Episode 20. Anorexia: in conversation with Zoë at The Nightingale Centre

Listen to the episode:


(Added, 2nd March 2018). Huge thanks to Dr. Pooky Knightsmith for recording one of her fantastic video blogs to provide additional context to the podcast, emphasizing that experiences of eating disorders in sufferers are very individual.

Pooky listened to my podcast conversation with Zoë prior to publication, and suggested some clarifications and key information to slot into the podcast intro. Thanks Pooky for your input - it's greatly appreciated.


In the latest episode of the 4YP podcast, I'm speaking to Zoë, a Year 11 student who attends The Nightingale Centre. The centre is a specialist short stay centre that works to offer appropriate intervention to vulnerable students with medical and mental health needs, in a supportive and structured setting.

In the podcast, Zoë speaks with great honesty about her experiences as a sufferer with the eating disorder anorexia.

Before listening, it is important to understand the following; these points are also reinforced in the podcast introduction:

  1. The conversation you’ll hear is not a therapeutic session. I am not a counsellor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, and Zoë continues to receive counselling and support to help her from specialist professionals.
  2. The experiences and feelings of people who suffer with eating disorders, or indeed with any mental health condition, are very individual. What Zoë says may not be typical, but they are authentic to her. They are her story. In the conversation, we are capturing a snapshot of her thinking and feelings at a particular moment in her life. The way she understands and articulates her condition has changed in the past, and will almost certainly change in the future. She is not an expert in the treatment of eating disorders, but she is an expert in being herself.
  3. Finally, and most importantly, if you, the listener, are a young person who has an eating disorder, or has had one in past, think carefully before listening to the conversation. It is very possible that what you hear may trigger difficult feelings or emotions. If you’ve not already done so, please seek specialist help and support. If you'd like to speak to someone, call BEAT on 0808 801 0677 (for adults) or 0808 801 0711 (for young people).

Resources for young people: Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018

The week 26th February to 4th March 2018 is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and to show our support we've compiled some resources onto the HeadStart Support and Guidance Site:

eating disorders.png
She (anorexia) is just like a sulkier version of me I’ve got sat in a box in the corner of my head ... I used to be the one in the box and she’d be the one that was in control of my head.
— Zoë

We've also embedded below two helpful video clips from friend of HeadStart, Dr. Pooky Knightsmith. Please do watch and explore these links.

As always, please submit comments on the podcast @HeadStartFM on Twitter, or using the comment form below.

Video clips from Dr. Pooky Knightsmith


Show notes and links