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  1. ITV Report

'Talking to my mum helped me cope with anorexia'

A mother and son from Plymouth are encouraging people to talk more about physical and mental health by sharing their own story of living with anorexia.

As ITV's Britain Get Talking campaign urges us all to open up, Debbie Roche says her son Ollie is now able to manage the condition he has suffered with since he was a teenager - and their relationship has flourished as a result.

Ollie says he feels happier and healthier. Credit: ITV News

It's been tricky at times. I have to have coping mechanisms because I know things are going to get worse if I don't try to do something now.

Normally I do alright with that, but it really very much depends because you don't know what life is going to bring around the corner.

– Ollie Roche
Ollie is studying for a qualification in beauty therapy. Credit: ITV News

Eight months ago Debbie and Ollie took the big decision to go public and open up about the condition which they say nearly destroyed their family.

But now Ollie is back at college, living independently and says he feels much happier.

Ollie and Debbie say they are now able to speak to each other about difficult topics. Credit: ITV News

We have seen some steady progress. It's been really positive at times, Ollie starting college, a few years ago he had no future, he didn't want a future.

But for him now to actually be really positive about wanting a future, wanting to go out there and actually socialise with people again in a different scary environment, that's been brilliant for me.

Without our mental health, physically we're not going to be well either. We need to start putting the two together, looking at things holistically. We are one whole person and we need to start talking like that.

– Debbie Roche
1.25m
people in the UK living with eating disorders
25%
are male, much higher than previously believed

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