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  #261  
Old 07-03-2017, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Denville View Post
She was hardy "all alone" in the QM's house. or Buck Palace. I agree that she was probably rather scared and lonely but there were people around.
THe RF had no way of knowing that she wasn't able to cope with Royal life and that the feeling of isolation and lack of control of her life which was bound to come with being royal was the very thing that would drive her towards trying to re establish control, by throwing up her food and keeping her weight down.
I think the changes in her life (freedom curtailed, always protection around) made her insecurities that much worse. No doubt it was quite daunting for her to get to know the staff. And it only worsened when she found out that some staff were so set in their ways they didn´t appreciate her stopping by for a short chat. And when she found out there was staff that didn´t like her or chose Charles´ side in the War of the Waleses it only fed her paranoia. Which also got into her relationships with friends and family. Due to all stress and anxiety she for sure developed the "Me against the world"- point of view which led to the Panaroma interview.
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  #262  
Old 10-09-2017, 05:48 PM
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Eating disorders

Just as an example of how woefully inadequate the medical profession were at dealing with eating disorders. I had anorexia at 14/15 and got down to about 60 pounds. My mum and dad thought I was going to die, I'm sure I came close. They never had me hospitalised, but they did take me to see a pyschiatrist. This was only a few years before Diana married Charles, about 1978/9.

I'll never forget what the pyschiatrist said as I sat there with my mum. 'Why don't you eat lots of chocolate biscuits?' She honestly asked me that! It's a wonder I did eventually get over it, but it certainly wasn't with her help.

Charles did the right thing, as my parents did. They sought professional help. It is not their fault, my parents or Charles, that the 'treatment' was such rubbish.
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  #263  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Princess Squirrel View Post
Just as an example of how woefully inadequate the medical profession were at dealing with eating disorders. I had anorexia at 14/15 and got down to about 60 pounds. My mum and dad thought I was going to die, I'm sure I came close. They never had me hospitalised, but they did take me to see a pyschiatrist. This was only a few years before Diana married Charles, about 1978/9.

I'll never forget what the pyschiatrist said as I sat there with my mum. 'Why don't you eat lots of chocolate biscuits?' She honestly asked me that! It's a wonder I did eventually get over it, but it certainly wasn't with her help.

Charles did the right thing, as my parents did. They sought professional help. It is not their fault, my parents or Charles, that the 'treatment' was such rubbish.
Thank you for sharing that stunning personal insight because I don't think many, if any, could factor that reaction into "seeking treatment" and, in the absence of a "cure" for Diana, blame those around her for being callous. Charles was once alleged to have sniped at Diana that he didn't see the point of her attending a dinner as she was just going to throw it up later. And then there was the little gem about those little whiffs of vomit!

Your situation shows the reality of the total lack of knowledge in the cause and treatment of those with "eating disorders" at that time, so much so that one can't help but wonder about those historical figures who they, their siblings or children were reported to have died of a "wasting disease".

Like it or not back then there not only was there no treatment, but people discuss it with the clarity of 20/20 hindsight and 21st Century medical knowledge. They forget that computers were the size of large rooms and when cellphones arrived they were bigger than bricks and now they know that the "cure" for "being skinny" was "eating chocolate biscuits".

Anorexia and bulimia were still a mystery.
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  #264  
Old 10-10-2017, 12:42 AM
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As were conditions such as anxiety and depression. I had my first derealization episode at the age of 10, when I experienced a feeling of unreality at school during a snowstorm. Symptoms of anxiety and depression continued on and off for several years, but it wasn't diagnosed as such until perhaps eight years later. By that time, I was so anxious that I literally couldn't eat; and so, I passed out, leading the doctor to put me on medication and refer me to a specialist. I was only one year younger than Diana. I think that part of the problem in the 70s and early 80s is that we didn't have the vocabulary to describe exactly what was going on inside us. We felt unwell, but we couldn't put it into terms that could really be understood. When I told my parents that I felt "dreamy", what I was talking about was a derealization episode, a symptom of severe anxiety.

It's so difficult to deal with a condition when one doesn't understand what's going on and/or why a person's acting out. The person just wants the emotional pain to stop by any means available.


