May 29, 2011
by jane douglas
My 18-year-old daughter K is a brave survivor of Anorexia Nervosa. But it was a close thing – three times we almost lost her. The evil dragon almost took my girl – but we beat him back one spoonful at at time. Well established in her recovery, K is now at the university of her dreams studying the course of her dreams – unthinkable just two years ago. I’m so, so proud of her.
I’m studying at uni, too. This study period I took a unit in digital art. For the final assessment, we were required to produce four related photomontages around the theme of fractured identity. I chose to base mine on my daughter’s anorexia journey – an agonising fight to integrate and restore ownership of her psyche and save her life.
The best evidence to hand suggests that Anorexia is a psychiatric illness with a genetic base and organic symptoms, so I am in no means wanting to lay the blame for my daughter’s condition at the feet of Christianity. But it cannot be ignored that children from Christian homes are significantly over-represented in child and adolescent psychiatric institutions. Many of those young people are victims of Anorexia or other eating disorders.
Because of this, I imagine there might be numerous visitors here whose lives have been touched by this insidious and deadly disease. So, I thought I’d post my art here in the hope it may be an encouragement to someone.
NOTE: For parents who suspect their child may be at risk, some of the best advice on the internet about Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and other eating disorders is available at F.E.A.S.T. and Maudsley Parents. I doubt my daughter would have made it had I not been able to access their excellent information and support.