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Greta Thunberg’s mother speaks out on daughter’s autism and past eating disorder: ‘She was slowly disappearing’

Greta Thunberg’s mother speaks out on daughter’s autism and past eating disorder: ‘She was slowly disappearing’

In the family’s new book, Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis, Greta Thunberg’s mother opens up about her daughter’s struggles. (Photo: Christian Charisius/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis, the Swedish environmental activist’s mother, Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman, details everything from her daughter’s autism and eating disorder to panic attacks and bullying at school, the Observer reports.’ data-reactid=”32″>In the family’s new book, Our House is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis, the Swedish environmental activist’s mother, Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman, details everything from her daughter’s autism and eating disorder to panic attacks and bullying at school, the Observer reports.

“She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness,” Ernman says. “She stopped playing the piano. She stopped laughing. She stopped talking. And she stopped eating.”

Rapidly losing weight and only eating small amounts of rice, avocado and gnocchi, Thunberg had lost over 20 pounds from her small frame, and could no longer climb stairs.

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Malena Ernman has detailed her daughter Greta’s childhood struggles. (Photo: MALIN HOELSTAD/SVD/TT/TT NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images)

“Greta can’t reconcile any of this with any of what she has just seen,” her mother writes. “She saw what the rest of us did not want to see. It was as if she could see our CO2 emissions with her naked eye.”

She soon began protesting outside the Swedish prime minister’s office, even though it was clearly taking an emotional toll on the young girl. But her passion for the cause also invigorated Thunberg’s desire to live a full life, and she moved to a new school and started to eat again.

“What happened to Greta in particular can’t be explained simply by a psychiatric label,” says Ernman. “In the end, she simply couldn’t reconcile the contradictions of modern life.”

Despite her fame, Ernman recognizes that Greta deals with an extensive amount of criticism, particularly online. The family received death threats on social media, and was even delivered excrement through the mail.

“She is mocked by anonymous troll accounts, by right-wing extremists. And she is mocked by members of parliament,” says Ernman. “But that’s no surprise.”

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