Posts Tagged ‘eating disorders’

Skinny

June 20, 2013

Checking out the competition…

1z41

Books…

November 20, 2012

…that deal with eating disorders.

I was asked by a friend to compile a list of books that deal with the subject of eating disorders. This is just a preliminary version:

Bulimia: A Guide to Recovery by Peter J Cooper.
Fed Up and Hungry_ a series of essays on EDs edited by Marilyn Lawrence
The Beauty Myth by Naomi Woolf
Womansize by Kim Chernin and The Hungry Self by the same author which may be out of print.
Fabulous Figures by Rachel Swift – a humorous, critique of society’s obsession with aesthetic perfection.
Getting Better Bit(e) By Bit(e)_ (A Survival Kit for sufferers of Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorders by Ulrike Schmidt and Janet Treasure
Some novels that deal with EDs:

The Passion of Alice by Stephanie Grant
Eve’s Apple by Jonathan Rosen
LifeSize by Jenefer Shute

About BED:
Sweet Death by Claude Tardat
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

And of course:
Second Star to the Right by Deborah Hautzig
The Best Little Girl in the World by Steven Levenkron (a tad too didactic IMHO)

Catherine by Maureen Dunbar

Oh, and OT: I now have a copy of Steven Levenkron’s The Luckiest Girl in the World. It is out of print but Amazon found a copy of it for me.  it arrived a couple of months ago all the way from some second hand bookshop in the good old US of A!  They are now scouring the continent on my behalf for a copy of  Kessa so, fingers crossed!

Oh, and a book I have just finished reading called  The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey (which I mentioned in another post) has an anorexia sub-plot. (more…)

Self Harm?

February 13, 2010

I have never self-injured, not in the conventional sense anyway. I have never dragged a razor across my skin. I have never burnt myself with cigarettes. I have, however, harmed myself in ways not recognised medically as self harm. Ways that do not require tools. I have starved myself to the brink of passing out. I deprived my body of the nutrients it required to stay alive. I would psychologically self harm in every way possible. I remember sitting in front of the mirror hurling obscenities at myself. I’ll never get those lost hours back. I should have appreciated what I had while I had it. That’s one of my biggest regrets: that I had been given a gift and I have wasted it.

Update

December 21, 2009

Haven’t been around much recently.  In a nutshell: OD, hospital, discharge, community mental health team (every day for two weeks), relapse, hospital, discharge , community mental health team.  Staying with neighbour who has intermittent internet access.

Apologies for lack of eloquence.

Addendum: In my absence Kate Moss caused something of a furore when she asserted that ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.’

She obviously hasn’t met the right chef yet.

And as this article so eloquently argues Ms Moss is the symptom of a very real problem.  She is certainly not the cause.

Hidden Twin

June 19, 2009

twnetytwoface4

I have a hidden twin.

Embedded somewhere

Deep within

And even the night,

Even sleep offers no respite.

She comes alive at dusk

And does not rest

‘Til the break of day

She invades my dreams

In a multitude of guises.

She is a hawk with talons of steel,

Savage and merciless and ravenous.

She is the evil spirit sucking me dry.

A pallid bluish green ghost.

A malevolent spiritual being,

A Roman deity.  A rainbow.  A butterfly

A fluttering moth, plain and brown

A flamboyant flake of crimson flame.

Sometimes she is an enchantress, an angel

Swelling as I shrink into myself

A swarm of black beetles.

Obscuring the moon

She pursues me through the dark forest

In which my nightmares dwell.

She whispers into my ear,

‘You are like the farmer’s prize heifer

Destined only to be sold at the cattle market

And milked for the rest of your life.’

Vacuous Bimbo Extraordinaire…

June 15, 2009

Liz Jones of The Daily Mail strikes again in this article.  Ms Jones expresses her sympathy for women with anorexia but asserts that: ‘I have never been bulimic, thinking that particular illness too messy and self-indulgent… ‘, implying that both bulimia and anorexia are chosen by the sufferer.  ‘Which eating disorder would you like today, Ms Jones?’  No one ever asked me that question.  I wonder if she is aware of the existence of a subtype of anorexia called ‘purging anorexia’. I also wonder if she is aware that many women who become bulimic have a history of anorexia. Having suffered, at various times in my life, from both illnesses I found this article less than helpful. Making anorexia sound like a lifestyle choice further trivializes and simplifies an illness that both society and the medical profession have trouble taking seriously enough in the first place. Well done, Liz!  You’re about as helpful as the Maginot Line.

Addendum:  And I’m just a tad pissed off that Liz Jones, someone who uses her profession ‘journalism’ as a form of therapy and who is one of the most self-indulgent people I have ever encountered (irl or online) has the audacity to castigate an entire group of people who suffer from a genuine psychiatric disorder as ‘self indulgent’.  Look in the mirror, Ms Jones, and you’ll see the very personification of ‘self indulgence’.  And she hasn’t even bothered to research the illness she so casually dismisses.  The paragraph I quoted above concludes with this: ‘But the truth is I saw my three-week experiment of eating ‘normally’ as a bout of bulimia.’  The word ‘bulimia’ is a Greek word roughly translated as ‘ox hunger’.  It is a widely acknowledged misnomer.  Just like ‘anorexia’ when, roughly translated means ‘loss of appetite’.  To be officially diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa the patient has to fulfill several diagnostic criteria one of which is ‘Bulimia nervosa is harder to spot than anorexia because many with bulimia have a relatively normal appearance. Those with bulimia always purge, but they don’t always do it by vomiting.’  Eating three thousand calories a day is not bulimia, Ms Jones, unless you regularly purge.  Something a proper journalist should have researched.  I do not know whether Ms Jones sees herself as a ‘journalist’, a ‘diarist’, an ‘editor’, or a ‘columnist’ and frankly I do not particularly care.  All I know is that calling sufferers of a very real, distressing illness ‘self indulgent’ is hideously irresponsible and someone who writes for a newspaper that regularly castigates female celebrities for failing to be ‘good role models’ for their ‘fans’ should be painfully aware of this.

