A 30-year-old Scottish woman who has suffered from anorexia since age 10 admitted that her body looks like an old lady's.
"Doctors tell me I’ve got the bones of an 70-year-old woman," Helen Gillespie said. "They’re so weak that I broke my wrist after a fall when I was 14. If I don’t improve, I’ll continue to age prematurely."
Gillespie added that she looked like a child for a long time, but she now feels like an old lady.
Anorexia has prevented Gillespie from developing breasts, having a boyfriend, and moving out of her parents' home. She said she was so scared of becoming an adult that she restricted her calorie intake to delay puberty. Gillespie didn't get her first period until she was 26 years old.
When Gillespie was growing up, she said that her parents expected a lot from her. "It is only recently that I have realized that it was me, not my parents, who pushed me to do better and better. I constantly crave praise, love and affection and was terrified that my every move would be criticize."
She soon realized that the one thing she was really good at was losing weight. "My weight was something I could control, and losing weight seemed to be a talent which other people, particularly other girls, admired," she said.
Gillespie has pretty much spent the last 20 years in the hospital and now realizes that she can't achieve her dreams if she continues to live in the body of a child.
"I would love to get married and have children. I go past a bridal shop about three times a week and I look in the window and look at the dresses and think "if only," she said.
Although Gillespie believes she can still be helped, she doesn't believe she will ever be normal.
Anorexia is a serious mental disorder that should not be taken lightly. The longer a person suffers from the disease, the more complications she will have. Some of the complications of anorexia include anemia, heart problems, bone loss, kidney problems, and death.
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