Books on the Weighty Battle against Anorexia

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It started with dieting then soon gets out of control. All of a sudden, the image on the mirror is someone you could no longer recognize – emaciated exterior, thinning and falling hair, puffiness of arms and legs, finger stains, and excessive weight loss – then you asked, “is this me?” Of course it’s you, the same old you, except that now, you have anorexia.

The Disorder

Anorexia nervosa is both an emotional and a psychiatric disorder exemplified by unusual eating behavior and rigorous self-stimulated weight loss. Individuals suffering from anorexia have a tremendous apprehension of putting on weight, leading them to attempt at all cost in maintaining a very low weight. These people will do anything to avoid increasing their weight levels to the point of becoming malnourished or exhausting themselves from too much exercise. They have a warped image of their bodies and frequently feel that their sense of worth is attached to how skinny they are. In the U.S. alone, approximately 30,000,000 people of all ages and sexual categories put up with anorexia.

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Books to Provide Understanding

As cliché goes, “knowledge is power,” so in order to avoid getting distressed with this ailment and alarming statistical data, one needs to gather facts and gain understanding about this disorder. One interesting read is Carrie Arnold’s 1st edition of Decoding Anorexia: How Breakthroughs in Science Offer Hope for Eating Disorders. Arnold’s books is the first volume to give details regarding anorexia nervosa from a genetic standpoint. Decoding is a book jampacked with user-friendly depictions of the heredity and neuroscience aspects behind the ailment; it also contains first person accounts and individual descriptions of what genetic dissimilarities mean to those who suffer from this disorder. A trained scientist, science writer, and a victim of anorexia herself, Carrie Arnold ushers in readers about 1) how environment posits an influence on people’s behavior, 2) who are  at high risk of developing anorexia nervosa, 3) why anorexics think hunger is “gratifying,” 4) why rejection is such a prominent attribute, and 5) how victims can triumph over it.

Another fascinating book on anorexia is Harriet Brown’s Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia. Published in 2011, Brave Girl is the latest, the most pertinent, and truthful account of a family’s encounter with the life menacing challenges of anorexia. Brown creatively interlaced history, science, compassion and sensitivity all throughout this forceful yet loving narrative.

Then there’s Shannon Lagasse’s Why Can’t You Just Eat?: A Look Inside the Mind of Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder. This 130-page volume published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform talks about how Shannon, a high school student achiever, went astray due to her cruel eating disorder that nobody saw coming. The book spins around the many years of treatment, rehabilitation, despondency, commitment, and willpower that Shannon and members of her family underwent in order to triumph over her acute disorder. The book also shows how they transformed together the excruciating expedition of combating the ailment back to living a blissful and vigorous existence. Lagasse’s landmark manuscript unmistakably portrays what an eating disorder is like, not so much on the surface (in practices and manners), but on the inside, more on emotions and way of thinking. Through the pages of Shannon’s book, the reader will be led into the core of anorexia, body dysmorphia, bulimia, depression and binge eating disorder. If you have been struggling to understand eating disorders, this book is surely for you.

It might be worrisome and absolutely scary to be afflicted with this unsettling disorder, but it is not the end of the world. Books about it are plentiful. Read on and combat anorexia nervosa.

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