A 21st century epidemic?

This is the interesting bit.

History says that the Romans had a strange and socially acceptable form of bulimia.

I haven’t really pursued the subject; but rumour has it that anorexia has been around for years. Apparently, there’s even an anorexic take on Jane Eyre (refusal and food – I stumbled across it during my degree).

Following the literary line further, the emotional context is not that dissimilar from stuff that people were describing years ago. It’s just the manifestation and the response that’s different.

And that’s the crux of the situation. There’s a whole pretext to anorexia and bulimia, a whole lot of similarities to age old emotional baggage– yet they’re very much a modern disease. A regular 20th/21st century phenomenon.

Let me explain.

If I had been born 50 years earlier, I wouldn’t have developed anorexia so young.

It would have been stamped out by a society just out of war rations. It would have been jumped on by adults who told you what to do and didn’t take any answering back, thank you very much. It would have been picked up at family meals – before working demands and outspoken children made them an impossibility.

If I had been born 5 or 10 years earlier, my bulimia wouldn’t have spiralled so dramatically and excessively out of control.

Without the aid of a trusty credit card (or two), I wouldn’t have been able to afford it for a start. Without all night supermarkets, it wouldn’t have been so easy to succumb to the fatal urge. Without BOGOFs and meal deals and a MacDonalds on every corner, it would have been near on impossible to reach the obscene quantities that my bulimia demanded.

And then there’s the whole issue of anonymity –society ain’t what it used to be – and freedom – great if you look after it properly. If I had lived in a rural area or in a different less developed country, things might have been very different.

My eating disorder wasn’t caused by society; there’s no blame gaming or scape goating going on here.

It’s just interesting to take a look at the bigger picture when you’re trying to piece the bits of the puzzle into something that makes a little more sense.


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