Brave Girl Eating by Harriet Brown is a story about a family struggling against anorexia. It gives completely new insights into anorexia, and I’m very glad I read the book. Harriet Brown is a journalist, who peppers the narrative with research, so I better understand where she’s coming from, but also what the “experts” say.
The therapist in me wants to focus on the research, but if you want to know more about the research, you’ll probably read the book. It’s engaging, terrifying, funny at times, honest, and both easy and hard to read. I had trouble putting it down, because I wanted to know more about 14 year old Kitty and her family. They don’t waste time speculating on the causes of Kitty’s anorexia. After all, anorexia is often fatal, so the family didn’t care much how she got it or why. Mostly, they focused on first, keeping her alive, then helping her get better.
I’m always happy when a book like this comes out, and hopefully helps de-stigmatizes mental illness. Our brains are part of our body… so why, when it comes to mental illness, do we treat it as something separate or different? We are whole people, not just different parts. I’m not my wide feet, small hands, pretty eyes, or smart brain. I’m the sum of the whole. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, any more than high blood pressure or diabetes is something to be ashamed of.
And this concludes my rant.
If you’re looking for a good non-fiction book or a narrative on anorexia, this is one I’d highly recommend.
Harriet Brown doesn’t post on her blog anymore, but it still has good info. It can be found here.