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Jessica Brown Findlay: Talking about my eating disorder made me feel less alone

The 27-year-old said she hoped talking about the condition could help others.

Former Downton Abbey actress Jessica Brown Findlay has revealed that she has suffered from an eating disorder since she was 14.

The 27-year-old, who played Lady Sybil Crawley in the period drama, said she hoped talking about the condition could help others.

She told the Daily Telegraph: “I’m doing Hamlet at the moment and it explores a lot about mental health.

“I’ve had an eating disorder since I was 14. We can feed certain ideas of what beauty is and what success is and I just feel there has to come a time where those aren’t the rules any more, and then we can have a mature conversation about what that is about, and about depression.”

The star, who is about to appear on screen in new ITV drama Harlots, about 18th-century sex workers, said she had decided to be more open after having therapy and had learnt “I’m not going to be a better actor if I’m a dress size smaller”.

“The more we have brave discussions… the easier it is to talk about things, and the less alone we can feel. It’s certainly made me feel less alone,” she said.

The former Jamaica Inn actress is playing Ophelia, alongside Andrew Scott, in a new production of Hamlet at the Almeida Theatre.

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