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Anorexia and bulimia were still a mystery.
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  #265  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:17 AM
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Totally agree Marg. To Princess Squirrel and Mermaid 1962 words can’t convey my heartfelt admiration for sharing something so personal. Your voices are powerful!
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  #266  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:28 AM
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Yes, there is nothing like personal experience of a medical condition being discussed and being able to articulate it.
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  #267  
Old 10-10-2017, 01:32 AM
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I sincerely echo Missjersey's sentiments on sharing personal experiences. It just really helps us to understand Diana so much more and what she was going through. Can't blame others either for being callous or not caring either because they had no concept of what they were dealing with.

Makes me appreciate all the more what the young royals are doing now for mental health awareness.
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  #268  
Old 10-10-2017, 05:20 AM
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Eating disorders

The funny thing (not funny haha if you know what I mean) is that I totally understand what happened to me, looking back in hindsight. It was all about control in fact. I found myself in what I perceived to be a scary situation. We had just moved, I was taking O levels and A levels, and a couple of years earlier, my dad had been diagnosed with a brain tumour. I was a good student and under pressure to do myself justice with my results. I hasten to say, pressure from myself, not my mum and dad. The whole situation seemed out of control, but the one thing that I was sure of, was that I could control my weight.

I think with Princess Diana, it could have been the same. Going from one situation she couldn't control (parent's divorce) to another (intensely public marriage and being part of the RF), but she could control her weight.

Eating disorders are really just a huge cry for help and support. Imo anyway.
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  #269  
Old 10-10-2017, 06:10 AM
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The thing is with there being very little knowledge at the time about eating disorders when even psychiatrists and doctors didn't fully understand that this is a legitimate disorder that affect a lot of people, its easy to see that its very possible that Diana, herself, probably didn't understand it. It was a secret disorder that one basically kept to themselves. More and more we're coming to the realization that the mental state of a person can manifest itself in other areas of a person's health.

It puts me in mind of women that suffered tremendously with PMS like I did and it wasn't that long ago that we were told "its all in our heads" and loaded up with narcotics to "ease the pain". I know Diana was prescribed medications for her depression and anxieties but the more I think about it, the more I think she was right not to go down that path happily whistling to unicorns like I did for a few years with the meds prescribed for PMS.
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  #270  
Old 10-11-2017, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Osipi View Post
The thing is with there being very little knowledge at the time about eating disorders when even psychiatrists and doctors didn't fully understand that this is a legitimate disorder that affect a lot of people, its easy to see that its very possible that Diana, herself, probably didn't understand it. It was a secret disorder that one basically kept to themselves. More and more we're coming to the realization that the mental state of a person can manifest itself in other areas of a person's health.

It puts me in mind of women that suffered tremendously with PMS like I did and it wasn't that long ago that we were told "its all in our heads" and loaded up with narcotics to "ease the pain". I know Diana was prescribed medications for her depression and anxieties but the more I think about it, the more I think she was right not to go down that path happily whistling to unicorns like I did for a few years with the meds prescribed for PMS.
Drugs can be misused, but I hope people don't avoid medication that can help them because they are trying to "tough it out." Many folks who suffer from bulimia get relief from anti-depressants. According to Andrew Morton, Diana herself used anti-depressants to control her illness after she separated from Charles.

I appreciate the courage of some posters who are sharing their personal experiences. IIRC, the tabloids got wind of Diana's illness in the early 1980s because they saw the premiere eating disorder psychiatrist visiting Highgrove (they were camped out like stalkers). I would hope that this doctor knew that he shouldn't suggest that she eat chocolate biscuits.

I think Charles tried to get her the help she needed--and Diana apparently agreed to see the psychiatrist, which was very brave of her. It may not have been the right fit or she just wasn't ready.
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  #271  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:07 PM
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It's been a year or two now since I read several books on Diana, but my memory seems to be different. It was never a matter of drugs, but of therapy (someone to discuss things with) was my understanding. Diana kept bolting from every therapist. She herself seemed to settle on astrologers and psychics, I think. My sense is prescription drugs were not 'the thing' in the 1980's that they became in later decades. I may be wrong but that's what I am recalling.

