With the controversial #Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why creating a dialogue about the struggles of suicide, other television teen dramas have focused on various issues faced by teenagers every day. The teenage show Pretty Little Liars is no stranger to such issues, as it has delivered episodes dealing with teen sexuality, high school bullying, and drug use.
Over 8 years ago, before her rise to fame in the hit TV series #PrettyLittleLiars, Troian Bellisario started writing a film based on her real-life struggle with anorexia. Bellisario plans on producing and acting in her upcoming film Feed that will hopefully create more awareness on the topic of anorexia.
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What Is Troian Bellisario's Message In 'Feed'?
It is easy to forget that beneath all the bright lights and late night parties in Hollywood, actors deal with demons of their own. Bellisario's personal perspective will provide insight into the mind of someone (famous or not) going through the entire process of what it is like to suffer from anorexia. In a recent interview with Rotten Tomatoes, she explains:
"I sat down and I wrote a version of my own story. It's not the exact events, but what I wanted to do with the film was get the audience to understand what it sounds like and what it feels like to be struggling with that illness. I struggled with anorexia for many years and one of the most difficult things about that was it was very tough for me to explain to my family and friends why it was so hard for me to disengage with that."
Troian Bellisario has discussed her battle with anorexia in the past, and how important it was for her to receive treatment for her mental health. Getting treatment was a major factor in beginning her healing process. She stated in an interview with Teen Vogue:
"If I had just been shunned to the side as not having 'real problems', I don't know that I would be living today. I just want to make sure that everybody has the same opportunity for treatment that I have, and I think that we have to make sure that our government invests in those programs."
Feed will be a movie that creates a discussion not only about the effects of anorexia on the person, but how necessary it is for those around them to try to understand their mental state and provide the victim with proper treatment. Bellisario wants her government to make this treatment available to everyone.
Mental health treatment can save lives. Bellisario is aware that anorexia is a type of mental illness that is often easily dismissed as something that can fixed simply by taking medication. But it's not that easy. People see doctors all the time for physical ailments; people with mental illness should be able to get help without feeling ashamed or shunned.
It took tremendous strength for Bellisario to stand up and tell her story about her journey. There might be someone out there going through the same issues as her, whether it is depression or anxiety. No matter the type of mental illness, Bellisario's voice carries with her the action to help those in need.