Response to KUOW’s Program Eating Disorders: Through the Looking Glass
- by Liz Goodwin
“Are you there God? It's me, Margaret. I just told my mother I want a bra. Please help me grow God. You know where. I want to be like everyone else.”
- Judy Blume
In recognition of National Eating Disorder Week, KUOW ran a program on February 28th titled Eating Disorders: Through the Looking Glass. Author Marya Hornbacher, student Emy Stewart, and clinical director Jeanne Wicomb joined Steve Scher in a conversation intending to address the plight of anorexia and bulimia, the impact of the diseases on family and health, underlying issues, and how culture affects the disorder.
The program did, in fact, explore these dimensions. Emy Stewart shared the social and family messages that contribute to her struggle. Jeanne Wicomb described what treatment can look like for people in recovery. Marya Hornbacher talked about how industrialized nations find higher percentages of the disorder. Stewart, Wicomb and Hornbacher shared the concept of a ‘recovery voice’ and an ‘eating disorder voice.’ The participants discussed how eating disorders can function as a strategy to manage anxiety. Social and environment factors like family pressure, images we are fed, and peer pressure, were all threaded through. As was the understanding that body control or lack there of, in the form of anorexia, overeating, and bulimia also function to hold back the tide of big emotions and, we might add here, trauma experiences that live lodged in the body. All of this, of course, is a lot to cover.
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