Also, eating disorders, while perhaps not routinely mentioned in the popular press, were being dealt with in the profession as early as the 1970's. Consider that Diana's elder sister had had her own eating issues handled in therapy in the late 70's. That's in the profession. Among the general populace (and that would include members of the BRF like Charles) would not have necessarily been savvy about eating issues. In fact, it could have been seen as a 'normal' fixation at that social strata. Who was it that said one could never be 'too rich, or too thin'?
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  #272  
Old 10-12-2017, 01:26 AM
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Some musings:


Valium first came out in the 60s. My American aunt, who had a son fighting in the Vietnam war, didn't take it although many of her friends who were in the same situation (having sons in Vietnam) did. They were commonly called "housewives helpers" then, and it wasn't generally known how addictive they were. The so-called first generation of antidepressants that seemed to be widely used were the tricyclic antidepressants such as Elavil (the "little blue pill") in the 70s and 80s. Later the SSRIs such as Prozac came into use; and it seemed that everyone was talking about these drugs at that time.

I have someone in my extended family who was treated for anorexia in the 70s. The disease wasn't unknown, but it wasn't talked about as openly as today. I certainly don't remember hearing about it during my school years, which ended in 1979. Karen Carpenter died in 1983 from a heart attack due to anorexia nervosa; and, to my recollection, that's when eating disorders were really talked about as serious illnesses and not just "extreme dieting."

I do remember hearing a radio interview with a reporter, perhaps James Whitaker or Nigel Dempster, in which he discussed Diana's supposed anorexia back in 1982, after she'd lost so much weight after the birth of Prince William.

There was much more shame involved with taking antidepressants back in the 70s and 80s. Depression, and the need to take medication for it, was seen much more as a personal failing and less as a brain disease.

Diana's sister Sarah went into treatment for her anorexia not long after she started spending time with Prince Charles, and she got better. Perhaps he expected the same kind of improvement when Diana started seeing her therapists, not aware that bulimia is a different kind of illness.
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  #273  
Old 10-13-2017, 08:51 AM
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I think that by the time Diana started to see the therapist who helpe her to get over the bulimia, Charles had givne up hope of things improving very much.
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  #274  
Old 10-13-2017, 10:35 AM
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Diana's sister Sarah went into treatment for her anorexia not long after she started spending time with Prince Charles, and she got better. Perhaps he expected the same kind of improvement when Diana started seeing her therapists, not aware that bulimia is a different kind of illness.
I agree that Charles likely felt that Diana would have shown an improvement earlier in her treatment due to her sister's experience.
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  #275  
Old 10-13-2017, 09:52 PM
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Do you think so? I would have said that at first he wasn't sure what was happening, why Di was losing weight, then realised that she was throwing up her meals. I don't tink he would have consider that the same as anorexia.. since she was eating. He got her into therapy in the frirst months, more because of her depression, and mood swings and she was put on Valium, which he didn't approve of. then when she was pregnant she had to come off it. I think that he could see there was something wrong, and that it wasn't just depression, but could probably see in the first year or 2 that whatever therapy she was having, it wasn't helping very fast.
I think he didn't understand the bulimia, and very few people including doctors would have done so. He probably got exasperated as time went on, knowing that she was either starving herself or vomiting a lot of her meals.. and that she didn't seem to be getting any better. So Id say by the time she did accept there was a problem and found therapist that helped, Charles had felt that there was nothing much could be done...
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  #276  
Old 10-13-2017, 11:17 PM
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She had PPD too as I recall...which would of just continued that emotional rollercoaster, add bullimia on top of that....it would of been very hard for everyone involved.


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  #277  
Old 10-14-2017, 07:19 PM
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By PPD, do you mean post-partum depression, Pranter? Yes, she said that she suffered from that. It would certainly help to explain that dramatic weight-loss after William was born. I wonder whether it hit her after Harry was born as well and that contributed to her feeling that her marriage was over. I'm sure that Charles going off to play polo soon after the birth didn't help, but her hormonal state might have made things seem so much worse than they might have really been at the time.
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  #278  
Old 10-14-2017, 07:29 PM
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Yes sorry...Post-Partum Depression. I really don't think it was that Charles and the family didn't care ..they really had no idea how to handle it. Charles being more sensitive was, ironically, would of be the most likely to have sympathy and understanding of her. Such a shame they couldn't have sorted things out after she was more healthy and mature/realistic.


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  #279  
Old 10-14-2017, 07:49 PM
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Diana seemed to indicate at the Bashir interview that the RF were not sympathetic to her post natal depression.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:03 PM
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Diana seemed to indicate at the Bashir interview that the RF were not sympathetic to her post natal depression.
I think Diana indicated a number of things during the early 90s that weren't entirely factual. She was spinning things to gain sympathy from the public.
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