a blog about mental illness and community

Ever combed the library stacks in search of an informative yet readable tome on eating disorders? The pickings are usually pretty slim (*boom tish*).

I’ve read a fair few books about the mental illness in question – some fantastic and others downright triggering or ill-informed.

Here are my top picks of books related to eating disorders:

– Wasted by Marya Hornbacher (1998): Penned when the author was just 23, this memoir chronicles an epic struggle with anorexia and bulimia. Hospitalised five times before she was 18, Marya was never expected to survive. Beware: no holds barred.

– 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder by Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb (2012): The authors outline effective strategies for challenging an eating disorder’s vicious grip, drawing on personal and therapeutic experience. A compelling combo of fact, autobiography and journalling prompts for sufferers and carers alike.

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson (2009): Fictional, but incredibly true to fact. This young-adult novel follows Lia’s struggle with anorexia in the aftermath of her best friend’s bulimia-related death. Dark and easily devoured in a single sitting.

Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body by Susan Bordo (1993): An awesome collection of essays by a renowned feminist academic. Bordo analyses a range of issues connected to the body in the context of modern culture – from dieting and media images to hunger as ideology.

Bronte’s Story by Bronte Cullis and Steve Bibb (2004): A Melbourne teenager’s battle with anorexia is laid bare, from tube feeding to a last resort stint at a radical Canadian treatment centre. The combination of diary entries and retrospective reflection is heart-wrenching and immersive.

So head on down to your local library with this list in hand. And if that fails, there’s always the Book Depository.

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