Princess Delphine speaks candidly about her teen struggles with anorexia (VIDEO)
In an open-hearted interview with VRT’s Radio 2 Princess Delphine of the Belgians has spoken of the difficulties during her teens caused by anorexia.
Delphine is now aged 55 and her teens are long behind her, but it’s only recently she has been able to open up about this disease that plagued her teenage self. Today Delphine is even eager to broach the subject: “I think it’s important to trash this taboo” she told Peter Van de Veire.
The princess is one of the #binnenstebuiten (inside out) ambassadors, a campaign launched by the Warme Willem (Warm William) organisation. A ‘Warm William’ is somebody to trust, somebody who listens to you. The organisation aims to improve the mental health of youngsters by getting them to talk about their feelings.
Delphine’s mental health was also challenged during her youth: “I was such an unhappy child. I thought the world was a sad and grey place. It was because my mum was unhappy. Children are like sponges: when their parents are unhappy, so are they”.
“I developed anorexia as a teen. I couldn’t handle the chaos around me. The only thing I could still control was my intake of food. I decided to stop eating. I didn’t know what was happening because I had never heard the word anorexia before”.
“In the end I asked mum if I could talk to somebody. I didn’t know psychologists existed, but I knew I didn’t want to discuss matters with mum. This psychologist saved me from having to go into hospital. She believed in my will power. She wanted to work on my mental well-being”.
Princess Delphine won her battle after entering art school. “The day I started there my health improved because I was able to express myself in art. That’s why I believe in art today. Because you can express yourself in art”.
Delphine’s advice for people struggling with eating disorders is do something artistic: “Paint, dance, sing or write or start a team sport. You will feel important and exit the bubble of your isolation”.
“I never experienced my teens. I would like to be born again and do it all again. I believe it’s important to live in the now, not to think of the next steps. That’s the best way to live your life!”