Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I do not have an eating disorder
July 31, 2011 10:28 AM   Subscribe

I Do Not Have an Eating Disorder is an autobiographical on-going web-comic by a 27-year-old Australian woman who is coming to terms with her realization that she has anorexia.

(I didn't find this triggering, but you might. One comic has a detailed description of the cartoonist's daily food intake.)
posted by craichead (69 comments total) 99 users marked this as a favorite

 
Can I put in a plea for people to play nice? I hesitated to post this, because it's such a personal story by someone who obviously wasn't expecting it to get massive attention. Before you post something nasty, please remember that this is a real person, that she could read this, and that a lot of other people reading this have struggled with similar issues or care about people who have. Thanks!
posted by craichead at 10:30 AM on July 31, 2011 [24 favorites]


This is amazing. her honesty about her distorted perceptions is very intriguing and not a little heartbreaking.
posted by KathrynT at 10:50 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is really nice, crachead; I have a weakness for any kind of comic autobiography. It's funny how she talks about her life/her eating but so far, not really about her drawing much. The dysmorphia bits are the best so far. And the characters that are her "voices" are amazing and creepy.
posted by emjaybee at 10:50 AM on July 31, 2011


It's good but I wish the pictures were bigger so it's not so hard for me to make out the handwriting. I hope she gets a book deal because that's really the easier way for me to read comics.
posted by fuq at 10:56 AM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, that is a really, really powerful and well done story (and comic!) Kudos to her for doing this and putting it out there, to her partner for the compassionate confrontation, and to what sounds like an amazing support team.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:57 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those in Australia, the laws around mental health care plans have changed significantly, so if you are diagnosed with a mental illness, your GP can give you referrals to a number of other professionals, whose help will be mostly covered by Medicare. The National Depression Initiative, Beyond Blue, offers a lot of helpful information on this process: www.beyondblue.org.au. If you are diagnosed with an eating disorder, you are entitled to discounted visits to your GP, psychologist or counselor, dietitian and possibly a psychiatrist. There will often still be a gap to pay, but the bulk will be borne by Medicare (e.g. you will be refunded ~$55 of an $80 dietitian visit, ~$95 of a $130 psychologist visit, ~$210 of a $290 psychiatrist visit). You can also ask your GP to recommend specialists who bulk bill, though try to understand that your GP will most likely attempt to refer you to practitioners with experience in your area, even if that means paying a gap.

Hurray for Medicare!
posted by zamboni at 11:00 AM on July 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is anyone else having trouble with the images not loading?
posted by Gordafarin at 11:00 AM on July 31, 2011


I enlarged the images, fuq, by clicking on each comic to isolate the comic from the surrounding page and then clicking on it again. I don't know if that works for everyone.
posted by craichead at 11:03 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fascinating. Thanks for posting.
posted by hermitosis at 11:07 AM on July 31, 2011


I knew a person over the internet once who had an ED. I kept trying to *understand* it--there are simply, obvious truths about weight and so on she could look at but it wouldn't register. She understood that she had a problem, but still didn't feel "up to" eating.

Which is just the weirdest thing. You think you share a reality with everyone else, and then to see people thinking about such basic things in such wildly different ways. Also, yeah, perception.
posted by DanielZKlein at 11:11 AM on July 31, 2011


This is really good. I'm glad she made this.
posted by neuromodulator at 11:13 AM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


I liked this, and her observation that many people these days "pick up this idea that a multitude of problems can be solved by eliminating food groups"... which opens the door to this idea of general food-deprivation as a road to good health or purity.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:15 AM on July 31, 2011 [18 favorites]


It's good but I wish the pictures were bigger

If you click on them, they increase in size and readability.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:22 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good stuff. And brave.

One of the creepiest things about EDs, I feel, is the sense of accomplishment they engender. Success is a powerful, powerful drug. The comic is a sobering reminder of how messed up your consciousness can get when you physically push it.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:23 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


What a brave and wonderful woman to share such a powerfully intimate journey. Thank you for the link!
posted by cavalier at 11:26 AM on July 31, 2011


Oh, I love how she layouts these pages. Nice.
posted by dabitch at 11:40 AM on July 31, 2011


I liked this, and her observation that many people these days "pick up this idea that a multitude of problems can be solved by eliminating food groups"... which opens the door to this idea of general food-deprivation as a road to good health or purity.

