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"I passed by the full-length mirror on the wall near the door. I caught a glimpse of a very thin girl with dead, straight, long, dry peroxided hair and a skimpy outfit like a whorish doll. I turned sideways to look at her. I saw a child. I saw a witch. I saw a dumb blonde. It took a few seconds for my mind to register that the girl in the mirror was me. I looked her up and down. I was thin, blonde and tanned and I was still not happy." Being Ana is the story of one young woman's fight to find strength in vulnerability, truth in her identity and meaning in being herself. Shani Raviv is a struggling adolescent living in an eccentric, all-female, diet-free household in South Africa. At age fourteen, belonging to a girl clique, she gets hooked on a system of counting calories that traps her inside a crazed mind. Over the next decade, Shani embarks on an unholy pilgrimage: from aerobics addict to Israeli soldier to rave bunny to wannabe reborn, she tries to find self-worth in sex, everlasting happiness in drugs and alcohol, comfort in cutting, and above all, salvation in starving. A spiritual epiphany one night awakens her to the fearful realization that she has lost her sense of self to Anorexia (Ana). Shani has to decide whether to surrender and risk losing Ana-which was all she knew-to go in search of nourishment and her true self in a sane and sober world.
I've never had anorexia, but I know it well. I see it on the street, in the gaunt and sunken face, the bony chest, the spindly arms of an emaciated woman. I've come to recognize the flat look of despair, the hopelessness that follows, inevitably, from years of starvation. I think: That could have been my daughter. It wasn't. It's not. If I have anything to say about it, it won't be. Millions of families are affected by eating disorders, which usually strike young women between the ages of fourteen and twenty. But current medical practice ties these families' hands when it comes to helping their children recover. Conventional medical wisdom dictates separating the patient from the family and insists that "it's not about the food," even as a family watches a child waste away before their eyes. Harriet Brown shows how counterproductive and heartbreaking this approach is by telling her daughter's story of anorexia. She describes how her family, with the support of an open-minded pediatrician and a therapist, helped her daughter recover using family-based treatment, also known as the Maudsley approach. Chronicling her daughter Kitty's illness from the earliest warning signs, through its terrifying progression, and on toward recovery, Brown takes us on one family's journey into the world of anorexia nervosa, where starvation threatened her daughter's body and mind. But hope and love, of the ordinary, family-focused kind, shine through every decision and action she and her family took. Brave Girl Eating is essential reading for families and professionals alike, a guiding light for anyone who's coping with this devastating disease.
Seventeen-year-old Elena has a voice in her head that tells her what she needs to do in order to be perfect: Put on her makeup. Be charming and poised. Make top grades. Work two or even three jobs. And never, ever eat. This is the voice that she calls her conscience. And listening to it just might kill her. As Elena's body starts to break down and she goes from one hospital to another, she comes to understand that her inner voice is her greatest demon. And in order to defeat it, she will have to face a secret she's hidden for years. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety is artillery against herself, a girl battling on both sides of a lose-lose war, a girl struggling with anorexia nervosa.
A painful, powerful, and ultimately enriching account of what it feels like to be young, confused, and controlled by food. Adolescence is a time full of pitfalls for teenage girls. Many escape relatively unscathed; some -- unable to cope successfully with the pressures exerted by family, school, and the media -- develop eating disorders. Marianne Apostolides was one of those girls. She became anorexic at the age of fourteen and struggled for the next ten years with anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia. In this courageous work, Apostolides recreates the years in which she felt she could control her life only by controlling her diet. Insecure, unable to communicate with her parents, and driven to achieve at school, she initially found relief in the structure of calorie-counting and schedules. When the constant dieting became too much for her body to handle, she began to binge, and then to binge and purge. Her world defined by food, Apostolides would battle throughout high school, college, and adulthood to confront the deeper issues that compelled her to hurt herself again and again. This is a book about a young woman who did not know how to cope with her feelings, and who, through therapy, was able to find the road to recovery at last. Absorbing and honest, hers is an important story of anguish, frustration, and, ultimately, triumph.
Frustrated by the often unrealistic standards of beauty presented by today's media, many women have become trapped in a never-ending pattern of chronic dieting. Daily they endure destructive self-talk such as "I can't eat that or I'll get fat" or "If I could just lose a few more pounds everything would be better." Chronic dieters may be any shape or size but they have one thing in common: They are often left to suffer alone with an undiagnosed "sub-clinical" eating disorder. Such sub-clinical disorders include eating habits that are unusual, even unhealthy, but do not fit the technical classifications of anorexia or bulimia. Addressing the many dimension of "chronic dieting," Life Inside the "Thin" Cage offers a wake-up call and practical steps to those who need healing. Readers will find personal stories, insights into their secret patterns and habits, reassurance that they are not alone, checklists, self-tests, and, best of all, a new road to emotional, physical, mental and spiritual freedom.
More than simple cases of dieting gone awry, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are among the most fatal of mental illnesses, responsible for more deaths each year than any other psychiatric disorder. These illnesses afflict millions of young people, especially women, all over the world. Carrie Arnold developed anorexia as an adolescent and nearly lost her life to the disease. In Next to Nothing, she tells the story of her descent into anorexia, how and why she fell victim to this mysterious illness, and how she was able to seek help and recover after years of therapy and hard work. Now an adult, Arnold uses her own experiences to offer practical advice and guidance to young adults who have recently been diagnosed with an eating disorder, or who are at risk for developing one. Drawing on the expertise of B. Timothy Walsh, M.D., one of America's leading authorities on eating disorders, she reveals in easy-to-understand terms what is known and not known medically about anorexia and bulimia. The book covers such difficult topics as how to make sense of a diagnosis, the various psychotherapies available to those struggling with an eating disorder, psychiatric hospitalization, and how to talk about these illnesses to family and friends. The result is both a compelling memoir and a practical guide that will help to ease the isolation that an eating disorder can impose, showing young people how to manage and maintain their recovery on a daily basis. Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, Next to Nothing will also be a valuable resource to the friends and family of those with eating disorders. It offers much-needed hope to young people, helping them to overcome these illnesses and lead productive and healthy lives.
