The term 'Drunkorexia' is relatively new, but the condition is not. Drunkorexia is a combination of alcoholism and anorexia or bulimia. Usually, a person suffering from drunkorexia will deprive himself or herself of food during the day, in an attempt to keep calories under control when he or she goes drinking later.
Recovery is such a tricky thing for someone who has an eating disorder. You never think you will reach a day when you don't feel fat and will not count calories. There are no fancy drugs to take to cure it, no definite answer about the cure, and no way of telling how you are going to feel from one day to the next.
It wasn't just a case of wanting to be thinner; eating disorders, pretty quickly, cause chemical imbalances that bring on depression, and eventually I felt like I was not worth feeding. Lying awake at night with heart palpitations, I knew what I was doing was hurting me, but gradually, my worth became linked, in my eyes, solely to my weight.
For the past five years I've been campaigning and raising awareness of men with eating disorders with an aim to debunk the myth that eating disorders is a 'female problem.' Significant advances in awareness have been made in this short space of time to highlight the inequalities male sufferers face, but there's still a long way to go
There's nothing wrong with wanting to look good. According to her, she's "been spending all day, every day, in weapons training... shooting guns, weightlifting, kick-boxing..." This all sounds like she's being really healthy, but with all that expenditure of energy, someone is still telling her she is not allowed to put sugar in her tea?
Eating disorders are complex conditions which start for a variety of reasons and their impact stretches way beyond weight-loss or weight-gain and Thomas told me that his eating disorder has left him with permanent oesophageal acid reflux, stomach ulcers, chronic stomach pains, mouth ulcers, severely impaired peristaltic motion, damage to teeth, blocked tear ducts, scars on knuckles, sore throats, hair loss and pale complexion.
Ever since I developed an eating disorder I have been haunted by the start of term or Lent or any of these times as opportunities to start a new leaf and remove from lifestyle any unhealthy bingeing that had been dominating life. Yes, the anorexia was utilising this as an opportunity to persevere into dangerous territory.
We know that in our society there is huge cultural pressure on young people and in particular girls to be skinny, waif like and attain impossible barbie like body shapes. The gendered link between media pressure and eating disorders is inescapable. But frustratingly just as women from ethnic minorities are absent from everyday media appearances, the fact that they too are also subjected to the same cultural pressures and resultant illnesses, is also absent.
It is as a teenager that we face the greatest test of self-esteem. We become aware of how we look, how others see us and worst of all we become aware of a world that judges us. From every angle teens are told to be prettier, sexier, skinnier, to wax, to colour and to fake it. Very few talk about anything other than they we look.
It's easy to point the finger at GPs for not picking up on the signs but are they really to blame? Currently, doctors have no training on eating disorders as part of their seven-year degree. They have approximately 10 minutes - if that - with each patient and hardly sufficient to investigate a patient presenting the symptoms.