Eating disorders


Age at interview: 19
Age at diagnosis: 17

Brief outline: After a few years cycle of purging, binging and restricting food, Jasmin was diagnosed with purging type of anorexia nervosa at 17. Seeing a great dietician and working through her thinking and feeling patterns around food helped her onto recovery.

Background: Jasmin is a dance student. She is single and lives in shared accommodation with her course mates. White British.

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Jasmin first started losing weight around the age of 12. At first she says it was nothing serious but after a year or two she started dieting more methodically, took up the Weight Watchers diet and soon purging followed. Jasmin had been bullied for years in her dance school and become more self-conscious of her body. Also other random comments about her body affected her confidence and soon the restricting and purging got more serious, particularly at times when she was stressed or unhappy.
The following few years, Jasmin went through phases of binging and purging and then during college, she started restricting her food intake and fasting, and developed anorexia. She was really struggling with dancing as she had no energy and suffered from insomnia. Because Jasmin loved dancing and wanted a career from it, she finally sought help from her GP. She was referred to a dietician and diagnosed with purging type of anorexia nervosa when she was 17. Jasmin says her dietician was great and taught her to see “food as medicine” that her body needed. Learning about the effects of food and starvation on her body, and about the right way of eating helped greatly towards recovery. Jasmin also saw a psychologist who helped her realise she had been experiencing depression for years but it had been “covered up” by the eating disorder.
Recovery has been a long and gradual process, with a relapse Jasmin managed to overcome on her own. The hardest thing about recovery for Jasmin was challenging her patterns of thinking about food and eating and the feelings attached to it. She had to find the right balance of not eating too much, or too little, while maintaining energy and strength to dance.
Jasmin says that writing diaries has been a big help to her during recovery. She also found the discussion boards on the Beat (Beat Eating Disorders) website helpful. Because there are only a few websites about recovery, Jasmin has started her own recovery website. She is passionate about raising awareness of eating disorders and says that being open about her experiences has made her life much easier.


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