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  • Writer's pictureThe Original Folks

Ep 29: Anorexia survivor Yanni Ruth shares her story

Hosts: Jade and Deniece

Guest: Yanni Ruth


In this episode, our hosts sit with Yanni Ruth, a musician and songwriter, who shares her journey struggling with mental health challenges, and how it motivated her to build her musical career.



Episode Timeline:

[04:23] Introducing today's guest, Yanni Ruth, our hosts describe how they met her when they joined a Tik-Tok Youth for Good mental health awareness campaign and Bloomr MCN Accelerator Program, both of which Yanni also signed up for.

[05:48] When did you start Tik-Tok, and why? Yanni shares that she started in Tik-Tok just creating videos for fun but transitioned into more regular content, particularly singing. She also has her struggles with mental health, and advocates for it using her videos too. She however doesn't see herself professionally as a mental health advocate because she is yet to overcome her struggles and would not want to be labeled a hypocrite; Deniece describes this as Imposter syndrome.

[10:22] About Yanni's mental health struggles: Yanni has been anorexic since the age of 15 which was an eating disorder she struggled with. She also often had an exaggerated reaction whenever she did not complete her work for the day. Yanni has been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety Disorder, and OCD. After realizing she had a mental health problem, she tried to discuss it with her parents who were more traditional and could not process the problem. This left her alone to help herself, which was immensely difficult.

[13:43] What kind of resources helped you? Yanni had gone by herself to see a therapist which was not very helpful as she only went once because it made her uncomfortable, and she didn't think it would help. After seeing a movie related to the same eating disorder, she realized how the condition could deteriorate and made the conscious decision to help herself start eating. She still struggles with eating regularly but her mindset has improved tremendously.

[18:43] The struggle with anorexia often comes from the impression of food as a destructive agent to the body. Deniece notes that it would be beneficial for Yanni to have gotten advice on the importance of food from a dietitian. The dietitians were mostly focused on creating a meal plan and expecting her to eat without taking time to discuss the importance of food. Yanni's sister was also very supportive and understanding, which encouraged Yanni to eat.

[26:00] Deniece shares that she never had an eating disorder but used to keep track of her calories, with particular attention to every detail about her food. She had mostly shifted to veggies for this purpose, but when she got pregnant and realized she had to eat carbohydrates for the baby, it was very difficult for her. Sometimes you just have to remember to love yourself and be kind to yourself, and not compare yourself to anyone else.

[31:15] Yanni recently did a video with Jade and Deniece on National Day which did quite well.

[31:44] Yanni's career as a singer/songwriter: Starting by singing covers on Facebook in primary school, Yanni mostly sang for fun, not knowing she would eventually go to it. In secondary school, she came out more after she did well when she got a chance to sing in front of people. After a while, her mental health struggles motivated her to write her songs and work with producers. By doing this she turned the negative situation into a victory using music as a healthy outlet to express herself.

[36:24] Currently, Yanni is working on an EP to be released soon, which talks about embracing the transitions in our lives; learning to adapt to these transitions. The songs are more self-empowering personal and authentic. The EP is coming out around October/November. The first song to be released is dedicated to her grandparents on her birthday, the 1st of October.

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