The secretive and painful reality of living with an eating disorder is something that many people can identify with, as the mental illness makes them feel as if there is no one who can understand what they are going through.
Some people who have battled anorexia nervosa or bulimia - or in many instances, both - would claim they believed there was nowhere to turn where they could escape the torture of everyday life.
In many cases, individuals successfully hide their problems from friends and family members for several years, as they become increasingly used to masking the signs of dramatic weight loss and covering up their wider psychological issues.
However, very often, those who have suffered with the problems for a sustained period of time claim there comes a turning point in their life when they realise action needs to be taken, forcing them to seek professional help for their condition.
The same can be said for British actress Michelle Collins, who has opened up about her battle with eating disorders in a recent interview.
Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, the 50-year-old Coronation Street star - who also appeared in EastEnders for several years - admitted she was even mistaken for a heroin addict following a long period living with anorexia and bulimia.
The TV personality said she attended an audition for a fashion commercial where the company did not think she was "upmarket" enough for the role, but it later transpired those running the interviews told her agent they believed she had a drug problem.
After years of starvation and binge eating, as well as vomiting and purging with laxatives, Collins said this remark was the "wake-up call" she needed to seek help for her condition that left her weight dropping to dangerous lows.
During the early stages of her career in show business, the actress admitted she would replace food with alcohol - which left her with a body that was similar to a child's and a body weight of just above five stone.
She said: "My life felt out of control and I felt if I could control my body I could control my life. In my head skinny equalled successful and I thought the only way I could be a successful actress was to be a skinny woman."
Now fully recovered from her ordeal, Collins admitted she has developed worries for her 16-year-old daughter Maia due to the constant pressure to look thin.
She said: "I'm scared for Maia and for all her friends. I want to grab them and say, 'Don't give in to the pressure'.
"It's a shame that our society is built this way because it makes me think that feminism is dead and that's very sad."
The actress has vowed to provide support to her daughter and other anorexia and bulimia sufferers, stating that she will draw from her own experiences to provide help for others.