Imogen's Story

Escaping from the Isolation of Anorexia Allowed me to Recover


I was first admitted into a psychiatric ward at the beginning of year eight when I was just thirteen years of age. Diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa I was taken away from my home and had never felt so scared and isolated before in my life.

The isolation that comes with eating disorders I feel is something not talked about enough in treatment. Eating disorders are such manipulative illnesses that force sufferers to turn on their loved ones and enter into a world of complete loneliness where it is only them and the eating disorder. The five years I spent in and out of hospital suffering from Anorexia Nervosa were the loneliest years of my life.

In my recovery the most powerful thing I learnt was to put my trust into others. That started first with opening up to my psychologist and being honest with her, rather than deceitful as my eating disorder had previously forced me to be. Then came my mum. Opening up to my mum and actually accepting her help was by far the scariest but greatest part of my recovery. Together we rebuilt the relationship we had before Anorexia had destroyed it and she made me feel less lonely. The less isolated I began to feel, the less dependent I was on my eating disorder. Through putting trust in the ones I loved, I was able to confront and let go of the toxic illness that had previously consumed every moment of my life for five years.

In all, what I really want people in recovery or those starting to think about recovery to know its that opening up and being honest with the ones around you who support and love you is honestly the most powerful thing you can do. As soon as you allow someone else to stand by your side in the journey to recovery, you will feel significantly less isolated and dependent on your eating disorder.