A life with anorexia can be very difficult, and if people do not seek help, they may lose their lives. As mentioned before, anorexia is the most common eating disorder, has the highest mortality rate (NICE Guidelines 2004), and is not exclusive to any age or gender. Being so common it means that there are many people suffering or have suffered from it. One of them is the famous singer Daniel Johns who admitted that anorexia almost killed him. During an interview from the daily news headlines “The Sydney Morning Herald” (2004), he shared that when battling with anorexia in his late teens, he was close to suicide saying, “There was three or four years of my life where I hated myself and you know, would have quite happily ended it”. The singer added that the food was his enemy and that he hated it and avoided even talking about it. The reason he started cutting food was to gain control. He did not start recovery until he was scared for his life saying, “I think I definitely got scared by the second or third time a doctor told me I was dying”. However, after more than 12 months of rehabilitation treatment, the famous singer made a full recovery.
Another case is with the famous actress Troian Bellisario who shared that she is in recovery from anorexia for 10 years now. In a recent interview from “Daily mail UK” (2017), she shared that she used to not eat or restrain herself from other privileges based on how well she did that day in school. She also talked about the days when she allowed herself just 300 calories a day, which with time became too much. She revealed that she restricts her food intake not only because she wanted to be thin but also because she was maintaining control. In addition, she shared that there was a voice in her head, which used to make her do things like the restriction of 300 calories per day and other unhealthy things. The famous actress also explained that when she was going through this difficult journey, she was very isolated. She shared “I couldn’t get anyone even the people who loved me the most, even my boyfriend or my mother or my father to understand what that experience was truly like for me”. She admits that surviving from anorexia “is rare” and she made it because of the hard introspection, intense medical and mental care, supportive family, friends, loving partner and patient. This inspired her to write and direct a movie called “Feed” to help young people with similar problems.
Very common among those suffering from anorexia is that they start restricting food in order to gain control. In these cases, they both seek help and went through rehabilitation treatments. However, anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder and can be highly subjective. An example for this is the voice that Troian Bellisario is hearing. This is not same with Daniel Johns. He did not hear a voice, but he thought about the food as his enemy. This suggests that people with anorexia can have both similar and different experiences.