VIDEO: Dunfermline man's anorexic film
A FALKLANDS veteran turned photographer is doing his bit to promote mental health by making a film about anorexia.
David Cruickshanks' film 'Fighting Rio', about 24-year-old Nicole Blackie who battles the eating disorder, was shown at Carnegie Primary as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival in Dunfermline this month.
David (48), of Forth Street in Dunfermline decided to make the nine-and-a-half minute movie to raise awareness and help tackle the stigma of mental health.
The professional photographer met Nicole on a photo shoot 18 months ago and was blown away by her written account of her experience.
He said, "The film is her story in her own words, her battle with anorexia, what it did to her body and the turnaround back to gaining weight again.
"She said, 'You don't get anorexia like you get an illness, it's a person' - she called him Rio.
"She was very honest and personal about her illness being this condition where she could hear voices and this 'person' who told her not to eat and that she should exercise or she'd look terrible.
"It's about the control somebody who suffers from anorexia loses because this 'person' is affecting her self-esteem.
"My main aim is to bring mental health issues into the public forum and media, and make people less uncomfortable about talking about them."
David himself suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the Press previously featured his story.
He served six years in the Royal Navy and aged 18 was sent to the Falklands on the HMS Sheffield.
He said, "We were bombed every day and it crept up on me when I moved to London in 1997.
"It was difficult to get work and it started to manifest itself as negative thoughts then progressed to a kind of anxiety, fear of loud noises and busy places like cinemas.
"I didn't really know what was going on. The doctors diagnosed depression and I was sent for counselling. It was after that that I was diagnosed as having PTSD."
David said the film had received positive feedback, adding, "Mental illnesses are on the rise.
"A lot of people are losing their jobs at the moment and going to get quite depressed, and we're going to have a lot of military personnel coming back from Afghanistan and they're probably going to experience what I did."
The festival runs until 24th October.
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 19 Oct 12