'I thought my son was going to die' - Plymouth mum's agony as anorexia tore her family apart

Ollie Roche and his mum Debbie have spoken about how anorexia affected their relationship Credit: ITV News

More people are being hospitalised for eating disorders in the West Country than at any point over the last decade, according to shocking new figures.

NHS data shows around 700 admissions across Devon and Cornwall last year - more than double the figure from ten years ago.

Experts say this could be due to increased awareness, but there is growing concern about a spike in the number of young people needing urgent treatment.

As part of mental health awareness week, which this year focuses on body image, a mother from Plymouth has spoken of her son's desperate battle with anorexia, which left him close to death and threatened to tear their family apart.

Ollie pictured at a young age Credit: Debbie Roche

Ollie was diagnosed with anorexia when he was 16. But it took him years to understand and accept the condition.

The causes of eating disorders are extremely complex and not yet fully understood. Social media firms are being urged to crack down on graphic images which glamourise weight loss - but for many sufferers, the issues go far deeper.

In Ollie's case it is wrapped up with other illnesses such as OCD, depression, anxiety and body dysmorphia.

Debbie wrote a book about her experience of having a son with anorexia Credit: ITV News
Ollie says he feels he wasted his teenage years Credit: ITV News

After studying for a diploma in eating disorders, Debbie wrote a book about what she and Ollie had been through.

She is now the chair of a national charity which helps men and boys who are suffering from eating problems.

Debbie is now the chair of a national charity for boys and men with eating problems Credit: ITV News
Debbie and Ollie are keen to help others suffering with eating disorders Credit: ITV News