Monday, January 08, 2007


I rented a documentary done by HBO called Thin. It was very good. It was very sad. It was very hopeless. It was about four women who went to a reha center for eating disorders. One was a psychiatric nurse who weighed 82 pounds and was suicidal. She was about 25. Another was a 30 year old woman who had been there a few weeks and got up to 115 pounds. Another had had her disorder from the age of 8. When she came to the center, she was losing her hair and had liver damage. She was 15. Her mother also had a disorder. The last was a divorced mother of 2 children. She admitted herself for her children's sake.

Every single one of these women said they would do anything to be thin, whether they died in the process or not. They couldn't see themsleves the way they really were. One of the therapists had a woman draw a life size picture of herself-what she thought she looked like. Then the therapist traced the woman's outline inside the drawing she'd done of herself. The woman couldn't believe that it was really her outline on the paper. She hadn't been able to see herself the way she really was.

My roommate was watching it with me, and one thing she said she noticed was that other than what I just wrote, the doctors/nutritionists/therapists really didn't do much to help the girls' mental disorder. Their solution was all about eating and getting back to a healthy weight.

I think eating disorders are more of a psychological problem than anything else (and you're thinking well, ya think? but if it's so obvious, why aren't they treating it as a psychological disorder?).

An interesting thing to me, as a Social Work major, was that the workers there viewed the girls as patients. Maybe a better way to describe it would be to picture it as someone in Star Wars alking to the clones. They can understand, they think and function as normal humans, but they aren't individuals. They aren't capable of the things that make humans unique. The emotions, love, individual will.

That's how it seemed the workers were treating the women. I can't say I blame them. They were very nice. I know it has to be hard to view people as people after a while in that type of field. When you think of a person as a human being, you realize that they feel, and that they are hurting. You have to realize that they are capable of making their own decisions, and that no matter what you tell them, if they are not willing to be helped, you can't do anything to fix them. Not that we really can fix anyone anyways.

Anyways, I thought it was interesting that every single one of the women the documentary focused on went right back to their disorders when they left the treatment center. The mother, however, went back to the center a second time, and after that she was able to maintain a healthy weight.

The other women were only trying to get better for themselves. The mother, obviously, had her children to think about. I think that's why she was the only one to get at least somewhat better. If you re trying to get over something for no other person than yourself, I think it's next to imossible. Interesting.

Well it was a sad video to watch. I like to see the ways people try to deal with hard things in their lives though. I wish hard things didn't happen, but they do. Maybe it's a wierd interest to have, but there you have it. I saw We Are Marshall a couple nights ago, and that's a movie that's all about dealing with loss.

Some people fight it out, others escape. There's not one way for everyone. But not every way is right either.

You can hide grief. You can suppress it. It will come out though. At some point in time, in some way, it will force its way out.

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