Back in 1992, the now-late Princess Diana confessed she had suffered from bulimia in Andrew Morton’s book, Diana: Her True Story for the first time. Then, in 1995, she used her position in the public eye to open up about her struggles with this eating disorder once in yet another candid interview.
Sitting down with British journalist Mark Austin and his daughter, Maddy, who made a full recovery after being diagnosed with anorexia in 2012, Prince William explains that talking about mental health is the key to overcoming it.
"These things are illnesses and they need to be treated,” he says, adding: “Mental health needs to be taken as seriously as physical health."
"We need to be matter-of-fact about it, and not hide it in the dark where it festers."
Then when asked by Austin if he was proud of his mother’s honesty in opening up about her eating disorder, the father-of-two replied: “Absolutely.”
"I really hope George and Charlotte can grow up in a world where mental health is completely normalised and where we can all talk about it openly and honestly,” he continues.
“We can talk about stuff and it is not a weakness and not to be ashamed of."
According to The Butterfly Foundation, the condition that Princess Diana suffered from, bulimia, is characterised by repeated episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory behaviours.
Not only that, but people with bulimia place an excessive emphasis on their body shape or weight.
What this can do is impact a person’s sense of self-esteem and self-worth, namely that they may become wholly focused by the way they look.
Those living with bulimia often hides their condition, meaning that they can often go undiagnosed for a long period of time. But this doesn’t mean during the vicious cycle that comes with eating out of control that they won’t experience feelings of shame, guilt and disgust.
If you, or someone you know would like to talk to someone confidentially about eating disorders, contact The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 334 673.
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