On the one hand, I can certainly see this happening, especially in young women. On the other, the idea that one single diet is a road to good health or purity for everyone is also pretty skewed. Most people who choose to eliminate [meat/dairy/grains/whatever] from their diet still eat in a healthy manner, and never go on to "general food-deprivation"... and it's not as if plain ol' calorie restriction isn't a perfect cover for food-deprivation, either.
posted by vorfeed at 11:41 AM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder if someone with an eating disorder that made them fat would get the same kind of praise for a similar comic? Just food for thought.
posted by Malice at 11:51 AM on July 31, 2011 [16 favorites]


Just food for thought.
posted by Malice at 11:51 AM on July 31 [+] [!]

I see what you did there.
posted by gc at 11:58 AM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I wonder if someone with an eating disorder that made them fat would get the same kind of praise for a similar comic? Just food for thought."

A comic about coming to terms with non-purging bulimia, clinically compulsive over-eating or something in that spectrum of eating disorders and the long and painful journey of recovery? I really can't imagine any reason at all why it would not get similar praise. Not sure why that's even a question worth pondering or, as you say, the lulzier "food for thought".
posted by stagewhisper at 12:00 PM on July 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


@Malice - I wondered the same thing. I'm in that boat myself. Somehow, based on my life experience so far, I doubt it.

This is phenomenal. Thank you so much for the link. I love this woman.
posted by perilous at 12:01 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't have an eating disorder (shit, or do i?) but I've often joke that despite being a not very effeminate guy, i fret about my weight like a teenage cheerleader, and yeah, some of this feels familiar.

Also, though I don't feel it takes anything away from this comic/blog, I have to agree that anorexia stories tend to garner more sympathy than overeaters; most people find the tale of the pretty young girl wasting away, oh you poor thing let me take care of you... people don't have that kind of sympathy for fat, "unattractive" people, and it often triggers the "hey, what are they whining about, there are people who don't even HAVE food!" part of most people's brains.

My best guess anyway.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 12:07 PM on July 31, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was really well done.
posted by killdevil at 12:13 PM on July 31, 2011


[My dietician] pointed me towards clinical studies showing the vast differences in brain functioning in subjects with body dysmorphia disorder. One study showed a neural pathway that suggested that when subjects with BDD looked in the mirror, parts of the brain associated with anxiety and emotional response became overactive, essentially hijacking the visual stimuli before it could be properly processed. They literally were seeing something different due to the way their brain was attempting to interpret the visual cues.
- from the notes on this page

As a transwoman, I have run up against this myself. I'll be looking in the mirror, thinking "whoah lookit that hot babe", then my brain picks up on some infinitesimal "male" detail and that's all I can see. When this happens I know intellectually now that if I pick up my self-confidence and put on something midriff-baring, I'll get lots of appreciative noises from the kids hanging out by the bus stop, but all I can see for a while is the FACIAL HAIR. It's not much at all, a few patches here and there that are easily shaved, and about as much vague mustache as any half-Italian lady might expect, but in those moments it is literally all I can see; there's a dude with boobs looking out of the mirror at me. The fact that I now know there are peer-reviewed studies showing that this is largely all in my head will probably help a lot in telling that part of my brain to STFU.

Also her envisioning of the self-hating parts of her psyche, and how they sometimes get to speak for her, is totally awesome.
posted by egypturnash at 12:15 PM on July 31, 2011 [7 favorites]


"I wonder if someone with an eating disorder that made them fat would get the same kind of praise for a similar comic? Just food for thought."

I'm a bit confused by this comment. What I found fascinating about the comic (and what I imagine is making it popular) was the artist's brutal honesty, the evolution of her denial from the first comic to most recent, and the scary way that I recognize some of the thoughts she's had about her body because I've had them about my own. Also, the artwork is fantastic. I don't see why any of those things couldn't also occur in a comic about an eating disorder that makes someone obese. It's not about being skinny or fat, it's about the disordered thinking in her head.
posted by geeky at 12:16 PM on July 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


I think my response to Malice was a little flippant- but I may have misinterpreted it as trolling/derailing when it wasn't meant to be. It just seems like most online discussions that surround eating disorders as a whole (which run the gamut) generate a lot of lulzy comments, dismissals, nasty sniping, etc. Although American culture overvalues thinness to a harmful degree and functioning and/or closeted anorectics receive more positive comments about their weight by strangers on the street than compulsive over-eaters do, eating disorders are a mental illness that destroys the people afflicted with them (as well as those who love and care about them) regardless of how the eating disorder manifests itself.

