Gemma Oaten felt 'dead inside' during anorexia battle
- Bang Showbiz
- 21 December 2020
Former 'Emmerdale' star Gemma Oaten admits she felt "dead inside" during her battle with anorexia as she opens up on the difficulties of struggling with an eating disorder over Christmas
Gemma Oaten felt "dead inside" during her battle with anorexia.
The former 'Emmerdale' star – who has been open about her struggle with the eating disorder, and has been in recovery for 13 years – has taken to social media who candidly discuss the difficulties for people in a similar position over the festive season.
Sharing a picture from her childhood, she tweeted: "This was the first Christmas, it didn't feel like Christmas and I never had a 'normal' one again for 14 years. Here's why...
"Two months after this photo was taken I was on deaths door with anorexia and life changed forever. You see a smile, but I was dead inside.
"I was slowly getting more poorly and making this cake for a school project was torture. Here's the very sad thing...
"Xmas is robbed every year for someone with an eating disorder. It is the single most dreaded day of the year. Food, family food, pressure, food, company, food food food.
"Its the time of year many deteriorate or take their life, as the thought of living through it is too much... (sic)"
The 36-year-old actress has previously revealed how she was 24 hours from death at the age of 12 because of the disorder, and just six years later she suffered a heart attack.
Gemma – who is a patron for her parents' eating disorder support charity SEED – previously insisted the system needs to improve and offer better care for those in need.
She said: "The system, in my eyes, is not good enough. There's not enough eating disorder units, there's not enough understanding among GPs of what the disorder really is.
"Early intervention is key and it's still not happening. And that was before lockdown.
"For people with an eating disorder, being in lockdown with family is excruciating as you're watched all the time. Then there's the stress of food shopping, with people looking at each other's baskets.
"I understand people have lost their lives from Covid-19, but there are also the long-term effects on those who haven't got coronavirus but will potentially lose their lives because of their mental health."