Eating Disorders And Art Therapy

Art therapy can be a very beneficial tool in the treatment of eating disorders. Here are some examples of how others have used art to help their recovery.

"FAITH. HOPE. LOVE. LIGHT. These are all real pictures of me. Now, a little more than a year later, my health and heart are filled with hope. We are all beautiful and we all deserve to live the lives we have dreamed. While in my eating disorder I was dead to the world, now in recovery I am a goddess of the earth. I never thought that I would survive the ups and downs of my recovery but pain doesn't last forever and the battle gets easier if you stand strong. God Bless, keep faith, RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE. You are a blessing to this earth and you deserve all that you can dream."
Video by brittybr

"I've always found art to be a creative and soothing outlet for my emotions, particularly the art of collaging. These are a collection of collages from the past 5 years as i've worked towards recovery."

Video by Shanzeeegirl

"Karin used art therapy to deal with her eating disorder. Now she makes spoon pendants and sees the beauty that can be created out of mistakes."
Video by RealWomenRealAdvice

See also:
The Use Of Art Therapy In The Treatment Of Eating Disorders
Relapse Prevention: Eating Disorder Recovery

Recovery Quote Of The Week: March 28th, 2009

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today."
Dale Carnegie

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When You Think You Might Have An Eating Disorders

An excellent video by Holdingon.

Recovery Quote Of The Week: March 21st, 2009

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul."
Emily Dickenson

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ED News: Recent Eating Disorders' News Articles

Claudia Faniello Speaks Out About The Monster That Ruled Her Life

Times of Malta

For years, the first thing popular singer Claudia Faniello thought about when she woke up was how she would get rid of the food she ate that day.
That thought remained with her until she closed her eyes in the evening.
"It was like a monster living inside me, something which stole my identity," she said about bulimia, the eating disorder that ruled most of her teenage years.
Speaking at the University as part of a campaign by medical students to raise awareness about eating disorders, the 21-year-old recounted how she first fell prey to bulimia.
"I was always very conscious of my body image and knew that if I wanted to take up a singing career I had to watch my weight. I felt chubby and was unhappy with the way I looked. I don't remember the moment I realised I could get rid of the food I ate by throwing up," she said.
But at 14 she began poking her fingers deep in her mouth to throw up after eating something she felt was not good for her. After some time, this became a daily routine and Ms Faniello started inducing vomiting even after drinking a glass of water.
"The situation was getting worse and whatever went into my mouth had to come back out. It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up in the morning and the last thing before going to sleep at night."

Read in full here.


New Campaign Helps Parents with Kids with Eating Disorders


Miss America 2008 has joined with Pennsylvania's Renfrew Center in a new program to help parents fight eating disorders in their children.
The Renfrew Center's
Mom's L.U.V campaign is designed to encourage parents to help their teens battle eating disorders. Miss America 2008 Kristen Haglund battled anorexia nervosa when she was 12. Her parents, both nurses, identified what was going on and took Kristen for treatment.
Kristen says many times, parents suspect but are not empowered enough to get involved:

Read in full here.


Teenage Latinas Stitch Together A Positive Body Image
by Meribah Knight

The six girls sitting in the church basement come here every Thursday to learn the 101’s of sewing and pattern making, but tonight they are in for a very different lesson.
“Do any of you watch the media or watch TV and say ‘I want to be that person and if I don’t dress like her I don’t feel good about myself?’” asks Kerstin Collett, who leads the class in Holy Cross Church in Chicago’s Back of the Yards.
A resounding “noooooooo, no, no, no,” reverberates across the room.
Today the sewing machines have been put away and instead drawn on the board are three shapes: the hourglass, the triangle and the inverted triangle. They represent the variety of shapes that women come in, and Collett hopes they will provide a frame of reference for the girls to categorize their own figures.
Measuring tapes are brought out and the students, ages 12 to 16, take their measurements in preparation for the patterns they will create for themselves. No sizes and no brands, just their ideas and their bodies.
A growing population at risk
While these girls are adamant that the allure of stick-thin models has no hold on them, their age and demographic tell a different story.

Read in full here.


