Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston has broken his silence on the eating disorder that “imprisoned” him in an emotional new interview.
The star had revealed in his 2019 autobiography I Love The Bones Of You that he’d battled a mental health breakdown and thoughts of suicide, and that he was also living with anorexia and body dsymorphia.
However, he’s never found it easy to share the details of his “imprisoning” eating disorder – and the star, who eats “normally” these days, reflected solemnly on his relationship with food.
He told The Guardian of his book launch: “I was still quite ill [when it was released]. I’ve only just realised that it’s taken until probably this spring to put that behind me. I was still very much in recovery.”
The star explained that his experience of anorexia was like being “in hell” due to the obsessive cravings he developed for food which he could not bring himself to eat.
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“Every minute, all you think about is food – the consumption of, the rejection of. You don’t think about anything else,” he lamented.
However, Christopher added that he is moving on from those dark days, learning to “accept my imperfections” and is becoming “happy and excited about life”.
The former 28 Days Later star explained that life in the intensely image-conscious showbiz world is now “not as hard as it was” for him in the past.
“Certainly there was a lot of life-denying before. The eating disorder was imprisoning. Being in an industry and feeling like you shouldn’t be in it was imprisoning,” he continued.
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“I don’t want anybody feeling sorry for me, but it felt quite solitary.”
Christopher says that his eating has now stabilised and while he believes he exercises more than most people his age, getting on the move has been a huge boost to his mental health.
He addressed his previous reluctance to open up about it, explaining that as a male Northerner from a working class background, he felt he was “not supposed” to talk about his feelings.
He has opted not to watch any of his performances, in case it triggers him to analyse his body shape and general appearance – something he has resolved to stop doing.
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Following the collapse of his relationship with his ex-wife Mischka, whom he ended up divorcing in a hearing that took just two minutes, Christopher became unwell and was hospitalised.
Disordered eating is something he admits he has struggled with for most of his life.
However, the tide is now changing for him – and Christopher will appear at London’s Old Vic Theatre between November 11 and January 6 to take on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in Matthew Warchus’ adaption of A Christmas Carol.
If you’re worried about your health or the health of somebody else, you can contact SEED eating disorder support service on 01482 718130 or on their website. https://seedeatingdisorders.org.uk/
Samaritans (116 123) also operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. Alternatively, you can find more information on the Samaritans website: https://www.samaritans.org/
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