Tag Archives: Anorexia Nervosa

Men, women, and idioms of distress

Mary Seeman Toronto, Ontario, Canada   What pedisyon may feel like. Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels. In all cultures there is a place for illness that is not easily explained by individual pathology. It is usually attributed to larger societal unrest, with some individuals responding to that unrest with somatic or psychological symptoms. When […]

A picture of ill-health: the illness of Elizabeth Siddal

Emily Boyle Dublin, Ireland   Fig. 1 Ophelia, Sir John Everett Millais 1851-2, Tate Britain, London It is difficult to think of Ophelia, one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, without bringing to mind the famous depiction of her by John Everett Millais. In Hamlet, the sensitive and fragile Ophelia is driven mad by grief after […]

Shadow self

Anna Byrd Los Angeles, California, United States   Rice Bowl, Photo by Anna Byrd, 2017 When was I was twenty-three years old and weighed ninety-eight pounds, I thought I was fat. I wanted to look like a model, except my hair was falling out, I was bleeding from my nose and ears in my sleep, […]

The elimination game

Kelley Yuan Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA   Anorexia nervosa. Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpêtrière. “Un cas d’anorexie hysterique” 1900. Xylophone ribs and sunken cheeks. A body desperate for food paired with a mind determined to starve. Here lies anorexia nervosa’s cruel paradox, of a body betrayed and a brain allowing it to waste away. The protest […]

Body matters

Grace Lucas Cambridge, UK   Thinking from the ground up I had this friend once. She was around for a long time – years.  I do not remember the first time I met her, but suddenly she was there, omnipresent. She was thrilling and intoxicating to be with, and made me feel high, light, and […]

Charcot and his “grandes hysteriques”

André Brouillet illustration of “Une leçon clinique à la Salpêtrière.” Shown are several famous physicians of the time, Gilles de la Tourette (wearing the apron), Pierre Marie (seated third on the right), Babinski (supporting the patient), and Charcot (demonstrating the effects of hypnosis on one of his “grandes hysteriques”). Perhaps no other physician in history […]