Actress Troian Bellisario shot to fame with her 7-season stint on ABC Family (now Freeform) as Spencer Hastings from “Pretty Little Liars.” While acting means you have to embody a different character, Troian, like Spencer, finds the need to be perfect, and it is a constant struggle that she’s been fighting for a long time.

In an essay to Lenny Letters, the actress wrote about coping with Mental illness, as well as her struggles with anorexia. She may have left Spencer behind, but her new film, “Feed,” with “The Flash” actor Tom Felton tackles the thing she herself fought for many years.

Troian Bellisario on anorexia

In her essay, Bellisario wrote about pushing herself in working to the point of exhaustion. She shared about her struggle with the voice in her head, which she says is with her every day. It was with her during filming for the pilot episode of "PLL," where it wanted to push her to be professional and perfect like the rest of the cast members, despite feeling numbness in her toes on a cold December day in Canada.

She also said that she once convinced herself to live off of 300 calories a day, and at some point, the voice in her head told her even that was too much. While she has practiced ignoring the voice and started looking out for her body, she said that it was always there, trying to undermine her.

While her letter did not offer a quick remedy to overcoming mental illness, Bustle noted that her words were meant to calm the voice in her head. This was one of the many steps she used to overcome her own issues. She shared that despite the fact that her mental disorder is still manifesting in her mind so many years later, she’s been actively choosing to rebel against it.

Writing a film based on her own struggles

Her struggles with herself led her to write her first feature film, “Feed,” a story about a pair of twins born into a world of privilege and high expectations. A tragedy splits them apart, leaving one to live without the other – testing how far she can go to bring the other back.

Bellisario shared that she wanted to channel the voice in her head, and translate it in a story she can relate to. “I wanted to create a character who also wondered how she could be enough.”

The 31-year-old actress has been candid about her anorexia in the past. She told Interview magazine in May that writing her first feature was “cathartic.” It not only forced her to confront her disorder, but also helped her audience empathize with her character. She said that she hopes her film can help those who are struggling, and make them feel that they are enough.

“Feed” stars Bellisario, Tom Felton, Ben Winchell, James Remar, and Paula Malcolmson. Bellisario also serves as writer and producer on the Tommy Bertelsen film, which will be released digitally on July 18.

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