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18 year old Megan has just joined our youth council, and hopes to use it as a platform to raise awareness and start conversations about eating disorders in Ireland. Here is her first post. She will be writing more about her experiences in the future. Welcome aboard Megan x

When I heard of anorexia as a child, my presumption was that it was when people wanted to be so thin that they stopped eating altogether. That they were selfish to put their families through stress just to look good. Boy was I wrong.

Could I have predicted, that at 14, a psychiatrist would be sitting across from me and diagnosing me with Anorexia Nervosa? No way. I was not ‘the type’ to get anorexia, I wasn’t stupid, I knew that looking rake thin wasn’t pretty.

But that’s the thing with eating disorders, they are unpredictable and creep up on you so slyly you don’t notice you are being consumed. And that’s one of the funny things, it tells you consuming is bad while it works it’s magic consuming you. Hypocrite.

Anorexia is not about looking good, it’s not about being thin and beautiful and perfect, it’s a serious illness that sufferers themselves can’t even explain. Lying in bed with pain at 3am because your ribs are sticking into the mattress is not pretty. Spending money to go the cinema whilst spending the entire movie thinking about the apple you ate that morning is not fun.

Widespread awareness on the topic of eating disorders needs to occur if public attitude is to change. Once a year, a global awareness week is held, Eating Disorder Awareness Week, where a variety of events are held by charities and organisations. In Ireland, Bodywhys is the main eating disorder organisation which does amazing work to help sufferers, their family and those concerned.  For more information, check out Bodywhys.ie