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Eating disorders and body dysmorphia are two of things that an increasing amount of people are battling both publicly and privately.

And as Melissa Wells revealed they can start from anything, including feeling the need to conform and be one of the crowd.

Opening up about how she developed an eating disorder which plagued her for seven years, the 28-year-old actress and author explained hers stemmed from a desire to be the same as everyone else.

I developed an eating disorder while at acting college, she revealed. It was very restrictive, and it ended up being seven years of my life.

Former Hollyoaks star Melissa Wells says eating disorder stemmed from trying to fit in'
Melissa Wells spoke candidly about her battle with an eating disorder on Loose Women (Picture: ITV)

Explaining how she developed it, Mel added: I think its really common around that age, but for me I kind of started dieting to fit in at college.

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In a stark warning to others, she said of her decision to join the crowd: I was such a perfectionist that I took it too far.

Melissa Wells (Picture: ITV)
She told the shows panel that she slipped into a horrific seven year spiral after trying to fit in at college (Picture: ITV)

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When Nadia Sawalha said that she felt she turned to food to help her eat down feelings, the former soap star agreed, telling the Loose Women panel: A lot of us get into this relationship with food because its easy to control.

More: Soap spoilers

Chizzy Akudolu added that her own struggle with dieting stemmed from this, telling Mel and the panel: I feel so addicted to the struggle because i can do something to control it.

Loose Women airs on ITV Monday – Friday on ITV from 12:30pm.

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