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12th Jan 2016

18-Year-Old Cork Girl Discusses Her Brave Battle With Anorexia On Tubridy

Aoife Hayes suffered from severe anxiety as well as the eating disorder.

Ellen Tannam

Ryan Tubridy was joined by an extraordinary young Corkwoman today on his RTÉ Radio 1 show.

Aoife Hayes (18), who suffered from anorexia and severe anxiety, was at one stage so weak she couldn’t walk up the stairs.

She has always been a sporty teenager but her exercise habits took a turn for the obsessive in 2013, going to the gym five times a week and doing double the exercise the next day if she missed a session.

Aoife told Tubridy she has always been very socially anxious as a child,  but things reached their peak at an Ed Sheeran concert in 2014 when she fainted due to her body becoming so weak.

She said she wanted “to let people know it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and also that you can recover and things do get better”.

She also spoke movingly about the all-consuming nature of anxiety: “There was like a little voice in my head, and it just kept telling me certain foods were really bad, and just to avoid them, and that I was really huge and I needed to exercise all the time and that people were just lying to me about my weight.’

She was eventually hospitalised and has returned to school, determined to do her Leaving Cert to become a mental health nurse and help others who are in the distressing position she was once in.

Although she said she still struggled daily with anxiety, she has learned to be kinder to herself, and practice mindfulness.

You can listen to her full interview here.

Lead Image courtesy of RTÉ