Can stories of survival help others?

Can stories of survival help others?

Sydney Daily Telegraph. April 29_2014Do you find survival stories helpful, inspiring? Psychologist and PhD candidate at The University of Sydney, Lisa Dawson, is leading research into how the personal accounts of those who survive Anorexia Nervosa can help others.

See story (left) published by The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Sydney, this week. Sydney Daily Telegraph-April 29-2014

Lisa’s previous research, in which I was a participant, focused on people who had fully recovered from Anorexia to assess and examine their crucial stages of recovery.

In this next stage of this much-needed research, Lisa and her team is taking the stories of recovery and asking whether it is helpful for others to read them.

Help Solve the Mystery

As Lisa says,  researchers are getting closer to understanding more about Anorexia but it remains an illness we know little about:

We have some evidence-based treatments for adolescents using family based therapy but for adults there is still no definitively, effective treatment.

June Alexander Anorexia Sufferer and AuthorImportantly, if you have had, or have, an eating disorder, you can help researchers like Lisa solve the mystery of this illness. Certainly, we do know that recovery is possible – at every age. People who have had the illness for decades, do recover. I know, because I am one of them. Certainly, I found reading of survival stories helpful in my own long journey to recovery. For one thing, it was a huge relief to learn that others thought and felt like me. For many years I felt very isolated, and weak-minded, not understanding that it was Anorexia that made me feel that way.

When I began reading stories of survival, I did not only gain insight that others felt like me, I also learned that it was possible to regain a true sense of self. Knowing this, gave me impetus to keep trying. To never give up. But what is the trigger? Why do some people recover, and some people continue to suffer? How and why does this happen? Researchers are working on finding these answers, too.

Make Your Experience Count

Lisa Dawson and her research team at The University of Sydney want to hear from people with experience of Anorexia or other eating  disorders for the study into the role that stories of survival play in recovery. The research  is conducted online – therefore you can live anywhere in the world and be a participant – and the information you share will remain confidential.

* To inquire about taking part, email:

* To get a copy of my survival story, A Girl Called Tim, click here.


Leave a Reply