Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall reveals she battled life-threatening anorexia weeks before X Factor audition

12 August 2019, 14:33 | Updated: 12 August 2019, 16:30

The singer has spoken out about her struggles in a bid to help others
The singer has spoken out about her struggles in a bid to help others. Picture: PA/Instagram
Mared Parry

By Mared Parry

Little Mix star Jade has relived the heartbreaking time when doctors warned that her life was at risk as she wasn't eating.

X Factor winner Jade Thirlwall has recently spoken about about her tough battle with anorexia as a teenage, and revealed that she was warned by doctors that she could die.

Only weeks before she auditioned for the show that would later turn her into a quarter of the world's biggest girl band, Jade was suffering in hospital after a five-year-long battle with the disease.

READ MORE: Jade Thirlwall spits from boyfriend Jed Elliott

26-year-old Jade now has millions of fans who look up to her and she is using her platform for good, speaking out and going to visit patients to tell them about her own experiences

Jade claimed she was tormented by an "anorexia angel" on her shoulder, but thankfully the Geordie, who grew up in South Shields, made a full recovery and went on to audition for the X Factor in 2011 only weeks after being discharged.

Speaking to Kate Thisleton on the I've Been There podcast, Jade said: “Anorexia was my own dark secret and I guess I was sort of satisfied with that.

“It was my own thing that I could do to myself and nobody knew about it.

“I obviously became very small and my ribs were sticking out. I was very gaunt and I used to wear a lot of baggy clothes to hide that."

The star continued: “In my head, I felt so down and depressed about everything that was going on in my life, I really just wanted to sort of waste away.

“I got in a really horrible state. The turning point — and the reason why I first told my counsellor — was when I got tired of hating myself so much.

“The second turning point for me was when I was at hospital and the doctors told me that I would die if I kept doing it.

“To hear somebody say that to you is actually quite scary and I started to realise how damaging it was for my family.

“I’d become so selfish with how I felt about myself I forgot that I had family and friends who were also really hurting because of what I was doing."

“It sounds really weird, but I saw anorexia like an angel on my shoulder. Anorexia for me was control, and if I was controlling something then I was winning.

“It wasn’t until I had therapy about it that I realised anorexia was actually the devil on my shoulder. That it wasn’t my friend."

"I really struggled to understand that at first, because I was so isolated and didn’t talk to anyone.I’d got so used to hearing that voice telling me, ‘Don’t eat that’ or ‘Don’t look in the mirror’, ‘You’re still ugly, you still have a long way to go’.

“It took a long time to realise that voice wasn’t good for me any more.”