‘Downton’ star Jessica Brown Findlay opens up about her eating disorder

Jessica Brown Findlay has revealed that she has battled an eating disorder since she was a teenager.

The 27-year-old played Lady Sybil Crawley in the first three seasons of Downton Abbey and now stars in Harlots, Hulu’s new period drama about a brothel in 18th century England.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the actress hopes that talking about the condition could help others.

She said: “I’m doing Hamlet at the moment and it explores a lot about mental health. I’ve had an eating disorder since I was 14.

“We can feed certain ideas of what beauty is and what success is and I just feel there has to come a time where those aren’t the rules any more, and then we can have a mature conversation about what that is about, and about depression.”

After having therapy, the actress accepted that “I’m not going to be a better actor if I’m a dress size smaller.”

She explained: “The more we have brave discussions… the easier it is to talk about things, and the less alone we can feel. It’s certainly made me feel less alone.”

For more information on eating disorders, including warning signs, symptoms and how to help a loved one, visit nationaleatingdisorders.org.