Riptide is the raw and revealing account of the author’s journey during the ten years her oldest daughter struggled with anorexia and bulimia, a battle that ended with her death at age 23 in February 2000. Motherhood is about nurturing and protecting your child, yet with eating disorders, as with any addiction complicated by mental illness, parents can feel frustrated with powerlessness and filled with guilt and fear as they watch their beloved child consumed by a condition that has life-threatening power. Eating disorders are rampant, with emaciated stars on the covers of tabloids and the modeling industry being challenged about unhealthy, unrealistic images of what is desirable. In the face of these ubiquitous images, obesity is at an all-time high among children and teens, driving more and younger children to"experiment” with anorectic and bulimic behaviors. That means more parents and caregivers need to understand how to cope and not only try to help these children, but also take care of themselves. Using her unique perspective as a mother and psychotherapist, Barbara Hale-Seubert vividly chronicles her rollercoaster of grief, fear, and powerlessness. Here, Hale-Seubert holds onto the hope that her daughter could salvage some form of a life not fully eclipsed by the disorder, while at the same time learning to surrender what was out of her control and embracing, once again, the grace and value in her own life. Riptide offers other parents the redemptive solace that comes with knowing that they aren’t alone in their struggles.
Leslie Hiller is a bright, attractive, talented teenager who leads a privileged life in New York City. She is also a perfectionist. When Leslie starts to diet, she finds herself becoming obsessed, getting thinner and thinner, until she is forced to realize that her quest for perfection is killing her. First published in 1981, this groundbreaking novel has been lauded by countless librarians, educators, and teenaged readers. This new edition features an afterword by the author in which she discusses her own struggle with the disease, the difficult road toward recovery, and the lasting effects on her life.
Based on diaries written in 1978 when she was eleven years old, the author offers a chronicle of her battle with anorexia and the pressures from family, peers, and society that led her to starve herself.
Why would a talented young woman enter into a torrid affair with hunger, drugs, sex, and death? Through five lengthy hospital stays, endless therapy, and the loss of family, friends, jobs, and all sense of what it means to be "normal," Marya Hornbacher lovingly embraced her anorexia and bulimia -- until a particularly horrifying bout with the disease in college put the romance of wasting away to rest forever. A vivid, honest, and emotionally wrenching memoir, Wasted is the story of one woman's travels to reality's darker side -- and her decision to find her way back on her own terms.
She devoured their memoirs and magazine articles, committing the most salacious details of their cautionary tales to memory--how little they ate, their lowest weights, and their merciless exercise regimes--to learn what it would take to be the very best anorectic. When she was hospitalized for anorexia at fifteen, she found herself in an existential wormhole: how can one suffer from something one has actively sought out? Through her own decade-long battle with anorexia, which included three lengthy hospitalizations, Osgood harrowingly describes the haunting and competitive world of inpatient facilities populated with other adolescents, some as young as ten years old. With attuned storytelling and unflinching introspection, Kelsey Osgood unpacks the modern myths of anorexia, examining the cult-like underbelly of eating disorders in the young, as she chronicles her own rehabilitation. How to Disappear Completely is a brave, candid and emotionally wrenching memoir that explores the physical, internal, and social ramifications of eating disorders and subverts many of the popularly held notions of the illness and, most hopefully, the path to recovery.
As the good little girl in an unhappy family who hid her darker troubles, Deb Abramson felt like she was living with another girl, a shadowy being who would neither leave nor make herself known. Crushed beneath the burden of her parents rigid expectations yet driven to satisfy their needs, Abramson becomes bulimic, then severely depressed and suicidal, retreating more and more from the troubling outside world to the seeming haven of home, to a cycle of comfort from and competition with her depressed mother, to the frightening but alluring intimacy of her father's affections. Her struggle to extricate herself from the impermeable, immutable knot of her family forms the heart of her dazzling book. In this psychological portrait of a family bound together by the uneasy permutations of love, Abramson relies not on sensationalist narrative but on a collection of the many small moments that glitter along the bumpy path of her life. Now and then she provides a broader, connecting perspective by stepping out of her story to reflect on the meaning of it all from the standpoint of the insightful, healed person she has managed against all odds to become. Rich in metaphor and intimate detail, this is a lyrical story about moving from isolation toward connection, about seeing childhood not as a crippling refuge but as a point of departure, about discovering that it is possible to have your shadows as well as your light. "
Challenging the assumption that anorexia is an exclusively female affliction, this compelling memoir is the first to describe how a young man overcame this often fatal disorder. Handsome and popular, Gary had baseball abilities that had attracted the attention of the big leagues, until a shaming inner-voice convinced him that he needed to be thinner, leading to an out-of-control compulsion to exercise and starve himself, causing multiple hospitalizations. Providing strategies for tackling the recovery process and examples of changes in the thinking needed to take those steps, this important narrative comes at a time when eating disorders are at an all-time high in America, afflicting more than 8 million men. Demonstrating how anyone can win the internal battle between mind and body, this much-needed biography offers therapists, sufferers, and their families with powerful tools to help them triumph over this life and death battle.