End the silence

I spend a lot of time ranting about the many ridiculous or pointless things produced in honor of eating disorders awareness week, so it was a welcome relief when I saw this video.

Go watch it. Seriously. This is the type of message that we need.

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The Dandelion Girl said...

<3 !

I actually chose this year to not doing ANYTHING at all for eating disorder awareness week (I blogged about it... and I think confused people in the process), and spent that energy focusing on my own fight. my own battle. I think sometimes when you have an active eating disorder trying to fight a war that is outside of yourself can serve as a distraction... and that the fact that it's Eating Disorder Awareness Week makes it seem acceptable... commendable. When really? The best thing sometimes is to choose to help yourself. Choose to end the silence by getting help, etc...

and I love this video because it's not about exerting energy towards these productions.... but to things that really matter on the micro level.

Anonymous said...

This video super annoys me, and I'm not even quite sure why. It's obnoxious when people talk about NG tubes and heart rates and crying at dinner. It's not that I feel invalidated (I've been in the hospital, I've cried over dinner...), but I guess I just find talking about the "gory details" of eating disorders so obnoxious - again, not sure why. I agree that I didn't choose to have an eating disorder. I agree eating disorders are not active choices. I've been in a lot of treatment programs, have met lots of people with eating disorders, and have only met one single person who tried to get an eating disorder. I also agree that you have the power to choose recovery. I just don't think this video is the way to spread the message that eating disorders aren't choices. Maybe, instead, explainign the process of how one event (the decision to eat healthier or getting the flu) ends up spiraling into a web of rules without that being the intention would be more helpful in spreading the message?

Anonymous said...

What an amazing young woman you are!!! Congrats on choosing to get better. How fabulous!! It is so so hard, but so so worth it. I choose recovery, after a 5 year battle........and I am never looking back.

I'll be cheering you on!!!

hm said...

I'd press a "like" button of blogs had them. :)

Unknown said...

excellent video.
i'm posting a final blast to ED awareness week tomorrow morning.
i hope you'll check it out. x

NS said...

To the Anonymous who found it obnoxious - I can appreciate your reaction. So much coverage of eating disorders exploits those "gory details" in ways that elicit voyeurism without understanding.
I felt this was different - ironically enumerating these consequences as "choices" has a startling force that can make someone sit up and listen, and hopefully re-think what they may have believed about ed being willful insistance on thinness for the sake of fashion.
Thanks, Carrie, for posting this.

Anonymous said...

NS... I'm the anon. who found it obnoxious... Thanks for your response. What you are saying makes sense, and, actually, your comment helped me understand my own reaction somewhat. When she used the word "choice" I did have a "yucky" feeling in my body as I listened to her. Maybe the yucky feeling was just because it all hit too close to home. The one other thing that bothered me about this, though, is that it's not just the outcome (low HR for example) that makes someone's ED severe.. there are so many people with very severe EDs who were never hospialized, whose HR and labs are fine, etc.... and messages like this with all the "gory details" can make other people with EDs feel like there's doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

*theirs (not there's)

The Dandelion Girl said...

@Anon -- I feel like she went into several different aspects of eating disorders. Was just listing a variety of items...

As someone who's held nearly every diagnosis (except COE and BED) I find it so interesting that so many people WITH eating disorders seem to have this perception of a hierarchy of eating disorders... You want to know something?

Every diagnosis felt the same emotionally.

I was actually worse off physically (except for a medical problem I'm having at present that's resultant from combined years of abuse) when I wasn't diagnosed with anorexia... and have received more treatment as ED-NOS than any of my other diagnoses...

I've written about this before, but it's important so I'm going to say it in Carrie's comments as well... I hate how diagnosis often impacts self-perception of severity...

We can't blame the media for this misconception either since so many people, once again, WITH eating disorders hold it as well.

Anonymous said...

Dandelion - couldn't agree more!!

Carrie Arnold said...


I understand your complaint, and I do agree with you to some extent. Why I don't completely object is that she was using the gory details in service of a point (namely, that eating disorders are not a choice) and she didn't go into way too much detail, like describing her weight, BMI, how much weight she lost, what size she was, what her potassium levels were, etc.

I wish people with other eating disorder diagnoses would make these types of videos as well, not just people with a restricting-type disorder, so that we can circulate them and present other views to the media. I don't do videos--I prefer the written medium--but hats off to those who do.

At the end of the day, I think we need to remember this person's ultimate message: eating disorders aren't a choice, and people need help in order to recover. I thought she had a very powerful way of getting this across despite the fact that she focused mostly on AN-type symptoms and got gory about it. But this was her experience, and I also want to respect that.

Does this make any sense whatsoever?

Anonymous said...

Hi Carrie,

Yeah, what you say does make sense. It's true... it's not this video that is the problem; it's the lack of videos that represent less gory details and less AN-type symptoms that are the problem. Also, who am I to talk? I feel like I've experienced some gory details but those details - while they do have some shock value - are not what made my ED severe, and I do feel like I could produce a video that carries the same message but doesn't mention low HR and NG tubes and hospitals. But I'm not actually making that video... So, I realize I'm not one to criticize.

Connie Almony said...

I liked the video, because I know when I started to control what I ate, I thought I was doing a good thing. I *chose* to "eat better" and not let things as silly as *hunger* rule my life. I mean, what's wrong with that? I now know what was wrong. My hunger was there to help me and I needed to understand how to use it effectively rather than see it as the enemy. I didn't realize how that choice could snowball. This video is probably not for those of us who've been there as much as it is for those on the cusp of the choice. They need to see what's on the other side so they can make a better decision. And for those who need to focus on the healing process rather than spreading awareness... that's wise!!! Just like on an airplane when the airbags come down in an emergency. You need to put it on yourself so you don't pass out before you can help your child. That's not in any way selfish--just smart.

desertdwellerjh@gmail.com said...

So powerful. THere is a judge who I would like more than anything to see this video so she (the judge) will understand just what is going on with my daughter.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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