I think that it's very brave for the comic book artist to create this series and lay out the specifics of her disorder despite the extreme shame she feels for having it. If someone with bulimia or other binging disorders created a similar series I believe they would be praised for their candor as well. Eating disorders are not about how much the person who has one weighs, and I felt that your question was going to derail this discussion by starting a fight about whether extremely thin people or overweight people have it harder in society. (my answer: overweight people)
posted by stagewhisper at 12:17 PM on July 31, 2011


No, it wasn't trolling, sorry if it came off that way. I actually did wonder. I do like this comic, I think the girl is very well versed, but yes, I did wonder. Being fat has a much more negative stigma attached to it than being thin, and if a comic just like this were made by a fat girl struggling with her brand of eating disorders (maybe even Anorexia as well) would it be praised, or would people immediately look on her with distaste? Knowing how society is, I would be inclined to believe that.
posted by Malice at 12:26 PM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


that was amazing, thanks for posting it.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:32 PM on July 31, 2011


Also, if this is her, I have to say I'm in love with her hair.
posted by Malice at 12:33 PM on July 31, 2011


Malice, the girl in that picture looks like she's Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen.
posted by lizzicide at 12:44 PM on July 31, 2011


Yep, the girl in Malice's photo is definitely Hannah Hart.
posted by lizzicide at 12:49 PM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh my. Thanks for the clarification! Her hair is still fabulous.
posted by Malice at 12:58 PM on July 31, 2011


Malice, to be honest, were the comic as well drawn and well-written as this one, my reaction would be the same. I understand that people who are fat are seen as less sympathetic and not ill in the same way people who are anorexic are, and I don't mean to dismiss your overall point, but I think the medium mitigates against that to a degree.

Having said that, I am also aware there are very few comic book characters who are not, in a word, thin.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:09 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll be looking in the mirror, thinking "whoah lookit that hot babe", then my brain picks up on some infinitesimal "male" detail and that's all I can see.

I'll be looking at some home repair or improvement I've crafted, and think "damn, good job, self!" and then I'll pick up some imperfection and that's all I can see. Even as others tell me "Hey, that looks perfect!"

The self-critical eye is my hardest relationship. I loathe making mistakes.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:17 PM on July 31, 2011


Malice, to be honest, were the comic as well drawn and well-written as this one, my reaction would be the same.
Me, too. I love the style of the whole thing.
posted by Glinn at 1:19 PM on July 31, 2011


Anyone else can't stop reading "ED" as erectile dysfunction?

I'll just let myself out...
posted by tempythethird at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2011 [5 favorites]


Really well done narration and illustration. Thanks for the informative post craichead.
posted by nickyskye at 1:24 PM on July 31, 2011


Er, that was to say I think a great many people can appreciate an obsession or distortion in perception. A well-expressed account of any human experience is always captivating.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:31 PM on July 31, 2011


Terrific piece of work - it made perfect sense in spite of me being an unreconstructed fat bastard.
posted by Segundus at 1:39 PM on July 31, 2011


I think it’s the sense of control attached to it that starts to cross the line into ED territory. No matter what happens to us, ultimately we still have control over how we care for our own body.
I've heard this same sentiment expressed before, by a friend who used to have an eating disorder. What went in and out of her mouth felt like the only thing in life she had any power over, and doing self-destructive things with that power gave her a feeling of being in control.

On the one hand, this self-diagnosis must have been much more than just a rationalization, since it gave results. Her desires to purge soon became easier to stand up to and eventually went away as she recaptured more authority over the rest of her life.

But on the other hand, this explanation is at best a murky reflection of some internal conflict that I still fail to understand. How can failing to withstand a subconscious impulse against the intelligent better judgment of your conscious mind feel like an act of taking control, rather than an act of losing control? It was as if she was fighting an addiction to a drug that psychologically inverted the very concept of willpower.
posted by roystgnr at 2:30 PM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Really loved this.

egypturnash: "As a transwoman, I have run up against this myself."

Right there with you. It's especially bizarre that if I catch a glimpse in an unexpected mirror I think I see myself the way others see me, but if I go back and look properly the EGADS, A TRANNY centre in my brain kicks in and starts finding penises everywhere.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:31 PM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


How can failing to withstand a subconscious impulse against the intelligent better judgment of your conscious mind feel like an act of taking control, rather than an act of losing control? It was as if she was fighting an addiction to a drug that psychologically inverted the very concept of willpower.

