Jackie Evancho is opening up about her experiences with an eating disorder, first revealing that she was diagnosed with osteoporosis last year.
In an interview with People published on Wednesday, the singer said she first learned of her condition after being hospitalized following a car accident in January 2021 that broke her back in two places.
“Those were freak breaks, breaks you see in octogenarians,” said Evancho, who rose to prominence as an America’s Got Talent finalist in 2010. learned that my food issues were creating osteoporosis.. So now I’m 22 and have osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a metabolic disease that makes bones thin, weak and more likely to break. According to the National Library of Medicine, the disease affects more than 200 million people worldwide and is considerably more common in women than in men.
After learning of her diagnosis, the singer was also forced to face the fact that she suffered from an eating disorder. She said she started skipping meals at 15 and first sought treatment for anorexia two years later.
Like most live musicians and performers, Evancho remained housebound in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold — and found that her isolation only exacerbated her eating disorder.
“The urge to restrict what I eat, in addition to eating because I’m bored, and panicking because I have this distorted view of myself in the mirror…it made everything really difficult” , she said. “I had to eat [for my bones] to heal, and it really messed up my eating issues, because I was gaining weight to heal. Once I finally healed, my disorder said to me, ‘OK, now you have to be very hard on yourself to get rid of all this…and more.’ »
These days, Evancho admits she’s “not healthy yet” and “still fully in the grips” of her ordeal. But she now sees a therapist and nutritionist regularly, and is undergoing eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a type of psychotherapy she hopes will help bring her anorexia under control.
She also finds solace in music, having recently spent time in the studio in Nashville. This fall, she will release “Carousel of Time,” a tribute album to Joni Mitchell.
“I’m still fighting, but I’m fighting, which is good because a year ago I was completely giving in to it, and it’s so dark and painful,” Evancho told People. “There are still problems, but they are so much better.”
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, call National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.