'It's a lifelong battle' – Irish actress Evanna Lynch on her recovery from anorexia

Evanna Lynch has spoken about her struggle with anorexia nervosa, admitting it’s something she will always have to manage.

The Harry Potter actress (27) struggled with the eating disorder when she was in her teens and says she still battles with negative thoughts to this day but has learned to control them.

“It was a constant battle. I would say, it’s a lifelong battle,” she said.  “I think the reason it’s so intense when you’re a teenager is you’re not used to those feelings.   When you’re depressed, bullied, rejected, you’ve never had such intense emotions at once and it feels like the world is ending. 

“You do recover from an eating disorder but the negative voice in your head, that’s something you’re always going to have to manage.”

Speaking on RTE Radio 1’s The Ryan Tubridy Show, Evanna insisted it’s important that others struggling with the same things she did try to surround themselves with positive people.

“When you’re a teenager, it feels like you can never find your way out of it,” she said. “One really important thing I found is to surround yourself with positive people, people who make you feel good about yourself. 

“That’s obviously harder as a teenager when you’re in high school but they’re not necessarily the friends you’ll have for life. I sympathise because I have days where I feel self-hate, even still.”

Evanna, who is currently competing on the US version of Dancing With The Stars, keeps a diary and admitted she noticed she usually writes in it after going through a bad relationship or some other negative experience.

“A week before I got this job I was writing really negative things to myself,” she said. “Then something can happen and you can turn it around really quickly. I suppose it’s knowing you’re not the only one out there.  People always ask me, ‘How do you recover from an eating disorder?’ You have to choose to put your energy into things you love.”

The Louth native has reached the semi-finals of Dancing With The Stars and admitted the offer to do the show was too good to turn down as she has always had aspirations to dance.

“There’s that thing with actors, ‘don’t do reality TV.’ But I just love dancing,” she said.  “It just worked out this year. I got a week’s notice and came over. I couldn’t wait to jump in, I danced a lot as a teenager. I wanted to be a dancer, rather than an actor but I didn’t have the technique.”

  • If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article you can contact Bodywhys – the Eating Disorder Association of Ireland Helpline on 1890 200 444 or contact their email support service on [email protected]

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