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Anorexia and me: The honest accounts of those living with an eating disorder

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Eating disorders are thought to affect more than 1.5 million people in the UK.

They can be men or women at any age but the vast majority are teenage girls.

Conditions like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder are often linked to modern day diet culture - but many eating disorders are associated with mental health issues.

We are not sure of the cause of an eating disorder because it's usually a multitude of reasons but it's an outward sign of dealing with inner problems so you can’t just say 'eat that food,' just like you can’t say 'stop being sad'.

– Catherine Hopes, Pyschotherapist.
Over 1.5 million people in the UK are believed to have an eating disorder. Credit: PA images

At the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, ITV Cymru Wales has spoken to four young men and women who are all at different stages of their condition.

They are sharing their experiences in the hope of helping others.

21-year-old Mair Elliot was diagnosed with anorexia at 17.

She has a history of mental illness including depression and anxiety, dating back to her childhood.

She still faces many challenges with her eating disorder.

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Like Mair, sports journalist Abigail Davies has anorexia.

She has also found strength to speak about her condition, which she recalls dating back as far as primary school.

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As many as a quarter of people with eating disorders are thought to be men and boys.

Luke Evans from Aberdare is one of them and has been living with anorexia since he was 15.

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Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Izzy Harries has learned to overcome the physical challenges of her conditions but she still battles to maintain a healthy relationship with food.

I personally would say that i'm still in recovery just because the voice hasn't completely gone. I don’t know if it ever will but I'm so much happier now than I was a few years ago when I was in the throws of anorexia and bulimia.

I think when i was going through an eating disorder, i didn't hear many success stories of people recovering

So I think when people who are going through eating disorders see success stories and see people living happily with a healthy weight, that will motivate them hopefully to get better.

– Izzy Harries

If you need any help and advice relating to eating disorders, get in touch with Beat.

See more: Wales This Week: Anorexia and Me