Lily Collins shares past health disorder: ‘There’s no shame in it’
Actress Lily Collins, who plays a young woman suffering from anorexia in her new film To the Bone, recently opened up about how her own struggles with an eating disorder gave her a close connection to her character.
“It’s something that a lot of young women go through and there’s no shame in it, and this movie is about that,” Collins told Variety. “It’s about embracing your past and about realizing it’s something that doesn’t define who you are, but it’s about your experiences, surrounding yourself with people that support you, and about surviving and getting through it.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders are serious and often fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a persons’ eating behaviors. Common eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder. Some signals of an eating disorder may include obsessions with food, body weight and shape.
Dr. Rhoda Gottfried, an Advocate Medical Group child & adolescent psychiatrist on staff at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill., believes that today’s culture plays a significant role in the development of eating disorders — a culture that demands thinness, but also advertises unhealthy food everywhere we turn.
“Girls tend to compare themselves to very high standards of supermodels while also looking at advertisements that massively promote unhealthy food,” says Dr. Gottfried.
Lily Collins is only one of over 30 million people in the U.S. who have suffered or are currently suffering from an eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD).
Experts agree that the first steps to treating an eating disorder is recognizing that you have a problem, seeking help and realizing that you are not alone. The National Eating Disorders Association offers a screening tool to help those over age 13 determine if they need to seek professional help for an eating disorder.
Collins, along with several other celebrities, has proven that it is okay to open up about a disorder or to ask for help.
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