'I haven't really lived for so long': Teenage author takes own life

A 17-year-old Dutch girl has died after announcing she would stop eating or drinking and saying "within a maximum of 10 days I will die".

Noa Pothoven had written an award-winning book about living with depression, anorexia and self-harm after being raped as a child.

"After many conversations and assessments it has been decided that I will be released because my suffering is unbearable," she wrote on her Instagram.

Many news outlets, including Sky News, initially reported that Ms Pothoven's death was the result of "legal euthanasia".

Although Dutch reports do not explicitly state the cause of her death, in a now-removed Instagram post Ms Pothoven said she would no longer eat or drink.

She writes: "After years of battling and fighting it's finished. I have for a while now stopped eating and drinking, and after many conversations and assessments it has been decided that I will be 'let go' because my suffering is unbearable.

"It is done. I haven't really lived for so long, I am surviving, and even that not really..."

It has been reported her last days were in a hospital bed in her living room, surrounded by her family.

The teenager, from the Dutch city of Arnhem, insisted her decision was "not impulsive".

Ms Pothoven's sister announced her death on Sunday, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.

She had initially inquired about the possibility of euthanasia at a clinic in The Hague last year without her parents' knowledge, the paper said.

Newspaper de Gelderlander reported in December that Ms Pothoven had been denied euthanasia.

It also reported she had been exploring receiving electroshock treatment.

In the Netherlands, children as young as 12 can request euthanasia if they are terminally ill, suffering unbearably, able to express their will and have parental approval.

In her book, Winning Or Learning, Ms Pothoven revealed she had been raped at a young age and concealed the sexual abuse she suffered for some time.

Following her death, Dutch MP Lisa Westerveld told AD: "Noa was incredibly strong and very open. I will never forget her. We will continue her struggle."

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.