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Body dysmorphia: I’d either diet and exercise all day or stop completely, binge eat and balloon

Keith Russell has lived with a crippling eating disorder and body dysmorphia for years — and with hospital admissions for eating disorders increasing by 66pc in the past year, he is not alone in his struggle

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Keith Russell says he’s still not fully over his body image issues

Keith Russell says he’s still not fully over his body image issues

Keith Russell has struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia

Keith Russell has struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia

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Keith Russell says he’s still not fully over his body image issues

Like a lot of men his age — he turned 40 last year — Keith Russell loves to listen to 1980s music. The soothing sounds of bands like Tears for Fears and Wham! provided a nourishing pick-me-up of nostalgia for the Dubliner during the dark days of lockdown.

But for Keith, who works as a creative manager for an advertising agency, this music has another positive association. It is a reminder of a gentler time, in childhood, before a crippling eating disorder and profound body image issues began to take over his life.

“I’ve had these problems all my life”, he says. “I just hated my body and the way I looked. I had no confidence in myself. At one point it got so bad that I wanted to take my own life. When I was going through the very worst of it, I was convinced that I was the only one.”


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