The former ITV presenter said he failed to grasp the severity of 22-year-old Maddy’s illness and snapped.
He said: “I even remember saying ‘If you really want to starve yourself to death, just get on with it’. And at least once, exasperated and at a loss.”
Austin, 58, revealed his daughter first entered a “bleak, dark world” while studying for her A-levels and within a few months became dangerously ill.
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Austin failed to grasp the severity of 22-year-old Maddy’s illness
He said he and his wife, an A&E doctor, sought in vain to find the right sort of care and in the end looked after her themselves.
I even remember saying ‘If you really want to starve yourself to death, just get on with it’
Austin said: “I thought it was crass, insensitive, selfish and pathetic. She would lie about how much she had eaten and then explode with rage if we challenged her.”
The former News at Ten anchor revealed his daughter’s weight plummeted to five and a half stone.
They sought private help but force-feeding Maddy plunged her further into a spiral of depression.
Austin revealed his daughter first entered a “bleak, dark world” while studying for her A-levels
Speaking previously on a mental health special on BBC Radio 4’s The World At One he said: “She was basically shrinking away before our eyes.
"She was there, but she was gone and it all happened very quickly. We thought we were losing her so we tried to get help, but there wasn’t really the help there.”
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“We pulled her out [of private health care] and basically looked after her ourselves.
"Had it not been for the fact my wife is an A&E doctor I’m not sure what would have happened. She was getting close to organ failure.”
Maddy has since made a full recovery.
The harrowing episode has seen Austin become a passionate advocate for better mental health services.
Austin has become a passionate advocate for better mental health services Common mental health disorders Wed, November 2, 2016
Common mental health disorders from anxiety and depression to post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.
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Stress – Feeling under mental or emotional pressure can lead to sleeping problems, a loss of appetite or difficulty concentrating
Maddy is now training for April’s London Marathon
He added: “We are heading towards an epidemic in mental health and there are not the resources there to deal with it.”
After he left ITN last year Maddy showed her gratitude for her father’s support, saying on Twitter: “Proud of you dad and everything you’ve achieved. I look up to you so much and always will. You will always be my hero.”
She has also written candidly about her experience revealing: “I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m learning to accept that not everyone will understand how I’ve felt and how things have affected me.
"No, I may never be able to talk completely openly about my life without a huge amount of discomfort, and maybe I will always have that lingering fear of falling in the back of my mind.
"But there is no reason why I should let that stop me from feeling enjoyment, happiness, and life.”
She is now training for April’s London Marathon where she will be running in support of the Duchess of Cambridge’s mental health charity Place2Be.
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