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Bartrip opens up about personal battles

Defender discusses fight against anorexia and depression

12 October 2018

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Reading FC Women's defender, Molly Bartrip was honest and open about her battle with anorexia as a teenager, as she joined Paul McShane and John O'Shea on a visit to The Royal Berkshire Hospital on World Mental Health Day this week.

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Bartrip also suffered with depression and anxiety last year, and she spoke openly about how she fought to come through these tough personal challenges.

The defender went along to the Royal Berks with our two Irish internationals to show support for the programmes on offer to mental health patients in the local area.

"I was diagnosed [with anorexia] when I was 14, it was really tough for my family and friends and for myself," she explained.

"Mentally, I often struggle and this has always been my issue; in education, friendships, relationships and football. Rejection and failure are hard to take and although disappointment is a fact of life, I did not always deal with it positively.

"It felt like emotional quicksand that dragged me down and zapped me of energy and enthusiasm.

"It took me a while to get through it, but I managed to come out the other side. It was a tough patch of my life, I used to love food so it was strange to go through something like that.

"As I said, I'm through the other side of that now, that was a proud moment for me. In the past year I've suffered from depression and anxiety, I've not known what to do about something like that - it was a different thing for me to ever experience, the lows of the lows.

"Now I'm the happiest I've ever been and the strongest mentally I've been, but it was something I really didn't know how to cope with initially - whether my family was the best option or being around my friends.

"I had help from the club as well, that was a massive thing to help me on my pathway to recovery."

Bartrip encouraged other people going through a similar experience to talk to their loved ones and emphasised the importance of trying to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

"It's okay not to be okay, for starters. That's a massive thing to take on board," she said. "I know it's hard to speak and get yourself out there, I didn't want to speak about it when I first had it.

"I didn't know where to speak about it either, but to speak about it is the most important thing. Make sure other people notice it as well.

"I know it's a hard thing to go through as a friend or family member as well, but it's very important."

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