‘The Girl from Plainville’ follows the tragic story of Conrad Roy III and the events surrounding his death. The Hulu show is based on the famous “texting-suicide” case and delves into the relationship between Conrad and Michelle Carter, the latter being his girlfriend at the time of his passing. As Michelle’s role in the tragedy comes under increasing scrutiny, her own struggles with mental health come under discussion.
The show also drops some hints about the kinds of issues Michelle faces herself, one of which seems to be an eating disorder. Considering ‘The Girl from Plainville’ draws from real life but is also partly dramatized, we decided to find out whether Michelle Carter actually had an eating disorder. Here’s what we found.
Did Michelle Carter Have an Eating Disorder?
On the show, Michelle Carter is regularly seen eating bags of crisps or pieces of candy at an almost incessant rate, more so when she’s on the computer checking her friends’ social media or texting Conrad. The habit doesn’t seem out of place at first, but when she starts hiding the wrappers of the food she’s consuming, a more ominous undertone to her binge eating appears. We also see her get increasingly obsessed with running, raising the speed on her treadmill to dangerous levels. In episode 5, Michelle confesses to Conrad that she has trouble with her body image.
As revealed by the Esquire report, on which the show is based, in reality, Michelle actually revealed to Conrad that her liver was not in good condition because of her eating disorder. This was seemingly in response to Conrad’s message telling her the effect consuming an entire bottle of Tylenol had had on his stomach. Michelle’s friend, Evan Andrews, also said that she battled with anxiety and an eating disorder. In freshman year, she apparently lost so much weight that she had to quit the softball team.
Another person Michelle used to share a lot with is Samantha Boardman, who was her high school classmate and close friend for a time. Through text messages to Samantha, the former revealed her struggles with eating and also how she found it difficult to make friends. In fact, it was Samantha to whom Michelle later sent the now well-known text messages saying she could’ve saved Conrad and that she (Michelle) told him to get back into the car.
During her subsequent trial, Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist hired by the defense, also referenced Michelle’s struggles with an eating disorder and how the medication she took for it may have had severe side effects. He claimed that the antidepressant called Celexa, which Michelle began taking as part of her treatment for an eating disorder, had an “intoxicating” effect on her, occasionally putting her in a hypomanic and delusional state.
Thus, it appears that at one point, Michelle did battle an eating disorder that seemed to have severely affected many facets of her life. Despite the show being dramatized, it appears that the allusions it makes to her battle with anxiety and eating disorder are, at least partially, accurate.