Raising the Roof with Naomi!

Today’s interview is with Naomi!

Naomi’s experience with Mental Health began when she was 16 years old. After feeling constantly tired and particularly unhappy she realised there was something wrong so visited her GP. The doctor put her on anti-depressants and referred her to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). Through CAMHS Naomi was diagnosed with Anorexia, leading her to struggle to maintain a “normal” life.

With support through CAHMS Naomi reached a healthy weight and made great progress with her recovery. Unfortunately she has relapsed in the past few years and the Eating Disorder has developed into an EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) form. This is a complex form that can be a mix of Anorexia and Bulimia and is often a very specific form suffered by the individual.

Naomi still suffers with depression, anxiety and slight OCD tendencies now.

Hi Naomi

Being 16 years old is quite a young age to have to deal with something as big as an Eating Disorder, was the decision to go to your GP your own or did you have encouragement from family and friends?

The decision was my own in the end but my mum did encourage me to get checked out by my GP. I didn't really want her involved so I went to appointments with the GP and later CAMHS on my own until they thought it was necessary that she knew what was going on and could support me too. I was too embarrassed to tell my friends and didn't think they'd understand or would treat me differently because of it.

That's a very strong decision to make and it's great that you had your Mum's support. Did you ever get the confidence to let your friends know what you were going through?

It took a couple of months before I could tell my friends. At this point I was in College doing my AS Levels and I was put on a strict eating plan. This meant at lunch and break times I'd have to eat a certain amount or have to have lunch out with my mum, so they were starting to realise something was up and telling them was the best thing to do. I ended up taking a lot of time off college too because I was so tired and depressed. My attendance dropped dramatically and my tutors had to be told so I couldn't hide it anymore!

Were your friends supportive of you when you explained your situation to them?

My main group of girlfriends tried to be but it definitely put a lot of strain on our friendships. I was in a relationship at the time and he was very supportive but also quite controlling so that became strained too.

It's great that they tried to support you! When you started to tell your friends and tutors did you start to feel differently towards your Eating Disorder?

Yeah it felt like something I wanted to hide but I couldn't hide it very well because it was part of my life and so consuming!

Did you find that the CAMHS helped you to move towards initially recovering, and has it helped moving forward?

At the time no, I hated it! They took control of everything, what I ate, if I could leave my house, any exercise! Then I was admitted to hospital on a specialist unit and it was hell! I don't remember a lot of it because I think I've tried to block it out but I was there for 3 months with other teens with mental health problems. It was horrible being there but we all kind of stuck together and pulled each other through to keep going towards recovering :) looking back I'd say it helped quite a lot but when you're going through it you don't see it that way!

Did it help to be around other teens with the same sort of issues, or did you find that it damaged your recovery?

It helped in the way that I knew I wasn't just being silly, there were other people going through the same stuff as I was and some even worse than me! It was great that we could all stick together and help each other through our time there. I didn't find it particularly damaging to my recovery but there was a couple of people with extreme eating disorders that would say or do things which set me back a little bit. I just tried to stay away!

That's good! It's good to hear when someone gets positives from the Mental Health services. How much did your anorexia control your life?

Anorexia basically was my life. It controlled everything I did, thought and ate which made my life really hard!

Some people have got a very stereotypical view of eating disorders, is there anything you would say to these people?

A lot of people you wouldn't even notice had one! They're not all stick thin, they're not all exercise freaks, they don't all eat rabbit food and they aren't doing it for attention!

If someone reading this has, or thinks they have, an eating disorder or any of the other difficulties you have had to face what would you say to them, having been through it yourself?

I'd say that talking about it is a good thing. No one should have to go through it alone and there's a lot of people out there who will understand or at least try to. It's not a bad thing to ask for help or admit you're struggling!

You can find Naomi and her blog over on www.ohhellomango.co.uk.

If you are struggling with a Mental Health issue please don’t suffer in silence. If you
need unbiased support please contact one of the charities below:

B-Eat Helpline
Support for Adults call: 0845 634 1414
Support for Young People Call:  0845 634 7650

Talk to The Samaritans
Call: 08457 90 90 90 (UK)
Call: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI)
Or email:

Rethink Mental Illness
Call: 0300 5000 927

The Mind infoline
Call: 0300 123 3393
Or email

You are never alone; there is always someone who will listen to you. I will listen to

Please feel free to email me on
beckiatexplorer@gmail.com if you want/need to chat
or to find out how you can get involved with Raising the Roof on Mental Health.

Remember; there’s strength in numbers….Raise the Roof loud and proud!


  1. Becki: I'm always to excited to see these posts!

    Naomi: You are so brave for seeking out help for yourself, many people would wait until it was forced upon them or at least very much hinted at by the loved ones. (I'm in the later group a little).
    You can never know how friends and loved ones react and it's good to open up and at least they attempted to be supportive, even if it didn't work out so well.

    I love that you see the positive side of your recovery, it's always hard to see what's really going on at the time and it can possibly help you but it really is true that things get better in time and it's about the happier healthier future that we have to work through the bad times and the scariness of recovery.

    Good for you for sharing your story!

    ~ K


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