FWIW, surviving on two pieces of toast or an apple as your entire daily caloric intake takes enormous willpower. The impulse to limit food isn't remotely subconscious. (Or have I not understood you?)
posted by DarlingBri at 2:47 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the artwork, but I'm having trouble finding posts others have mentioned; the post titles tell nothing about content and searching for "food" "day" "daily" or "eat" didn't bring up that post about daily food requirements, for instance.
posted by misha at 3:07 PM on July 31, 2011


Dealing with your own distorted perceptions can be amazingly tricky. If you're lucky, you get to the point where you can say to yourself "Yes, I know that's what you see, but it's not what everyone else sees. It's like a nightmarish mirage: it's Just Not Real. In fact, when you wake up a bit better-rested tomorrow morning, you won't know what you were talking about either"

It's difficult to think about, 'cuz all my other mental problems, the depression, the anxiety, even the Trans... they might be "disorders", they might affect my day-to-day functioning, but they don't make me crazy. This shit? This does. Absolutely bonkers, to borrow a phrase. I mean, seeing things that aren't there???
posted by tigrrrlily at 3:17 PM on July 31, 2011


This was hard to read. Thank you.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:21 PM on July 31, 2011


How can failing to withstand a subconscious impulse against the intelligent better judgment of your conscious mind feel like an act of taking control, rather than an act of losing control?

It's an act of control in that you--your conscious mind--are the one deciding when and what you will eat; you are not a slave to your body. You have no needs. You have transcended need. Maintaining that level of control requires constant vigilance. And by "constant," I mean that it takes over your entire life. Every waking minute of your day is spent arguing with yourself over eating, obsessing about what you did eat, lying to someone about eating, or dealing with the physical fallout of not having eaten.

It's a full-time job that I've had for 13 years. Pulling yourself out of an eating disorder, even with a team of dedicated professionals and a group of friends who would do anything to make you well, is almost unfathomably difficult; the part of this comic where she's crying over forcing herself to eat an apple? Not an exaggeration.

As my therapist and dietician have pointed out to me, and as I know to be true, anorexia is a symptom of a greater problem. People don't wake up one morning and decide that they aren't going to eat. Humans aren't really wired to starve themselves; it's a bad sign when someone has developed the ability to ignore one of their most basic biological urges. Focusing all of your attention on food issues takes over your world to the extent that it becomes a very effective way of ignoring other things that may be bothering you.

Anorexia is a hard disease to understand if you haven't been there. People will often say "can't you just eat something?" If it were that simple, I could save myself thousands of dollars in treatment and countless hours of anguish; nobody wants it to be that simple more than I do. When people are baffled by or dismissive of eating disorders, I try to keep in mind how fortunate they are to have appropriate coping mechanisms, to never have been in the grip of compulsion, or to have perhaps sidestepped tragedy altogether.

Great post, craichead, thank you.
posted by corey flood at 3:43 PM on July 31, 2011 [23 favorites]


"I Do Not Have an Eating Disorder"

Wait a sec... are we supposed to believe her, or her comic strip!
posted by markkraft at 3:45 PM on July 31, 2011


It takes a lot of compassion and unvarnished honesty to write something like that about yourself and your own demons.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:48 PM on July 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am learning about Narrative Therapy, and story-telling/imagery is a big part of this process. I love her masked "thoughts/negative voices." This is a great piece.
posted by ShadePlant at 5:03 PM on July 31, 2011


Very powerful. Thanks for sharing.
posted by luckynerd at 5:23 PM on July 31, 2011


As someone who has had a brief experience with anorexia, this comic definitely strikes true for me, especially in its effort to try to convey what is going on in her mind to rationalize her eating habits. I think many people tend to have two extremes of misinterpreting how anorexia works: either, A) because it is a mental disorder, they assume that it is a largely subconscious, knee-jerk compulsion, like sleepwalking or hallucination, and therefore there's no point trying to figure out what is going on in the anorexic person's head. On the contrary, there is a lot of conscious planning, rationalization, and mental work involved in ED. But that doesn't mean it is indeed rational.

The other extreme in misinterpretation is B) it's entirely their own fault: he/she's a shallow person who is clearly worshipping harmful body images projected by the media, and their goal is simply to look "sexy" and fit into society's "ideal" body image and make lots of people want to have sex with them. Hence, there are harmful assumptions that anorexics are "attention whores" who care more about their looks than their health. I think this web-comic does a nice job of showing that anorexics are often far from this stereotype and that there can be many, many other factors (work, stress, obsession with health/purity, peers, etc).

