Positive responses to anorexia TV interview “meant the world” to Birmingham woman

on March 17, 2017

A Birmingham woman says she has no regrets about speaking up about her battle with anorexia.

Claire McKenna, 22, recently appeared in a BBC interview to discuss the challenges faced by those seeking treatment.

And she admitted the response to her speaking out had “meant the absolute world” to her.

Claire McKenna

Claire McKenna

“A huge part of anorexia is secrecy,” she said. “Being able to speak honestly about mental health enables me to stand up to the illness and not let it completely take over my life again.

“I have had people confide in me about their own experiences, things they’ve previously felt unable to share. Others have congratulated me and told me they are proud of me.”

Despite the positive reaction to her appearance, Claire admits she was nervous about talking about her condition in such a public way.

But the appearance has also seen her contacted by a number of councillors and mental health workers offering their support.

“Some people probably did judge me,” she said. “But the feedback I received from friends, family and strangers was overwhelming.

“It’s that which motivates me to continue this battle, so I can be strong enough to help others and do as much as I can to destroy discrimination and stigma around mental illness.”

Claire said people battling anorexia should know that opening up was not “a cry for attention”.

She added: “The most important thing for me is raising awareness to reduce the number of sufferers that have to go through what I did.

“Knowing the interview has opened people’s eyes about the current lack of support out there has given me the motivation to continue to work on this.”

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