Vacuous Bimbo Extraordinaire

January 18, 2009

Cheap Hotel

I have just found out who Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s mate Liz Jones is. She is the fashion editor and columnist for The Daily Mail. She used to worship at the Altar of the Cult of Thinness and, if she is involved in the fashion industry, she still does. She is a former anorectic and used to be editor of Marie Claire, a magazine that also worships at the Altar of the Cult of Thinness. No doubt she passed on her ‘wisdom’ to any vulnerable young woman foolish enough to purchase that magazine. She doesn’t seem like the kind of person who spends a good deal of time in ‘Working Men’s Clubs’ watching ‘working men’ ‘swigging beer’: ‘Responding to beer-swilling blokes in Wibsey Working Men’s Club, in Bradford, who said on television that they had lost their place as the backbone of the nation because Asians were overtaking them, she wrote: “A snail with special needs would overtake this lot … It is patronising and not remotely useful to treat the white working class as though they are all helpless, giant toddlers in need of conservation.’

I cannot find any evidence that Ms. Jones is of ‘working class stock’. I’m willing to bet that the working men she expresses such contempt for have contributed more to society that she ever will. I wonder how many young women’s lives have been destroyed as a result of the tyranny of slenderness promoted by the magazines she has worked for. She clearly doesn’t believe young women are ‘in need of conservation’ either.

I once called Polly Hudson of The Daily Mirror ‘Vacuous Bimbo Extraordinaire‘. Well, sorry Polly love, you’ve just been usurped. Step up to the stage, Ms. Jones, to accept your new title.

Addendum: I’ve found out why Nobby is called ‘Nobby’!  Good old Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobby_Clark

‘Welfarism’

December 6, 2008

In response to this although it probably won’t be printed:

Most of the people I know on ‘welfare’ have very serious mental health problems. In the past such people would have been inhabiting long-stay mental health wards in traditional psychiatric hospitals. They do not exist anymore because they were closed down and the land on which they were built was sold off at rock-bottom prices to private industry. Who was responsible for this? The last Tory government. You say you have been a doctor for twenty years. Did you approve of this and, if not, did you protest? Just curious.

I am also curious about what the good doctor thinks of middle class people who abuse their children.  When I was on an eating disorders unit I heard some pretty nasty stories* of  middle class parents maltreating their children.  What causes this?  These people most certainly were not on welfare.  And, if the actions of Karen Matthews reflect the morality and ‘values’ (or lack thereof) of an entire class then is the same true of their social superiors who subject their own children to abuse? And, if not, then why not?

*And I am prepared to admit that my fellow patients’ stories may have been exaggerations or even outright fabrications.  But these people are middle class.  They wouldn’t do a thing like that, would they? They are, after all, innately superior.  But in the unlikely event that my fellow patients were lying, whining attention seekers then that must mean that all middle class brats are lying, whining attention seekers because for the concept of collective guilt to have any validity then it must be applicable to all groups of people, right?

Addendum: You may be aware that more and more working class girls are now suffering from eating disorders. Anorexia, in particular, used to be an illness confined almost exclusively to the middle classes. Still, the lower classes have always been urged to emulate their ‘betters’ and I guess that is exactly what they are doing. Good on ’em, huh?

Words of Wisdom from an ED Support Group

October 6, 2008

Something I saved long ago but have never read properly until now:

 

I don’t understand how I can be so unimportant.  I want to believe that I deserve a chance, it is the rest of the world that seems to tell me I do not. 

I know a lot of people here complain about weights and numbers and sizes and calories and foods and spoiler this and spoiler that but honestly those things do not trigger me at all.

The unequal distribution of love is my one and only trigger.  Always has been and always will be.  I don’t care if you post that you weigh 22 pounds.  I don’t care if you shop in the infant section.  I don’t care if you’ve eaten nothing but celery for 19 months.  What bothers me is when someone cares about you, or is willing to help you, or when you have an opportunity and squander it, when you get some form of love and act like it is nothing worth having. 

From here.

OTC Medications

October 4, 2008

This is what I do.  On top of my prescription meds.  They help me avoid eating.  I’m afraid that if I stop taking them I’ll gain weight.  I’ll be what I was before the ED – Little Miss Blobby.

On an entirely unrelated note: what kind of people would do a thing like this?  What are we becoming?  Just when I was beginning to believe that humanity couldn’t sink any lower and maybe I am just as bad as they are but for a moment there I was thinking that I wouldn’t grieve over them if they were rounded up and shot.  A more civilised punishment would be to extract their photographs from CCTV footage and name and shame the cowardly little feckers but this is almost certainly not possible and it wouldn’t make any difference.  We wouldn’t find out why they did what they did because they probably don’t know themselves.

I am ever so slightly angry.  Can you tell?


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