Basically, I think the whole idea of narrating her struggle with anorexia is great, both for her if it helps her to overcome it, but also in explaining the experience for people who have never gone through it and often seem to be completely baffled by it.

Another thing that struck me is how much she tries to rationalize her decisions by telling herself "other people do this all the time, right?" or "this can't be anorexia because anorexics are a lot worse than me!" to try to normalize what she is doing. The title, then, "I do not have an eating disorder" I think reflects one of the chief consequences of misunderstanding what anorexia entails and why people might go on in denial about their eating habits.

I was never fat, or even "chubby" by societal standards (I am 5 ft 2 in, pretty flat-chested, with a small frame, and the most I've ever weighed is 120 lbs). However, I do not easily lose weight, and generally I can't get under 105 lbs without extreme dieting. When I started losing weight, people started to compliment me (like the web-comic author, I assumed they were either lying, delusional, or just trying to be polite), but never once did anyone say I was too thin or that I might be anorexic. They assumed I was just following a sensible diet like eating less ice cream, when in fact I was hardly eating anything. This I think is one of the reasons why anorexia can slip under the radar (both for friends and family, and for the anorexics themselves): there are many people who simply are naturally extremely skinny and there are others who cannot reach this point without seriously compromising their health.

Indeed, I didn't look like what the media depicted was what anorexics look like. I think this is one of the reasons why campaigns like this one might actually be harmful to people because it only shows anorexia in its far extremes, and so long as you're not that skeletal, you rationalize that what you're doing is normal. When I reached 100 lbs, I still didn't look skeletal (my bmi= 18.3, average runway model bmi= 16), but I had stopped menstruating for nearly a year, ate 500 calories or less a day, and exercised all the time. When I dropped to 95 lbs, I simply recalled a friend of mine who had anorexia and had dropped to 75 lbs (5 ft 1 in), and thought "I'm not anorexic. She is." Or I thought about a friend of mine who was natural very thin (even though she ate huge quantities of food) and would think "See? There's nothing odd about being that skinny. I just need to work a little harder because of my metabolism." Anyway, my point is that I can sympathize with the web-comic author's initial denial about having anorexia, and I think her complex, self-examining account serves to debunk the idea that disordered eating is bolstered by "stupidity" or just plain "craziness". From the outside, yes, it all looks very irrational, but you'll find that the world and society around you often have their little ways of helping to build your delusions.
posted by adso at 5:57 PM on July 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


Her aesthetic sense is amazing. It's like she's simultaneously channeling Neil Gaiman and some art nouveau fairytale illustrator.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:10 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to kick the part of me that says 'but why does she think she's fat when she's so so skinny?' as if that were the real issue and she had nothing to complain about.

And I know it's not about the fatness or thinness but the unhealthy things it does to the body and the body dismorphia and the anxious/obsessing about food.

Doesn't shut up that other part of me though.

This has been elucidating.
posted by everyday_naturalist at 7:29 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's what I mean in more detail: Look at this illustration, where she depicts her inner voices as three shaman-like figures talking to her. I love the fact that there are three - this ties into a whole lot of mythical ideas about the Weird Sisters who tempt and betray; the Norns and the Moirae who determine your fate; and the Furies who punish you.

The figures are cloaked and masked - one wears a wolf skin, which makes me think of werewolves (who are feared by others, but more significantly hate their own corrupted bodies and fear its changes); it also reminds me of the story of Little Red Riding Hood where the corpulent wolf lies in bed, its distorted features mimicking femininity, and it threatens to swallow up - to incorporate the little girl. Another figure wears the mask and feathers of a raptor. In mythology, wearing feathers is sometimes a symbol of constraint, but it can also be liberation from human existence or a punishment. But this figure is wearing a hunter's feathers - what does that mean? The last one has a ram's skull. You usually see this associated with mock-Satanism, but it's genuinely a threatening and imposing symbol; a powerful alpha-beast that has passed through death and corruption to expose an inorganic core.

Anyway, she's just brilliant. I love this stuff.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:58 PM on July 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is good, but painful for me to read, as my brother is currently battling with anorexia. It's such a pernicious, destructive illness. This ED has robbed him of everything - his job, his friends, his health, his personality, not to mention the terrible toll it's taking on my entire family.

