Belfast Telegraph

‘Courageous’ Christopher Eccleston praised for revealing anorexia battle

The actor calls himself ‘a lifelong body-hater’.

Christopher Eccleston (Ian West/PA)
Christopher Eccleston (Ian West/PA)

By Julia Hunt, PA Entertainment Correspondent

Christopher Eccleston has been praised for raising awareness after speaking out about his long battle with anorexia and how he once contemplated suicide.

The former Doctor Who actor, 55, opens up about his struggle with the eating disorder and depression in his upcoming autobiography I Love The Bones Of You.

In newly released excerpts, the star calls himself a “a lifelong body-hater” and says he was “very ill” during his stint as the Time Lord in 2005.

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Christopher Eccleston (Ian West/PA)

“Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong anorexic and dysmorphic,” he says.

“I never have. I always thought of it as a filthy secret, because I’m Northern, because I’m male and because I’m working-class.”

Eccleston says he started to think about taking his own life when he was filming BBC drama The A Word, and sought help.

He said: “I was in a state of extreme anxiety, convinced I was either going to die or I was going to kill myself.

“In my despair I reached for my phone and looked up a psychiatric hospital, I rang ahead, grabbed my bag and ran.”

The actor has been praised by fans, with many thanking him for raising awareness.

“Thank you Christopher Eccleston for speaking up about your struggles with anorexia and body image issues,” said one person on Twitter.

“Not enough public awareness about body image issues and mental health complexities men experience.”

Another said: “I have so much respect for Christopher Eccleston for being so open and brave to talk about this.

“Eating disorders in men are real and valid and there should be much more awareness surrounding them. I really hope he is doing better now.”

Many also noted the actor’s bravery in opening up.

“Extremely courageous of Christopher Eccleston to share his mental health journey,” one fan tweeted.

“He’s one of our finest actors, hopefully his honesty in getting the support he needs will encourage others to do the same.”

“Oh gosh. I’m very moved by Christopher Eccleston’s courage in speaking up,” said another.

“I hope more men who are struggling are inspired to reach out for help.”

PA

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