So stressed doing her GSCE exams, teenager Annabel began to lose her appetite rapidly. Eventually, so much so that she stopped eating altogether.
Doctors diagnosed Annabel with an eating disorder. But things continued to get worse until Annabel was hospitalised. She spent four months on a paediatric ward, her digestive system so damaged that she had to be fed through a tube.
Finally, Annabel was discharged. But this was only the beginning of her journey back to normal life and school. When she tried to talk to her friends about her illness and how she had felt, they didn’t understand, leaving Annabel shattered and left to cope on her own.
That was until she found the online network set up by BEAT, a charity that supports young people with anorexia and bulimia and which is partly funded by Comic Relief. Through the network, Annabel began to talk to others going through a similar experience as her and received counselling. It was something that dramatically helped her recovery and boosted her confidence.
Annabel says, “It’s really hard to start recovery, but it gets a whole lot easier once you realise that you’re not alone.”
Now Annabel is looking forward to a much brighter future.
“It’s really hard to start to recovery, but it gets a whole lot easier once you realise that you’re not alone.”