It is estimated that around 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, where 1 in 250 women and 1 in 2,000 men will experience anorexia nervosa at some point.

We would like to share 25-year-old G’s journey with an eating disorder and seeking help at Nightingale Hospital.


Nightingale saved me. Nightingale was safety. Nightingale turned my life around. I was always a happy-go-lucky social butterfly, until I became low, anxious, constantly crying and not knowing why. I now realise I was seeking help, being so scared of the situation I had found myself in.


After being discharged from a previous outpatient treatment clinic, I was referred to Nightingale needing more intense support, as the previous clinic could no longer help me due to being so malnourished. I was adamant I could do it alone and did not need inpatient support. Before seeking treatment at Nightingale, I was diagnosed with anorexia and I was deluded to the fact that I would end up in hospital. I was reminded frequently in my six weeks at the previous clinic, that hospital would be the next step if I did not turn it around. I was too far gone and did not realise, but everyone else around me knew, hospital was days away.

Looking back now, I am beyond thankful I received inpatient support at Nightingale. The discharge from one clinic and referral to Nightingale was a very thorough and quick process. I felt alone and scared when being discharged from previous treatment, due to the unknown I was about to embark on. I met with Dr Mistry, one of the eating disorder unit psychiatrists at the end of July 2022 and within a few days I was admitted onto the ward. Dr Mistry was a breath of fresh air, his bedside manner and calmness reassured me that I would be ok, even if I didn’t know exactly what the journey ahead would look like. I had many assumptions in my head, which were not the reality. I was scared to say yes to inpatient care and only wanted to do day patient treatment. I am grateful Dr Mistry was able to convince me to go as an inpatient. I now know how important it was to have that support structure with no other responsibilities and focus purely on my recovery. This was a massive obstacle I was about to take on.

My treatment at Nightingale

I entered the eating disorders unit on 3 August 2022. Everyone was so welcoming and made me feel less anxious. The protocol at the time was to isolate in your room until a negative COVID test came back within twenty-four hours. Unfortunately for me, it came back positive. This did throw a spanner in the works, as I went home for a week, until I could go back. At the time I was delighted that I could go home and did not want to return. Dr Mistry was accommodating and provided me with therapy and dietitian support via Zoom for the week. This also helped me feel less nervous about returning. Then the time had arrived where my journey had to begin again. I was already low and depressed that I was missing my summer holidays and having to be in hospital, whilst all my friends were away partying. But now I realise that was the best decision I made in my twenty-five years to save me.

The treatment from each individual professional was outstanding, without their care and support I would not be where I am today. The day-to-day groups, social programme, one to one therapy and feeling contained throughout was something I had not experienced previously. The nurses, day and night, are there for you throughout, caring for you each individually. The relationships and rapport you build with them, helps get you through your journey knowing that they are there to support you. The biggest takeaway from my five week inpatient and five week day patient treatment, was understanding and realising that life is too short. I understand more so now, how the world is your oyster. During those weeks as an inpatient, I was meant to be away for the summer with my friends – but I was too unwell. Now I realise how precious life is. Another key takeaway for me is allowing myself to feel and speak about how I feel. This is still a massive challenge for me, but the Nightingale multidisciplinary team gave me the tools in order to start realising it is ok to feel and speak and allow others to help you.

Before Nightingale and during the early stages, I did not want to open up at all. If it wasn’t for all the therapists allowing me the safe space they did, I would still not be able to vocalise my needs. I am beyond thankful for understanding the importance of feeling, speaking and setting boundaries. In particular, one-to-one psychotherapy and occupational therapy helped me immensely. I would not be where I am now without two professionals in particular, allowing me to explore and shift my mindset. Those two know who they are and I am forever grateful!

Where I am now

Since August 2022 from the start of inpatient until now, April 2024, my life has changed in many positive ways. I quickly went back to work on a phased return after my treatment as a teacher, whilst studying for my Masters in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy. I am in a much happier place in my life, where I see light and not pure darkness. I was also able to step away from medication and fall into a relationship that is so supportive. Before Nightingale, I would not have been able to hold down a relationship. I was struggling daily to work and give my all, due to my low moods, concentration and malnutrition. I was unable to start my Masters due to how unwell I was or go on holiday as it was too much of a risk.

Last summer I took the plunge and decided after missing out on my previous summer holidays, to go to Bali. This was something completely out of my comfort zone. I would never have travelled to the other side of the world if it wasn’t for what I have gone through and realising that you can do anything you put your mind to. I would not have been able to travel for three weeks in Bali without the treatment from the whole team at Nightingale and realising my potential.

I am in recovery and believe life is never plain sailing. It is a process of ups and downs. The advice I would give to someone struggling is you can do it! Trust the process, do not give up and make sure to talk about how you feel. The team is outstanding, exceptional, beyond supportive and there to help you – not fight you! You may think they are working against you, but they are not. They only want to see you thriving, happy and living your life. The bonds made are so special and you will look back at how each and every professional worked to save you.

One thing that helped me throughout my journey and still does to this day, is journaling. It is a great way to look back on your journey and all your accomplishments. Once I had finished my time at Nightingale, I wrote a poem on Anorexia, to show where I have been and realising how far I had come.

Alexa, play Anorexia:

Stuck, stuck, stuck in the mud. Anxiety, skin and bone. Thoughts trembling.

People telling me to wake up, as if I am in a dream. Start seeing what we see on repeat.

The mirror is your enemy, pushing you down, down, down. Mind running wild. Number on the scale, proving you are fragile and frail.

Stop this enough – Touch your skin, it’s your home, it’s yours forever. Be kind. What have I done to myself?

Look to the future jeans are tighter, eyes are brighter. My thoughts are getting lighter, I always knew I was a fighter!

Eating disorders service at Nightingale Hospital

Nightingale Hospital London is dedicated to delivering individually tailored, quality care for individuals aged 18 years and above. We provide treatment for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder (BED), other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) or avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

The eating disorders service at Nightingale Hospital is located in its own self-contained unit on Bendall Mews. This light and welcoming facility is equipped with nine bedrooms, all paired with a private ensuite. The unit is purpose built, and has its own kitchen, lounge and therapy rooms.

Useful information about eating disorder treatment at Nightingale

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  • Dr Amit D. Mistry

    Dr Amit D. Mistry

    Consultant Psychiatrist (Eating Disorders, General Adult & Old Age)

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“I am in recovery and believe life is never plain sailing. It is a process of ups and downs. The advice I would give to someone struggling is you can do it! Trust the process, do not give up and make sure to talk about how you feel.”
G | A former patient of the eating disorders service