After we came across various bulimia case studies, Princess Diana case is selected to illustrate the cause and effect of such disastrous eating disorder as observation on personality, family background, records, direct and indirect cause, and symptoms are touched upon. Furthermore, we create a linkage of this case study to lessons learnt in Organization Behavior class, particularly Chapter 3, 4, and 7 as we were able to come up with group’s comment and insight.
According to BBC interview in 1995, Princess Diana admitted that she suffered from bulimia during her marriage to Prince Charles as her struggle began in 1981 (BBC Interview, 1995). While Diana was raised in a wealthy atmosphere, her family background was unstable; at the age of 6, her two older sisters left for boarding school and her parents separated. After her parents’ divorce, Diana and her siblings were remanded to her father’s custody. Poor family background reveals the first indirect cause of her Bulimia; regardless to her father’s care, her mother’s absence was equivalent to a lack of motherly care and warm childhood memory.
Diana became engaged to His Royal Highness, Charles Prince of Wales and her charismatic instantly grab the crowd’s attention. Her fame articulate over the next 2 years as she was the most photographed women in the world. Moreover, her marriage was broadcasted all over the world in more than 80 countries, this was just the beginning to the media attention through the rest of her life; direct cause of stress in putting her best foot forward at all time.
During an interview with the BBC in 1195, Diana revealed her depression after her son was born:
"Well, everybody was thrilled to bits. It had been quite a difficult pregnancy - I hadn't been very well throughout it - so by the time William arrived it was a great relief because it was all peaceful again, and I was well for a time.
Then I was unwell with post-natal depression, which no one ever discusses, post-natal depression, you have to read about it afterwards, and that in itself was a bit of a difficult time. You'd wake up in the morning feeling you didn't want to get out of bed, you felt misunderstood, and just very, very low in yourself (1995)."
It is concrete that her depression builds up after joining the royal family because of high expectation for the next heir in line, and of course gender of the child would change everything. She greatly relies on Prince William as she revealed how relief it was when she got to see him. This indicates her insecurity toward the rest of people in Royal family. It was also during this time that Diana began to injure herself. She felt that no one was listening to her as she seek attention from getting injured. And as mentioned above, it is her obligation to maintain a public image, but this time a pristine public appearance as Princess, wife and mother.
"Yes, I did. I had bulimia for a number of years. And that's like a secret disease. You inflict it upon yourself because your self-esteem is at a low ebb, and you don't think you're worthy or valuable. You fill your stomach up four or five times a day - some do it more - and it gives you a feeling of comfort.
It's like having a pair of arms around you, but it's temporarily, temporary. Then you're disgusted at the bloatedness of your stomach, and then you bring it all up again. And it's a repetitive pattern which is very destructive to yourself (1995)."
Just like other Bulimic patients, Princess Diana purged regularly. The frequency of the purges increased accordingly to her pressure; either by her public schedule or her private one:
“Depends on the pressures going on. If I'd been on what I call an away day, or I'd been up part of the country all day, I'd come home feeling pretty empty, because my engagements at that time would be to do with people dying, people very sick, people's marriage problems, and I'd come home and it would be...
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