Meet the Lincoln student who created an EP to raise awareness about eating disorders

‘This disorder literally controlled my life’


Lincoln student Owen Carrick has produced a spoken word ep called Eating…Or Not where he opens up about an eating disorder he battled between the ages of 15 and 18.

The EP features three inspirational spoken word poems, where Owen details his experiences with body image and food relationships in an attempt to raise awareness for men’s mental health issues and break eating disorder stigmas.

The Lincoln Tab spoke to Owen and he kindly offered insight into the background behind his EP and talked openly about his experiences.

Owen said: “When I was 15 I was diagnosed with an eating disorder after a diet to lose a few pounds went horribly wrong, this disorder literally controlled my life and while I was going through it I felt so alone, isolated, and as thought I didn’t belong in this world because of what I was going through and suffering with.”

Owen turned to spoken word as a unique and innovative way to express himself, as he felt that “writing down how you’re feeling is a common way of expressing yourself for people of our generation. I felt if I added a rhyme it helped me relate more and allowed me to express myself fully.”

Spoken word gave Owen the opportunity to vent his feelings and connect with others in an environment that felt accessible and relatable to the people of our generation, showing how through his ep he has transformed a painful element of his life in to something positive and creative.

After speaking with Owen, it was clear that his message is that you are not alone in what you are struggling with and that there are support systems that can help you.

Owen said: “I want to raise awareness for eating disorders and specifically eating disorders within men because I know that when I was struggling if there had been something out there or someone out there raising awareness, showing that you can get through it, it really would’ve helped me.”

Despite social stigma, and according to Beat, studies show that up to 25 per cent of people with eating disorders are male, and so sharing experiences is key to create a community and safe space so men feel less alone.

Since speaking out, doors have been opening for Owen such as being invited on BBC Look North to talk about his experiences. “My time on Look North was incredible, I think it’s great it’s great that the team allowed me to talk about eating disorders on prime time 18:30 news.”

Another exciting opportunity is Owen has now started working with Mind charity and says he is partnering with them to “carry on raising awareness and to help people who are currently struggling.”

Mind are a fantastic mental health charity that offers to support, advice and guidance to those suffering with eating issues.

Owen described that “when I was suffering at my worst, as a 15 year old, I felt really uneducated on charities and outlets of support” and to now be working with one of the biggest mental health charities in the UK is a huge achievement and really symbolic of Owen’s progress.

You can listen to Owen’s EP ‘Eating…Or Not?’ on Spotify.

He also posts about his experiences on his Instagram.

Resources available for those struggling eating disorders:

Beat

talkED

Mind

Orri

The Samaritans

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