Nikki Grahame’s Mum Says Lockdown Has Worsened Her Daughter’s Battle With Anorexia

'Please stress how overwhelmed I am by people's kindness. Tell everyone I'm going to try my level best to beat this.'

nikki grahame

by Bonnie McLaren |

Since this article was originally written, Nikki has sadly died. For help, support and advice with eating disorders, you can contact BEAT via their helpline (0808 801 0677) and website.

Nikki Grahame's noopener noreferrer} has worsened due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Big Brother star, 38, is currently undergoing specialist treatment for the condition, after her friends helped raise just over £65,000 to fund care at a private facility. Susan, her mum, explained on yesterday's This Morning how lockdown has impacted Nikki, saying she has found it difficult that gyms are closed, and that she has struggled with living alone.

Speaking on the programme, Susan said Nikki was improving before the pandemic, but that 'last year really put the cap on it with Covid.' She added, 'It sounds crazy but even stuff like gyms closing, which is quite important to Nikki as she needs to know she can exercise. The isolation, she couldn't see anyone. I offered to stay with her but she said ''I need to stay in my own home''. It's been really hard for her, really hard. She had terminal loneliness... she was cut off, spending too much time on her own, and nothing to think about other than food.'

Susan also spoke about how she was at first cautious when Nikki's friends said they wanted to fundraise for her care, adding that 'we haven't had much help with the NHS'. 'It was run by me a day or two before by Nikki's friends. I was apprehensive,' she said. 'First of all we were desperate, we haven't had much help with the NHS, we had one place, she had been failed there five or six times. I was worried that appeal, Nikki would come in for attack, with saying she was attention seeking, people could be nasty and she doesn't need that. I spoke to her and she said, ''please stress how overwhelmed I am by people's kindness, tell everyone I'm going to try my level best to beat this, I'm going to get my life back''.'

'It's so frightening for an anorexic because if they start to eat normally, it's gonna go out of their control,' she added. 'She felt it was the one thing that she could keep control over with everything going around her.'

Nikki has struggled with eating disorders since she was incredibly young, with her mum saying she has suffered since she was eight years old.

At the end of the interview, Susan offered advice to family members who might worry their children are suffering with an eating disorder. 'I think poor Nikki, she suffered so bad because back in the day, we're going back 31 years,' she said. 'At that time, people found it hard to believe that an 8 year old could be a victim of this, we did not have that kind of treatment, we did struggle.'

'The help is a bit more out there than it once was,' she added. 'I would say that if you do see the signs, if they become withdrawn, start to wear baggy clothes, if they start to lose weight… Nikki was ditching her lunch everyday I had no idea… Try to get help as soon as possible. I know that as soon as the time is right, Nikki will thank everybody herself.'

If you are affected by any of the issues in this story, Beat offers support with a helpline (0808 801 0677) and website****.

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