I strive to provide an accurate picture of what it is like to live with an ED and the long-term consequences of such.

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Lauren Bailey

I have always suffered from anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder since I was a child. What triggered my anorexia was a combination of things.

I was going through puberty at nine years old, which was very early then, and I was the only one - because of that I was bigger than the others. I was bullied because I was different - I was into rock music and playing my guitar.

When it developed into anorexia, it was after someone told me I should go on a diet - at the time I was 14 and it is very young to be thinking about those things. It was then that my obsession with exercise started.

I was walking the streets from 6am in the morning to 6pm at night, or going up and down any stairs I could find. I really don’t know how I did it, I shouldn’t have been able to walk that far. It was the anorexic adrenaline.

I remember being transferred to an eating disorders unit and they didn’t think I would make it through the night. My mum was so worried about me but until I accepted I had a problem there was nothing anyone else could do.

It got out of control. It wasn’t about wanting to be thin, it was about wanting to disappear.

I got to the point when I thought, ‘This isn’t getting me anywhere’. I was really miserable and I had no time left in my day because of my obsessions.

I am a young woman and I was missing out on so much. I thought, ‘I’m living the same sad life in hospital as I was outside. Life can’t be any worse - why don’t I just give it (recovery) a go?’

It annoys me that these magazines complain about size zero celebrities then the next minute they go on about slimming down for summer. It sends out a mixed message.

I still have problems but I am enjoying life now. I want to give others hope that they can get over anorexia and rebuild their lives.

(Source: Daily Mail)