I first noticed I had an issue in 4th year when I was attempting to make it into a good football team. I trained constantly and took food out of my diet which I thought would stop me from reaching my football potential. This went on for a while to the point I would pass out after training and I could no longer keep food down. Sometimes the hunger pains were too much but this is what I thought was part of the process, I thought I was just training really hard. It wasn’t until my mum broke down in front of me that I knew I had a problem. She took me to my local GP where they told me I had an eating disorder. I found it hard to come to terms with my diagnosis at first as I had never heard of teenage boys with eating disorders, I always thought it was a thing girls dealt with instead. I spent a couple of months with a personal nurse and dietician who helped and supported me coming to terms with my disorder. They taught me loads about my body and its relationship with food, slowly but surely, I started to build confidence and my strength again. Now I play every weekend in an amazing team and I’m a healthy weight for my age. Some days can still be hard if I get sucked in again but with the help of my parents, I can now be healthy and happy.
Outcome: Mental health does not discriminate! No matter your age, race, gender or sexuality; mental health can affect anyone.