Brief outline: Jezzie, 16, developed anorexia when she started secondary school. She has been in recovery, but has recently started restricting her food again. She has also been having panic attacks and feelings of depression.
It stopped after I started talking to my counsellor.
And so what was that like talking to a counsellor about it?
It was a bit intimidating.
In what way?
I don’t like the whole professionalism type thing, of counsellors.
So what was it that put you off about that?
I had to call her Miss something as well. It wasn’t like informal.
It was very formal. That it didn’t help.
Where did she come from, was she …?
She’s from CAMHS [Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services]
So how long did you see her for?
About six months.
How often over that time?
At least once a week.
And did you find it helpful?
How was it helpful?
Well she liked trying to build my self-esteem and stuff, things like that.
How did she do that, what kind of things?
Like, encouraging me to do stuff that would build my confidence and, and talking to me about why I wanted to lose weight.
When she was 11 Jezzie developed anorexia. She says she didn’t eat properly and would do extreme amounts of exercise. Jezzie remembers how she was underweight at primary school but started to put weight on when she started secondary school; she thinks she wanted to lose weight because she wanted things to be how they were when she was younger – fun and easier. When people began to notice, Jezzie was referred to a counsellor from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) who she found intimidating because she was too professional and formal. She saw the counsellor every week for about 6 months and the counsellor tried to encourage her to do things to build her confidence.
Jezzie says she recovered after seeing the counsellor, but mainly because she was told that if she didn’t, she would have to stay in a home for adolescents with eating disorders – which she didn’t want to do – partly because she didn’t want the kids at school to find out.
Recently, Jezzie says she not been eating regular meals again. When she does eat, she picks things like salad, because they’re healthy foods. She thinks it’s important to be healthy, not least because she would hate to have an operation.
Jezzie has also been experiencing some panic attacks and feelings of depression.
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