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Norwich teenager turns her brave poem about her eating disorder into short film

PUBLISHED: 16:45 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:06 19 May 2017

Filmmaker Tallulah Self. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Filmmaker Tallulah Self. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

archant 2017

A Norwich teenager has brought two parts of her life together to create a short film featuring her own poem about anorexia.

Filmmaker Tallulah Self. Picture : ANTONY KELLY Filmmaker Tallulah Self. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Tallulah Self, 18, first got help for her eating disorder around a year ago, but said she had been suffering for a couple of years prior.

The brave Paston College student was sent hours away to the Rhodes Clinic in North London between July and December last for treatment but used her time to write the poem, titled I Am Me.

Miss Self, of Grove Road, said: “You have so much time when you’re there. I was there with other girls with eating disorders, going through the same thing.

“I feel very passionate about breaking stigmas and raising awareness of eating disorders, whilst using my creativity and passion for film to do this.”

In the film, Miss Self talks about the illness, and how it affected her and her family.

It also features statistics which say 1.6m people in the UK are affected by eating disorders.

And that 20pc of those with an eating disorder die because of it, either due to physical health or taking their own life.

“There’s a lot of guilt around food and other things like that,” she said.

“Before I was admitted to Rhodes my physical health deteriorated and it was so hard but there’s nothing around this area.”

But she was keen to speak about what she had been through, in the hope it would help others and dispel some myths.

“It’s the most frustrating thing ever going through something when people have misconceptions,” she said.

“It makes it hard to talk to people about it, it should not be something which is taboo.

“I used to be fearful to bring it up through fear of being judged,” she added.

Now back home in Norwich, Miss Self wants to spread her message far and wide and has gained support from a leading eating disorder charity.

A representative for Norwich-based eating disorder charity Beat said: “Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with a lot of stigma and misconceptions attached.

“Tallulah’s poem helps to raise awareness of these illnesses and give hope to others who are suffering, and her bravery in speaking out is very admirable.”

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