Chloe’s mental health story

Mental health issues are so much more common than you initially think. It is only when people start opening up about their own struggles, you realise that it affects so many people’s lives.

I want my blog to be a platform for people to share their mental health journeys, to highlight how common mental illness is in our society. My hope by doing this is that we’ll glean a better understanding of the way these illnesses have interfered with people’s lives. Knowledge is power, so the more educated we are, the more well equipped we’ll be to help and support our family and friends in our own lives.

If you’d like to write about your mental health story on my blog, please follow this link and fill out the form.

Chloe, 26, of Northern Ireland has shared her journey battling with
anorexia, depression and anxiety. 

Chloe’s story

Keep going and fighting against the voice telling you that you’re fat and you’re not good enough. It’s a liar!

It started when I was a teenager and I developed anorexia. I was a purging anorexic for a year before I began restriction. This carried on for a year before I was formally diagnosed and began treatment at the age of 14.

At 16 I was diagnosed with depression and began taking anti-depressants. I would take these at a higher dose once a day until I was 21 and decided to wean myself off them.

Although I recovered for some time my anorexia re-emerged when I was 20 and then, after another 5 years of quasi-recovery, again in September 2018. 

Did you get any treatment for your mental health?

I was under the care of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHs) up until the age of 19. 

I went under the care of the adult outpatient eating disorder services between the ages 20-21 but quickly discharged myself after deciding I no longer needed it.

I’m now currently in the same outpatient treatment for anorexia, depression and anxiety and have been since January 2019.

Can you explain what your treatment was like and whether you found this beneficial?

As a teenager and a younger adult I felt treatment was useless and just wasn’t for me. In hindsight I think I was just under the impression that I could beat my mental illnesses alone and, in some ways, I just didn’t want to change. 

Now I can wholeheartedly say that without treatment I might not be here. I’m more engaged in treatment and determined to beat anorexia once and for all.

What advice would you give other people suffering from the same condition as you?

Get into a treatment programme as soon as you can. Co-operate and communicate with your treatment team. Don’t be afraid to tell them how you are feeling and what you need from them, that’s why they are there.

Keep going and fighting against the voice telling you that you’re fat and you’re not good enough. It’s a liar!

The voice doesn’t take a day off until you make it take a day off.

Anorexia is terrible illness. To have it combined with depression and anxiety isn’t uncommon, and it’s truly crippling at times.

Some days it’s difficult to get out of bed because I know I have to look at myself and weigh myself, and fight against all the urges that come with it. It’s hard to function, even when I am eating, because you are constantly thinking about the food.

The voice doesn’t take a day off until you make it take a day off. It’s hard but my ability to keep going is helped by my family, my partner, my treatment team, the understanding of my workplace and the community support I have found online.

You are never alone in this fight, remember that!

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