist. Looking back, I abandoned the help much too fast. My weight became a lot better, but I still had a lot of negative faults for which I had not received any help. For example, I still had little self-confidence and did not found any way to deal with it. This caused anorexia to turn into another eating disorder when I was 17, being bulimia.

Skip to 0 minutes and 50 secondsSo instead of continuous dieting, I suffered from binge eating, which I tried to compensate with hours of sports and skipping meals. I did not talk about the binge eating for a long time because of I was so embarrassed about it. Fortunately, after that I looked for help again and I eventually overcame my eating disorder. Looking back, I think that an earlier acknowledgment of my eating disorder could have prevented it from getting so severe, simply because it could have broken a downward spiral I was in in that time. But the point is that an eating disorder is very difficult to recognise.

Skip to 1 minute and 31 secondsAnd because an eating disorder is a disease that hurts very slowly, it was difficult for my parents, but also for the general practitioner to quickly notice that I was suffering from it. In addition, I did not realise that my behaviour was very unhealthy and denied for a long time that I had an eating disorder. Sadly, it only became visible when I had lost a lot of weight and could not stop doing it anymore. However, I eventually received the right help. I learned how to handle my thoughts and feelings in a healthy and handy way. And that is what I would wish for everyone.

Skip to 2 minutes and 11 secondsSo if you recognise elements of my story or think you may have an eating disorder by yourself, seek help as soon as possible, because life is so much more beautiful without an eating disorder.

Romy about the help for her eating disorder

As you just heard in the previous video, people with an eating disorder often do not seek help. That was also the case for Romy. Romy tells us that her eating disorder became worse and worse and that asking for help would have prevented things becoming as bad as they did. Fortunately, she recovered fully from her eating disorder.

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This video is from the free online course:

Young People and Their Mental Health

University of Groningen