The ugly, sad, lonely truth about eating disorders

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For someone in the grip of illness, triggers are everywhere.

COMMENT: ​One of the most insidious things about eating disorders is that they often affect exactly the type of people who think they’re too smart to get eating disorders – or, perhaps more accurately, the sort of people who think they’re smart enough to play around with disordered eating, carefully gleaning the supposed benefits without suffering the frightening, often fatal, consequences.

As a teenager, I was one of these people: painfully insecure, yet dangerously arrogant at the same time, convinced I could keep my plummeting weight under control.

Watching To the Bone, a moving new Netflix film written and directed by Marti Noxon and based on her own experiences of anorexia nervosa, I was acutely reminded of my own battle. Ellen, the film’s protagonist (played by Lily Collins) is clever, cynical, a talented artist and, at the stage we meet her, completely lost to her disease.

Lily Collins says she was initially reluctant to star in To the Bone because of her own illness about a decade earlier.

Inevitably, To the Bone has attracted a huge amount of controversy. A little like Netflix’s previous drama 13 Reasons Why, which was accused of “glorifying” teen suicide (perhaps with some justification) the film has been accused of “glamorising” eating…

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