Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

When I Played with Dolls, I Just Wanted to Be as Thin as They Were; Teenager Tells of Battle with Eating Disorder

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

When I Played with Dolls, I Just Wanted to Be as Thin as They Were; Teenager Tells of Battle with Eating Disorder

Article excerpt

Byline: Amy Coles Reporter jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk

ATEENAGER has told how she developed an eating disorder at just eight years old after wanting to be thin like her Barbie dolls.

Lucy Mattison hid her problems from family and school friends for seven years.

The youngster's desire to be thin was sparked by the Barbie and Bratz dolls she played with in the playground.

Lucy, who lives in Monkseaton, said: "My friends and I would bring our dolls into school and we would look at them and say how pretty and thin they were.

"I would compare myself to them all the time and think how much bigger I was than them.

"I wanted my body to be tiny like theirs, but of course in reality it wasn't and it made me feel insecure." Despite being too young to "understand calories", Lucy said her problems began when she started avoiding food.

At home she would fake a stomach ache to skip family dinners, or hide food in her room and then flush it down the toilet.

But what started as a fear of food and calories soon escalated into something worse. At nine-yearsold Lucy began making herself sick in secret thanks to a voice in her head that told her she needed to lose weight.

She said: "After dinner I would run myself a bath and then do it while the water was running to mask the noise, and I would sometimes make myself sick at school too."

She said playground taunts about her weight during her time at primary school only added to her insecurities.

When her Lucy's mum, Angela, 50 questioned her daughter's behaviour the teen remembers being "scared" she would discover the truth.

This made her more desperate to hide her disorder, which went undetected for until her health took a turn for the worse at 15. In her mid teens, Lucy, now 18, became so obsessed over her weight that she developed a fear of drinking water in case it contained calories. …

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