It's the most vicious, awful thing I've seen happen to anyone I've been close to.
posted by jasperella at 9:01 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


An obese person writing a similar blog about their struggles would definitely receive far less support and far more snark. I say this having lived as an obese person and as a "normal" weight person. I know firsthand how one can be the same person but treated totally differently based on weight alone. For those who believe that this blog writer would be given the same level of support or admiration if she were obese: You are lucky to not have experienced--or apparently even picked up on--the ABSOLUTE HATRED aimed at fat people, and especially fat women.
posted by parrot_person at 9:20 PM on July 31, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't see any means to contact her. Would there be one if I joined tumblr?
posted by neuromodulator at 9:53 PM on July 31, 2011


You might be able to comment on her posts if you join tumblr. That's up to the individual blogger.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:13 PM on July 31, 2011


Someone I know has an ED. Hopefully this will help me understand things.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:15 AM on August 1, 2011


For those in Australia, the laws around mental health care plans have changed significantly, so if you are diagnosed with a mental illness, your GP can give you referrals to a number of other professionals, whose help will be mostly covered by Medicare. The National Depression Initiative, Beyond Blue, offers a lot of helpful information on this process: www.beyondblue.org.au. If you are diagnosed with an eating disorder, you are entitled to discounted visits to your GP, psychologist or counselor, dietitian and possibly a psychiatrist. There will often still be a gap to pay, but the bulk will be borne by Medicare (e.g. you will be refunded ~$55 of an $80 dietitian visit, ~$95 of a $130 psychologist visit, ~$210 of a $290 psychiatrist visit). You can also ask your GP to recommend specialists who bulk bill, though try to understand that your GP will most likely attempt to refer you to practitioners with experience in your area, even if that means paying a gap.

Hurray for Medicare!


If you're in Sydney and want my (necessarily biased and limited) advice on mental health professionals to see, messege me.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:17 AM on August 1, 2011


I found this incredibly illuminating. As was the realization that anorexia shares a great number of the same "features" as anxiety disorders and depression.
posted by Hactar at 1:25 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The lack of page turning mechanism is really annoying. Otherwise, very well done.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:06 AM on August 1, 2011


This comic is fascinating and really well done.

Not to minimize the author's struggles or derail from the conversation about that, but a lot of journal comics, no matter how important or interesting the topics covered, are just really, really boring. This comic was not only about a topic that was very personal, covered in a way that illuminated a lot of things about eating disorders that I hadn't come across before, but it was written, drawn, and paced in a way that made it very smooth and interesting reading.
posted by audacity at 9:23 AM on August 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Great find. The later strips evolve so nicely into real art.
posted by benzenedream at 1:54 PM on August 1, 2011


This is wonderful.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 2:07 PM on August 1, 2011


If you show somebody with severe anorexia nervosa who is thin to the point of dying a picture of somebody else with the same condition, who is equally thin, do they see a dangerously thin person, or an attractive person, or a fat person? Does the distortion of incredibly thin into grossly fat only affect one's self-perception or one's perception of others as well?
If only self-perception is affected, does this have possible therapeutic value? Tricking the mind into thinking it's looking at somebody else's body and then revealing that it was a head-swapped clone? I'm not really sure about the neuroscience involved in all of this, so if I'm being an ignorant offensive loudmouth please let me know.
posted by tehloki at 5:37 PM on August 1, 2011


If you show somebody with severe anorexia nervosa who is thin to the point of dying a picture of somebody else with the same condition, who is equally thin, do they see a dangerously thin person, or an attractive person, or a fat person?

Such pictures are common in pro-anorexia circles as thinspiration.
(link to Wikipedia "pro-ana" article, potentially triggering)
posted by nicebookrack at 5:55 PM on August 2, 2011


Maybe I'm missing something, but I can't see how to jump to the latest page. So here's a bookmark for the most recent one as of right now.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:07 AM on August 6, 2011


nicebooktrack:

The "thinspiration" thing doesn't seem to fit with this woman's delusions at all; if she thought she was fat while her friends saw she was dangerously underweight, wouldn't she look at her friends and see a bunch of incredibly fat people? She talks several times about seeing her normally-proportioned friends as attractive and skinny while standing next to them and seeing herself as bloated and gross. Is this just a case-by-case thing? Do some anorexics see everybody but non-anorexics as grossly obese, and others only have distorted perceptions of themselves?
posted by tehloki at 4:24 PM on August 7, 2011


« Older "Every week for the forseeable future, . . ., more...  |  The War in Hipstamatic: A rare... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments