A teenager dropped to a skeletal six stone after careless name-calling left her anorexic and fighting for survival.
Within the space of a year, student, Deanna Carter, 17, dropped four stone and three dress sizes after a series of negative comments left her feeling pressured to lose weight by any means possible – including purging.
A year on and Deanna has recovered, increasing her weight to a healthy nine stone. She is now eager for others to learn from her ordeal.
Like many teenagers, Miss Carter felt self-conscious about her body, but she began to lose control after receiving multiple comments about her weight from friends and family.
She said: “One of my family members called me ‘thunder thighs’. When they said it they were just being silly – it was a daft little joke.”
Despite the innocence of the remarks, the comments were enough to make Miss Carter fall into a deep depression. The taunts eventually manifested as voices in her head.
She said: “It was a psychological problem for sure. It was every minute of every day. I went into a depression. I couldn’t be bothered with life anymore.”
Miss Carter began to frequently visit pro-anorexia websites, which controversially encourage young people to follow the mantra, ‘skip dinner, wake up thinner’.
She said: “I visited everyday, I was addicted. It was my Facebook.”
Soon after she began forcing herself to be sick after meals, realising it would speed her weight loss.
She said: “It was something that I discovered one day. I did it every time I ate. It seemed like a natural way to get rid of it.”
By the time she dropped below seven stone, she began to experience heart palpitations. At this point the joking had stopped and her family were becoming concerned, but Miss Carter remained in denial about her worsening health.
She said: “I was so fearful, I thought I was big when I wasn’t. I was in denial, I thought it was normal. I would have rather died than become fat.”
At her lowest weight Miss Carter weighed just six stone and wore size four clothing.
Under the insistence of her mother, Tracey, Miss Carter was eventually admitted to the Gloucester Royal Hospital before being moved to the Cotswold Recovery Spa, where doctors told her that if she continued to starve she would be dead in weeks.
Miss Carter’s family, including her five siblings, rallied around her to encourage her increasing health.
She said: “If I bring up my weight now my brothers they tell me to not be stupid. Many people tell me that they didn’t think I was fat before all this.”
Miss Carter catalogued her year from hell in her diary entitled titled: “An Unexpected Illness” which shows how the seemingly harmless jibes caused her life to snowball out of control.
Her condition resulted in her missing her first year of sixth form, but she has since returned to study business and drama and has ambitions of being an actress.
Miss Carter’s mother Tracey Carter, 42, said: “I’m relieved that Deanna was able to get the support she needed. She’s still on the mend, but the support worker and therapists have been absolutely brilliant.
“I’m happy that we’re not in the place we were last year. It was very difficult for all of us.”
To Read “An Unexpected Illness” visit: http://www.wattpad.com/21602770-the-unexpected-illness.
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