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Jade From Little Mix Has Opened Up About Having Anorexia

She says the illness began aged 13 and got so serious she was told she could die.

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Little Mix have always been upfront with their fans, speaking publicly about everything from feminism to body image.

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Well, now Jade Thirlwall has opened up about a time in her life that she's previously kept private. Writing in the band's new book, "Our World," Jade has revealed that she was anorexic as a teenager.

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She writes that she developed the eating disorder aged 13 and at one point it became so serious that she was hospitalised.

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Jade says that the illness began as the "culmination" of a series of upsetting events, including being bullied at school.

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She writes:

I was about 13 when I got anorexia. I think it was the culmination of a lot of stuff, not just the bullying. My mam and dad were arguing a lot and my Granda Mohammed, who I was really close to, died.

She went on to explain that not eating was her way of exerting control in her life.

Jade says:

At 13, you're at that age when you don't really have control over anything, and I felt as if the only thing I could control was what I was eating. I started skipping meals and stuff like that. I would look in the mirror and it wasn't that I'd think I was fat, I just had it in my head that I wanted to be really, really skinny.

Jade began eating "foods that would work as a laxative," throwing away her dinner and hiding her weight loss under baggy clothes. She revealed that she felt so depressed she just "wanted to disappear."

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Jade writes:

My periods stopped and things were getting out of control, but I don't think I really cared about what was happening to me. I felt so depressed at that time that I just wanted to waste away and disappear.

She went on to explain that she was eventually admitted to a clinic. It was there that she "was shocked into a change" after she was told she could die.

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She says:

Anorexia is a self-destructive thing and you become stubborn, so when people are trying to tell you something you get it into your head that they're against you, and you're not going to listen. It took going to hospital to make me realise what I was doing, that it wasn't a game, it was something really serious. They sat me down in the clinic and were quite tough at first, spelling it out: "You're destroying your body and if you keep doing this you will die." I thought: "Fucking hell, I can't do this to my family." It shocked me into a change.

Jade began her recovery by admitting herself into an out-patient programme, where she had weekly weigh-ins and counselling sessions.

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As she began her recovery, things "picked up" for her in school, too, when she began to make friends and realised her passion for singing.

And look how far she's come. 💗

For more information on eating disorders and resources that can help, visit the National Eating Disorders Association or the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.