Eating disorders

Georgia

Female
Age at interview: 18
Age at diagnosis: 15

Brief outline: Georgia has experienced overeating and bulimia since High School. She has been seen both at child and adult mental health services but feels she would've most benefitted from a service targeted at adolescents. Georgia attends a B-eat support group and blogs daily.

Background: Georgia is 18 and studies at University. She is single and lives in halls of residence. White British.

Audio & video

Georgia says she always used to be “funny about food” but more serious problems with eating began when she started High School. Georgia had never liked school and was now in a new environment where she didn’t know many people. Georgia says she first started eating large amounts of food and about a year in, she started making herself sick. She says at the time she never realised how serious eating disorders could be and what it could get her into. Gradually, overeating and purging became a regular habit. It was important for Georgia to follow the same routine every day and, at worst, she made herself sick several times a day.
 
Georgia’s friend got worried and contacted their school nurse who arranged a referral to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service). Georgia saw a psychologist for a year but she didn’t find the treatment helpful at all, didn’t want to engage in the counselling and says “I kept pretending I was getting better when I wasn’t”. Georgia says their methods felt alien and strange to her; and she found them targeted at young children, not adolescents.
 
At the time of discharge, Georgia started college which she enjoyed more than High School. As the start of University was getting closer, she started feeling nervous about the change, as she felt it would disrupt the safe routine she had developed. Just before she turned 18, Georgia was seen at Adult Mental Health Services. This time Georgia felt the counselling was better but that it was aimed at older adults and she didn’t understand most of the language they used. She was too scared to raise her worries with the counsellor because she had no idea what would happen if she did. Georgia was discharged and decided not to carry on with counselling in the new town where she moved to start University. 
 
Georgia says despite dreading the move, she got used to it very quickly and has had no problems with shared housing, for example. In her new place, Georgia got in touch with a local B-eat support group and says it has been the biggest form of help to her. They meet every two weeks and Georgia says she feels much happier and safer talking to other young people about what she is going through and feels much more in control of the process. She also blogs daily which helps her both to not eat too much and she also gets a lot of support from people reading and commenting on her blog. Georgia says that Government should offer more balanced information about weight; alongside very public campaigns about obesity, they should also tell about the dangers of dieting and being underweight.
 

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