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Health, Sports & Psychology

Ellen & Sasha: Is she anorexic?

Updated Monday 26th February 2007
This article is a part of our Mind, Body, Media collection, and is filed under
Topic: Mental Health

A housemate who cooks but doesn't eat? Can you say something without pressuring her?

Ellen's story

This is my first year at uni. I'm living in a house with four other girls. I didn't know any of them before I started here but they are all nice though not my best friends.

There's a canteen in college so we eat there except at weekends. We were not very organised at shopping and stuff and tended to all cook our own meals. If noodley-pot things counts as a meal.

Then Dawn (who's 23 and a mature student) got a bit bossy and insisted we have proper meals and did a rota. The meals are pretty basic, pastas and stuff. I hate to admit, though, but it is a good idea.

I've noticed that Sasha, who is very thin, hardly eats anything but then cooks loads of white cabbage and eats that later. Even when she does the cooking she doesn't eat much. I know Dawn has challenged her about being anorexic.

Trouble is, Dawn is so bossy she put Sasha's back up. I feel I ought to do something before Sasha collapses. She wears baggy clothing so I don't think people realise how thin she is. I don't know what to do.

Cabbage [Image: Mavis under CC-BY-ND licence] Creative commons image Icon Mavis via Flickr under Creative-Commons license
Not much of a meal. [Image: Cabbage by Mavis under CC-BY-ND licence]

Sasha's story

I'm pleased to be at uni. I'm a long way from my family and I sort of miss them and I sort of don't. There are seven of us kids, I'm in the middle. My Dad left when I was eight. I was sad about that, I liked my Dad and I think I was his favourite being the first girl.

My Mum threw him out, he drank too much. He went back to live with our Nan. So I do still see him a bit. He's nice but he doesn't do much, Mum's reckons he has no 'get up and go', and I think she's right.

When he's drunk he's pathetic, I can see it drove her mad, but I wish she'd tried to change him instead of throwing him out. My Mum's quite forceful, she tells us what to do the whole time.

So being away from all that means I can do what I like for a change. I'm doing biology. My Dad was pleased about that. He likes those David Attenborough programmes so he thinks I'm taking after him. I haven't the heart to tell him it's not like that. I have to work harder than the other students, I don't find it easy here. But I'm taking control of my life.

My Mum used to feed us up with lots of greasy food. I'm eating better now and getting rid of my 'puppy fat' as Gramps called it. One of the girls in the house called me anorexic which is just stupid. I'm not thin, I still need to take off weight and I can do it.

These stories are composites based on real experiences

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