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Four Must Read Books For Anyone Struggling with an Eating Disorder

Four Must Read Books For Anyone Struggling with an Eating Disorder

Reading books are not only a great way to relax and take a quick break from reality but often reading about other individual’s journeys and experiences can give you a different perspective on life, especially if you are going through a rough patch. Eating disorders affect 30 million individuals in the United States, and many individuals turn to support groups, online platforms, and the Internet for advice on ways to cope. Books are also a great resource to give insight into what others have lived through during their eating disorder battles. Memoirs and personal non-fiction stories can provide humbling advice to others who are on the path to recovery. Below is a book list that is meant to help, inspire and share the truths about others’ journeys in eating disorder recovery. Even if there’s just one book on here that makes a difference, that’s still significant as anything that is considered a step forward on the path to recovery is a step in the right direction. Although these do not serve as a treatment for eating disorders, these can provide a lot of light and hope for anyone who is on the uphill battle.

  1. Massive by Julia Bell

This young adult novel centers on a 17-year-old British girl named Carmen, whose mother thinks that being thin is the answer to all of life’s problems. This verbiage then rubs off on Carmen, leading to her developing anorexia. It’s very insightful to watch Carmen internalize her mother’s comments and see how they end up affecting her.

Studies have shown that parental verbiage and actions around food and weight can have a significant impact when it comes time to the development of eating disorders.

  1. Healing Your Hungry Heart By Joanna Poppink

If you want to read a practical, how-to guide to eating disorder recovery or learn about how you can help someone in the recovery process, this book is for you. Psychologist Joanna Poppink offers very clinical, technical information in an accessible and easy-to-read way, making this book more of a pleasure read versus a textbook. Poppink not only provides practical advice, but also covers subjects like sexuality and family relationships that are often affected by eating disorders, yet not discussed as a part of the healing process. This book leaves you with a solid roadmap to navigate recovery with and is also a good read for to those who want to help someone in their recovery process.

  1. Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder by Nadia Shivack

In an inpatient unit of a hospital where she went for treatment, Nadia Shivack wrote and drew on napkins after meals to keep the food in and calm the voices in her head. These pictures, together with others drawn on notebook paper and a variety of other surfaces, tell an unflinchingly honest story of a woman’s lifelong battle with anorexia and bulimia. Raw, brave, and brilliant, Nadia’s journey takes readers to the intimate corners of these misunderstood diseases. You will never think about eating disorders in the same way again.

  1. Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders by Aimee Liu

In 1979, Aimee Liu penned the groundbreaking memoir Solitaire, in which she described her battle with anorexia. Now, three decades later, Liu shares her story and those of her peers who are still struggling to understand the role anorexia and bulimia have played in their lives.

Many eating disorder professionals believe that eating disorders are lifelong disorders that are never really cured but instead individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms to prevent from engaging in dangerous eating disorder behaviors.

For a more comprehensive list of books, including audiobooks, on eating disorders and body image; GoodReads (link) is an excellent source for all the best picks.

Center For Discovery