A Falmouth woman is sharing her eating disorder survival story in order to raise awareness and reach out to those who may be suffering in silence.

Danika Cavill, 34, who lives in Falmouth, has come forward in order to explain how eating disorders can be overcome and where people can find help if they or their loved ones are suffering with the illness.

Eating disorders can mean a number of different illnesses, such as Bulimia, binge eating and emotional overeating.

Around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from an Eating disorder and they can affect people of any age, gender, race, sexual orientation or background.

Explaining to The Packet how she overcame her illness, Danika said: "At around eleven years old I was diagnosed with Anorexia which is a serious mental illness where people are of low weight due to limiting their intake of food.

"Many people who suffer from anorexia also have a different view on their image thinking they are larger than what they actually are. This was the case for me.

"I was a person who was in denial for a long time, and the truth is if it wasn't for my parents and my sister voicing their concerns and getting me the support, it's likely I wouldn't be here today supporting someone else during their journey, and I wouldn't have a loving family and friends network like I have now.

"During my journey there were so many obstacles along the way, which were exhausting, scary, and confusing too.

"I was placed under medical care for almost eight years, where I would have to attend a face-to-face meeting with psychologists and doctors and health professional teams.

"As a family, we would have to sit and talk about my eating disorder, make plans, and hold weekly weigh ins.

Falmouth Packet: Danika Cavill is sharing her story to encourage others to seek help.Danika Cavill is sharing her story to encourage others to seek help.

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"At first I think it was because of my denial of the illness but i thought everyone was against me but in fact they were with me, beside me on all my good days and bad days, and just wanted the best for me and help me survive.

"I also have to thank the incredible NHS for saving me too, I hope those doctors and health care professionals that spent many years with me can now see me as a survivor and feel proud of all the work they have done.

"Sadly, when I was 16 years old, I lost my Dad suddenly which shocked me and broke me, and I did have set backs, but I know now how much my dad would be proud of me for surviving.

"During my journey, I wasn't aware of the Charity BEAT but, personally, I feel talking to someone like myself in my role now would have been a huge help."

However, since her recovery, Danika has joined BEAT, the UK's leading eating disorder charity, who offer guidance and support to anyone aged between 12 to 25 years old who is suffering from an eating disorder.

Danika continued: "I am currently an Online Peer Support volunteer worker.

"My role includes providing support and guidance to a young person with an eating disorder.

"By carrying out my role, I feel this could help the befriender reduce the feelings of isolation they could be feeling and provide them with an ear to talk to, someone they don't know but can trust.

"We support and encourage them on their journey of recovery and help build their confidence to know recovery is possible and also for them to know they are not alone."

If you or someone you know are currently suffering from an eating disorder, you can contact BEAT on their website: www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk