Content Warning: This article about Madeleine West discusses eating disorders. If you or someone you know is affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call The Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673, or chat online.

Actress Madeleine West has opened up about her struggles with anorexia that came as a result of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child.

West, known best for her role in the hit Australian soap opera Neighbours, revealed in an interview with Stellar that the eating disorder took over her life for many years, causing her to become severely underweight and putting her health at risk.

“For every sexually abused person, what has happened to them will manifest in their life in some self-destructive behaviour,” she told the publication.

“They are never, ever to blame. What happened to them is a cross to bear.”

West explained that the disorder started as a way to cope with stress, but soon spiralled out of control and consumed her thoughts.

“My autonomy over my body had been snatched away, so to demonstrate I had some control over it I denied that most simple desire: hunger,” she said.

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The actress said that she reached a breaking point when her doctor warned her that her health was in serious danger, and she finally decided to seek help.

It comes following the soap star’s revelation that she was abused by a “monster” who lived in the town where she grew up.

She told The Sun of the alleged abuse: ‘This monster ruined my life. I’ve come out the other side, yes a survivor but happy to own the title of victim.”

West credits therapy, support from loved ones, and a change in her outlook on life for her recovery, and noted the importance of seeking help for anyone facing similar struggles, saying that there is no shame in asking for assistance.

Madeleine’s story serves as an inspiration to others who may be facing similar battles, with her honesty and bravery in sharing her story serving as a reminder that there is hope for those who are struggling.

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