I had a chance to hear Trisha Gura speak recently. Trisha is a biologist and science writer by trade, but now focuses on writing about the personal and psychological aspects of eating disorders. Trisha recently completed a book called "Lying in Weight". I definitely encourage you to check out her Web site at www.trishagura.com. A couple of highlights from her talk:
* Trisha talked about the chemical differences in the brains of people with and without eating disorders. One of the effects of these chemical disparities is that they make it difficult, if not impossible, for sufferers to accurately visualize what they look like. In other words, self-image isn't a mental problem for people with eating disorders, it's a biochemical problem.
* Trisha discussed the importance of "discovery" to get to "recovery". This discovery is personal to each sufferer, and is basically the way (or ways) that they gain a better sense of self and something to anchor and grow the positive parts of their lives. This can be writing in a journal, or art therapy, or volunteering to help others. Trisha stressed that it's up to the sufferer to find and follow through on their discovery, and the role of loved ones is to encourage this path of discovery.
Lots more stats and insights at her site. Check it out.