Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Jess’ Story

Jess Bramhall shares her battles with eating disorders and OCD, how she was supported by City Hearts and is now an employee, helping others through trauma and recovery.

“My teenage years were difficult, and I developed OCD, where I could barely leave the house. I had to wear a certain outfit, walk a certain route, follow a certain routine. If any of that didn’t go to plan, I would struggle.

“I began restricting my food intake, not because I wanted to lose weight, but because I was following a set of internal rules I had set for myself.”

Jess dropped to four stones and was hospitalised 12 time between the ages of 16 and 28.

“My food intake was strictly regulated; to the point where it almost killed me. I was told on four occasions that I was going to die. My parents were desperately worried about me, and yet there were times when I wanted the release of death. I couldn’t cope with being alive.”

In 2010, Jess joined our programme supporting women with life-controlling issues. “Right from the start, I was treated as a person, as Jess, and not as a patient. I felt like people were actually listening to me.”

Over nine months, Jess managed to gain a stone in weight. Now, over 10 years later she is happy, healthy and loves running and baking. Jess is a caseworker in our modern slavery team, helping women to find freedom and live independently after exploitation.

“I feel absolutely blessed that I found help when I was at my lowest, and now I work for the same charity which saved my life.”

You can read the full story in The Mirror here.

Visit Beat Eating Disorders website for more information about Eating Disorders Week, or call their helpline on  0808 801 0677 for support.