Archive for the ‘Causes’ Category

Not The Skinny One

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I am a sibling.

One (the eldest) of three.

This blog is not about my siblings (who are, by the way, totally wonderful and I love them to bits); but I think it might be about a younger me’s reaction to them, so I’m going to include this.

It is important to distinguish between your reality and the alternative versions of reality; the stuff that belongs to other people, and that which belongs to you.

This bit is mine.

Earlier today, someone asked me what I liked to eat as a child. Hoping to access my pre-ED tastes, I decided that casting my mind back a little (lot) and exploring the things that I used to look forward to at mealtimes sounded like a good idea.

It was. I just didn’t find what I was expecting.

The Science

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

For someone who is quick to argue that eating disorders are complex conditions and responds, scathingly, to over-simplification and assumptions; I have left a great, gaping hole in my consideration.

It is otherwise known as science.

Whether it started as a defence mechanism (Doctors, what do they know?); or was jumbled up with the health – social – emotional – personal – cultural contexts that eating disorders fall into; or, is just down to the fact that my science education stopped 14 years ago… I seem to have neglected a key area of sense making, and forgotten to factor an understanding of genetics or biology in.

They have proved unexpectedly relevant.


Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I’m not sure that I have got to the bottom of things yet.

I am worried that I have been skirting the edge of something for a while. That I have been holding myself until I am brave enough to stare into the precipice.

I’m not sure what I will find there, should I peer over the rim. I’m worried that peering will not be enough. That it will, instead, lead to a tumble into the unknown. And then, who can say what I will uncover

The million dollar question

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Let’s start with the question that everyone asks: “what was the cause?”. It’s worth a million dollars and I don’t have an answer.

There’s lots of possible scenarios; lots of incredibly plausible reasons; lots of speculation: I’ve heard it all.


No such thing as a stereo type?

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

As a stroppy teenager, I was above psychiatric boxing. I was, most definitely, not a stereo type.

As a grown up, I appreciate that definitions (not ‘labels’) make things a lot easier. That a checklist diagnostic is a SMART way of doing psychiatry. That even doctors need some guidelines.

Somewhere between these two points, I realised that I might not be as unique as I liked to think that I was. That I possibly shared some interesting similarities with the people that I met in eating disorder units. That there were, perhaps, some common traits that might – just might – have made me more susceptible to an eating disorder.



Friday, May 1st, 2009

It’s impossible to view self induced vomiting or a diet of apples and salad as examples of particularly intelligent behaviour.

This is not reflective of the mental prowess typically present in people with anorexia.

If my experiences of eating disorder treatment are anything to go by, intelligence is high up on the list of common traits in anorexia sufferers: they’re the straight A high achieving talented bunch.

A paradox? Not really, but it’s got me confused and curious.


Attention Seeking

Friday, May 1st, 2009

This was one of the more painful charges.

I felt ashamed. The anorexia felt belittled. Nobody was happy.

For something to evoke that strong a reaction, there’s got to be a grain of truth in there somewhere. It’s got to tap in to something.


Growing Up

Friday, May 1st, 2009

If the seasonal showings of Big are anything to go by, there is something fascinating about the idea of a child trapped in an adult’s body. The ‘what happens when a child’s mind finds itself in an adult’s form’ question has clearly occurred to other people. It evidently offers some enduring comic currency.

Unless, of course, you’re the one stuck in the wrong body.


Self Esteem

Friday, May 1st, 2009

This one’s quite simple.

If you’re prepared to sentence yourself to the violence of an eating disorder, it’s pretty obvious that you’re not your greatest fan. If you don’t think that you’re worth looking after, you clearly don’t rate yourself that highly.

It sounds flippant – and given that it took me over 10 years to recognise that I had low self esteem and to actually get what this meant, I can’t really over simplify the issue – but the link to eating disorders is hard to miss.

And hard to break.