There She Is, Strong and Healthy: Miss America 2008 Speaks Out On Eating Disorders

By Korie Wilkins

She poses like a champion, one foot in front of the other, a dazzling -- yet not forced-looking -- smile at the ready.
And even when she's asked the same questions over and over, when she has to shake one more hand, smile for one more picture or when yet another little girl begs to see her sparkly crown, Farmington Hills, Mich., native Kirsten Haglund -- Miss America 2008 -- obliges.
After all, she's more than a beauty queen. She's a role model for women, especially those who suffer from eating disorders.
Her mother, Iora Haglund, never thought she'd see her daughter go to college -- let alone be crowned Miss America. Just five years ago, Kirsten Haglund was so sick, so deep in the throes of anorexia, her family had shelved dreams of a normal future and was just trying to get her back to being healthy.
But Haglund managed to overcome it, and is now trying to help others with eating disorders though a nonprofit she started, the Kirsten Haglund Foundation.
"I have to give back," says Haglund, 20. "That's very important to me. We're all given struggles in our lives. We have to use those struggles for good.

Read in full here.


Emotions Can Help Predict Future Eating Disorders


A PhD thesis at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has analysed the role played by a number of emotional variables, such as the way in which negative emotions are controlled or attitudes to emotional expression, and to use these variables as tools to predict the possibility of suffering an eating disorder.

The author of the thesis, Ms. Aitziber Pascual Jimeno, presented her work under the title, Emotions and emotional control in eating disorders: predictor role and emotional profiles.*
This work focused on two objectives: to find out if certain emotional variables play an significant role in the development of these disorders; and to know in more detail the emotional profiles, both of women at risk of contracting an eating disorder as well as of those already suffering from one.
To this end, the following emotional variables have been specified: those relative to emotional experience —the frequency of positive and negative emotions, anxiety, low self-esteem and the influence of diet, weight and the body shape on the emotional state—; negative perception of emotions, negative attitude to emotional expression, alexithymia —the inability to identify own emotions and to express them verbally— and the manner of controlling negative emotions.
Moreover, another variable has also been taken into account: the need for control. This variable is not strictly emotional, but has a clear emotional component, given that people with a high need for control, experience anxiety and unwellness when perceiving lack of control.

Read in full here.


Running On Empty Can Be Deadly For Young Female Athletes

By Tom Held

Research has pinpointed the physical components of the female athlete triad: disordered eating, disrupted menstrual cycles and osteoporosis.
Doug DeVinny lives the emotional element: grief.
His daughter, Alex, was a state champion in cross country and track at Racine Park High School in 2003 and 2004. She won scores of races but lost the battle with anorexia nervosa, and died of heart failure at age 20.

It’s her memory that compelled DeVinny to organize the “Running on Empty” conference at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside this Friday, bringing together experts on the specific threats to young female athletes. Anne Hoch, director of women’s sports medicine at the Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin will be the keynote speaker.
“It is very difficult for my wife and I to do this,” DeVinny said. “Part of the mission, part of what we owe to our daughter, what we couldn’t do for her, perhaps we can do for somebody else.
“I hate to sound so evangelical about it, but we are obligated to that in a sense, and we want to do that.”
Much of the public knows the story of Alex DeVinny, the high school champion who earned an athletic scholarship to South Carolina University. She drew acclaim and attention with her instant success as a tiny freshman.
That public shine hid much of her private struggle.

Read in full here.


Students In Bid To Beef Up Awareness Of Eating Disorders
by Cynthia Busuttil

Medical students have taken it upon themselves to raise awareness about eating disorders after finding that university students are poorly informed about such conditions.
A survey carried out last week among some 150 students found that many were under the impression that it was only the stick-thin people who suffered from eating disorders and that these problems all revolved around weight loss.
"In fact, compulsive overeating was never mentioned," student Alexia Farrugia said, adding that very few students thought of eating disorders as a psychological problem.
This was not an unexpected result since an exercise by the Malta Medical Students Association last December found that adults had very little knowledge about eating disorders.
Very few students knew that eating disorders could affect both males and females and even fewer were aware that it could affect adults, thinking it was a disorder that solely affected teenage girls. Although teenage girls are the most common sufferers, everyone can be affected by the condition.
"We felt the need to raise awareness and inform students about eating disorders and how to recognise symptoms," Claire Cassar, a second-year student, said.

Read in full here.

sources linked above

We Can Do It!: Eating Disorder Recovery

video by: ilovegooner

Recovery Quote Of The Week: March 5th, 2009

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born."
Dr. Dale Turner

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