Diet of Despair: A Book about Eating Disorders for Young People and Their Families
Publication Year: 2007
Subject: Eating Disorders Counseling
SPECIAL MENTION TES/NASEN BEST ACADEMIC BOOK AWARD `Anna has written a very descriptive book of her feeling and the difficult times she went through as she struggled with anorexia. The book gives advice, recovery ideas and encouragement for those who suffer eating disorders' - International Woman `I enjoyed her style of writing and would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in eating disorders' - Signpost `Provides a valuable insight into how a young person with an eating disorder thinks and feels' - Contact a Family `The style is clear and engaging and ought to reach young people who are experiencing difficulties. The level of information contained would be of equal value to the families of these young people in helping them understand the emotions ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
Part One: Learning about Eating Disorders
- Chapter 1: What is Anorexia Nervosa?
- Chapter 2: What is Bulimia Nervosa?
- Chapter 3: Are There Any other Eating Disorders?
- Chapter 4: Do Boys and Men Get Eating Disorders?
- Chapter 5: What are the Dangers of Eating Disorders?
- Chapter 6: Why Do Eating Disorders Start?
- Chapter 7: Do Thin Women in the Media Influence Me?
- Chapter 8: Am I Happy That My Body is Changing?
- Chapter 9: Why Do I Feel I Have to Be Perfect?
- Chapter 10: Why Do I Feel That Everything is My Fault?
- Chapter 11: Do I Have Problems with My Body Image?
- Chapter 12: Why Do I Think about Food All the Time?
- Chapter 13: What is the ‘Voice’?
- Chapter 14: Why Do I Feel the Need to Hurt Myself?
- Chapter 15: Am I Happy at Home?
Part Two: Recovering from an Eating Disorder
© Anna Paterson 2002
Reprinted 2002, 2007
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Author Photo[Page 3]Biography
“Diet Of Despair” is Anna Paterson's second book. Her first book “Anorexic” (Westworld International, 2000) was an autobiographical account of her 14 year struggle with anorexia. Anna is now recovered and spends her time trying to help other eating disorder sufferers who contact her daily. She works to raise awareness about the reality of these illnesses and is regularly asked to speak about her experiences. Anna is currently completing her third book “Running On Empty”, a novel about eating disorders for young people. She lives with her fiancé Simon, who helps her with all aspects of her work including editing her books and they are currently saving up for their first house.
[Page 4]I want to thank Simon for his tireless support and help with this book every step of the way. I now think he knows as much about eating disorders as I do.
I also want to thank my very dear friend Mike Robeson for all the invaluable help he has given me whilst I was writing this book.
Closing Thoughts[Page 204]
I have tried to show you the reality of what it is like to live with an eating disorder. These are not ‘lifestyles’ or ‘fashionable’ illnesses and they cause great pain for a lot of people. There are solutions and I have outlined many of them for you to try. The most important message I want to leave you with is never give up hope. Eating disorders CAN be beaten and although it will often be quite a long and difficult fight, it is a fight worth winning. I did not believe that I would ever beat my illness. I thought that I would end up as a long-term anorexic for life. My recovery did take many months and even though I still occasionally have minor problems with my body image, I now know how to deal with these in a healthier way. I have no problems with food any more and love eating a full and healthy diet.
Sadly, many people still do not understand eating disorders. The media often talks about anorexia as “the slimmer's disease” and describes sufferers as just “difficult teenage girls” who refuse to eat. As I have shown in this book, eating disorders are very complex. They are not simply illnesses about weight or food - they run much deeper than that. I believe that it is vital to discover WHY your illness began in the first place and you will need courage, knowledge and support if you are to beat it.
If you are worried about a friend who has recently started to lose weight, try talking with them. Be kind, patient and understanding when you speak. Tell them your fears, ask if they would like help, offer your support and try to encourage them to visit a doctor. Don't shout at sufferers or try to force them to eat though, because this will only cause more problems. If you are at school, how about going to see a teacher together to explain the problem? Eating disorders should not be ignored. Many people feel afraid of discussing the subject because sufferers can sometimes become very defensive when they are confronted. However, if you care about someone then you ARE doing the right thing by seeking help for them. You cannot just sit back and allow them to harm themselves. That is not care but is actually a form of neglect.
If you are a sufferer and decide that you WANT to get better, remember to take recovery at your own pace. Don't allow others to force you into moving faster than you can manage and ask for help every step of the way. There is a list of addresses of different organisations at the back of this book if you need some extra support. Don't be alone with your eating disorder. For further information about eating disorders and recovery, please come and visit me at my website: http://www.annapaterson.com
I hope that I have been able to help you by sharing my knowledge and experience of these illnesses with you, and have left you with some real hope for the future.
List of Useful Addresses[Page 211]Eating Disorder Associations (Worldwide)
Eating Disorders Association
First Floor, Wensum House
103 Prince of Wales Road
Norwich NR1 1DW
Telephone Helpline: 01603 621414 (Open Mon-Fri 9.00 am – 18.30 pm)
Youth Helpline: 01603 765050 (Open Mon-Fri 16.00 to 18.30 pm)
National Association of Anorexia nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)
P O Box 7
British Columbia Eating Disorders Association
526 Michigan Street
Canada V8V 1S2
Eating Disorders Association
P O Box 80 142
Tel: 09 818 9561; 09 627 8493; 09 523 3531; 09 523 1308
[Page 212]The Eating Disorders Association
53 Railway Terrace
Tel: (07) 3876 2500
For after hours help - Lifeline: 131114
Kids Helpline: 1800 551800
Parents Helpline: 1300 301 300Therapy and Counselling Organisations
The Institute of Family Therapy
24-32 Stephenson Way
London NW1 2HX
Tel: 020 7391 9150
Fax: 020 7391 9169
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
167-169 Great Portland Street
London W1W 5PF
Tel: 020 7436 3002
Fax: 020 7436 3013
United Kingdom Register of Counsellors
P O Box 1050
Tel: 0870 443 5232
Fax: 0870 443 5161
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: http://www.bac.co.uk[Page 213]Other Useful Organisations
London N1 OBR
Tel: 0800 1111 (Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
Tel: 0845 790 9090 or 0114 245 6789 (help 24 hours a day)
2 Grosvenor Gardens
London SW1W 0DH
Tel: 020 7730 3300
Fax: 020 7730 7081
Rape Crisis Federation
7 Mansfield Road
Nottingham NG1 3FB
Tel: 0115 934 8474 (9.00 am - 5 pm Monday to Friday - answerphone at other times)
Fax: 0115 934 8470
Minicom: 0115 934 8473
Victim Support (England and Wales)
39 Brixton Road
London SW9 6DZ
Tel: 0845 30 30 900 (Low-call rate: 9.00 am - 9.00 pm weekdays, 9.00 am to 7.00 pm weekends)
Tel: 020 7735 9166
Fax: 020 7582 5712
[Page 214]A new novel written by Anna Paterson to be published in 2002:Running on Empty
“Useless! That's what you are! Totally useless! A waste of space!”
The words hit Julia like a slap in the face. She started to back away from her Father into the furthest corner of the room. His anger was frightening as the words continued to race from his mouth, his face growing a deeper red with every passing minute.
“Why can't you be more like your brother? He's a success, but you - YOU ARE JUST A FAILURE!”
Julia's feelings of failure started her off down a very dark road. Her strong desire to disappear led her to begin dieting but this was no ordinary diet. Julia was now slowly starving herself to death. However, although she didn't know it, she wasn't the only one in her class with problems. Susan and Linda also had eating disorders, which were different but just as dangerous. Will they all be able to find the courage to help one another before it's too late?