Category: Families

advocacy Can people experiencing mental illness teach? Absolutely

Can people experiencing mental illness teach? Absolutely

by

At noon on April 22, the small car stopped in front of the nursing school building, a structure of standardised windows and no excess. “We’re here,” said Professor Jeong, turning from the driver’s seat. The four passengers unfolded their crouched bodies and got out of the car. The Jeonbuk National...

Continue reading
advocacy ‘I have so much shame, they labelled me insane’

‘I have so much shame, they labelled me insane’

by

I sat on the dense wooden palings that ran along the front of the beach. I sat without a care in the world. Just me and the universe and the video camera, a truly perfect combination. It was 1999. I was rocking a bowl-cut, baggy track pants, an oversized hoodie...

Continue reading
advocacy Exploring the roots of fear that feed an eating disorder

Exploring the roots of fear that feed an eating disorder

by

Tanya declares she and anorexia are irrevocably entwined. Fear is ever-present. Here, Tanya explores the roots of her fears.                                   Editor, June Alexander I have physical fears, emotional and psychological fears, and spiritual fears...

Continue reading
advocacy Unmasking eating disorders among people in the LGBTQIA+ community

Unmasking eating disorders among people in the LGBTQIA+ community

by

I was 15 when my father noticed money missing from his wallet. He asked if I had taken it. I said, “No.” However, after hours of being accused of taking drugs and screamed at to the point of having spit on my face and crawling into a ball in the...

Continue reading
advocacy Listen to us: women with lived experience of severe and enduring anorexia nervosa

Listen to us: women with lived experience of severe and enduring anorexia nervosa

by

Improved outcomes for adults with eating disorders are possible! Karen, Tanya and Anne could be forgiven for feeling down-hearted after struggling for decades with Severe and Enduring Anorexia Nervosa (SEAN). However, they live in HOPE. This article is a collaboration by three Australian women in their fifties. Between them, they...

Continue reading
advocacy Eating disorders are family disorders

Eating disorders are family disorders

by

Keynote speaker at the 2013 National Eating Disorder Association conference, Dr Thomas Insel, was speaking from the heart when he said, “Eating disorders are family disorders.”* His words remain vital today. When a Federal government shutdown meant Dr Insel could not address the NEDA audience as director of the National...

Continue reading
advocacy Moments of normalcy bring hope in the daily chaos of eating disorder recovery

Moments of normalcy bring hope in the daily chaos of eating disorder recovery

by

Our life in survival mode continues. My daughter Summer and I have returned from another hospital admission and, like previously, are struggling to get back on track. The hospital admissions are always destabilising. We had hoped that a switch would magically turn in Summer’s head this time, but darkness remains....

Continue reading
advocacy My diaries have a new home in the National Library of Australia

My diaries have a new home in the National Library of Australia

by

My eating disorder has gone to Canberra, Australia’s national capital. The eating disorder has travelled there within the pages of my diary collection, acquired by the National Library of Australia (NLA). There, the eating disorder will be open to public scrutiny. Canberra is an eight-hour road journey from where I...

Continue reading
Anorexia The ups and downs of a single mother caring for a child with anorexia

The ups and downs of a single mother caring for a child with anorexia

by

Our journey in the terrifying world of anorexia nervosa continues. We have roller-coasted over the past few months, and my daughter, Summer*, has turned 11. We have made some giant steps forward and a few small ones backward. The biggest one backward is being hospitalised again. Summer had been making...

Continue reading
advocacy Love and shame: exploring my most difficult emotions

Love and shame: exploring my most difficult emotions

by

In learning to recognise my needs and have them met, I’ve also learnt more about emotions and their role in my life. A decade ago, when I was about 40 years old, a four-year-old asked why I was so fat. It was one of those moments when something shifted. If...

Continue reading