carnival of eating disorders, august 2008 edition

welcome to the august 2008 edition of the carnival of eating disorders! there is a lot of interesting material, so i’ll do the same that i do with the buddhist carnival and present the articles in two different posts. this first post will deal with anorexia. the second will deal with body image and overeating.

exorcism for anorexia?
good news – a religious cult which was curing anorexia with exorcism is in serious trouble. here are some of the strange goings-on at mercy ministries:

“the counsellor gave me a list of different demons – demon of anger, demon of unforgiveness, demon of pride, there were lots of them and i was told to go away and circle the demons i had in me or around me,” said smith.”i was really scared… they cast demons out of me, one by one, and they became quite excited and animated during the process, and spoke in tongues.

“it was the counsellors and myself and they put their hands on me and started praying one by one for each of the demons that were on the list to be cast out of me.

“after each demon was cast out i had to say ‘i confirm the demon of x has been cast out of me in the name of jesus and is unwelcome to return.’

“the whole time i was there, all i heard was that i’m demonic.

“even after the exorcism, when i had the next anxiety attack, i was told that they had already cast the demons out, so therefore i was obviously either faking it, or i had chosen to let the demons come back, in which case i was not serious about getting better.

anorexia and bulimia on social media
this post refers to an article that appeared last year but it’s probably even more important today than 12 months ago. eating disorders are rampant on social media, it says. that’s true. but so is the opposite. here on this blog, for example, we have the anorexia recovery forum where people speak actively against “the voice of ana”. for those of you unfamiliar with the term, “ana” is a sort of pet name for anorexia, as is “mia” for bulimia).

a drug for anorexia?
medusa reports on canadian research on a drug that might help some people with anorexia

a drug used to treat schizophrenia may be a new tool to help patients with anorexia gain weight and control their obsessive thoughts about food.

new canadian research has found that when anorexia patients take olanzapine, they gain weight, feel calmer and do not have the obsessive thoughts about weight and food that characterize the debilitating condition.

recovery milestones
angel has a beautiful post where she envisions recovery from eating disorders:

we have binged, starved, purged, and obsessed in an effort to manage unwelcome emotions. the solution to an eating disorder has to do with accepting our thoughts and feelings, and finding safe and responsible ways to express them. there is no magic about recovery. recovery means rebuilding trust with ourselves and others, taking careful risks to learn what is safe and good for us. when we can take responsibility for understanding our needs, and getting them met, then we will walk free.

from overeating to anorexia
in his article paul mckenna owes courtney love an apology, joshua seth says, “yes, it is possible to lose too much weight. there is such a thing as a healthy range. and unfortunately singer courtney love seems to have taken weight loss hypnosis a bit too far.” this is interesting because it brings up a host of misconceptions about eating disorders and specifically about anorexia. this is such an important topic that i’ll talk about that in a future article, some time before the next carnival of eating disorders.

i’ll post part 2 tomorrow, september 1. in the meantime, if you have an article you’d like to see here, please let me know, using this submission form.


  1. I just finished reading this post, and just could not believe the top section about anorexia and exorcism. I had to read the subsequent articles to actually take it in, truly horrific! I was absolutely gobsmacked. Thanks for the link, it was a real eye opener!

    Lola Snow’s last blog post..To Binge, or Not to Binge

  2. This post took me back to when I lived in the “Bible Belt” and was suffering terribly from my eating disorder. I had already been through treatment…and a relapse…and was very, very sick. My boyfriend at the time made an exorcism appointment for me with a local pastor. It didn’t seem horrifying because I grew up in a religious family with Pentecostal roots. Of course the “excorcism of my demons” did not cure my ED, but caused more guilt, shame and depression (ie: I must be such a horrible sinner in God’s eyes because he isn’t healing me.)

    Anyhow, I’m grateful that this organization of charlatans was exposed. My heart goes out to the victims.

    P.S. I am researching the relationship between pregnancy, motherhood and eating disorders and would be grateful if you posted my website link on your site.

    Lesa’s last blog post..How Do You Like Your momAgenda?

  3. hi lola and lesa – interesting (and sad) to find that you actually have experience with this, lesa.

    of course this is similar to other mental health issues; i actually have a number of posts here that address how some churches deal with mental health issues, here for example.

    re the pregnancy survey – how about you submit the post to the next carnival of eating disorders, or write a little guest blog about it?

  4. I won’t take anything synthetic. I only take herbal diet pills to keep my body fat low and my energy high, as I am a semi-professional athlete and I need to be at peak performance while I keep my weight down. There is no such thing as a magic pill though, because you still have to exercise and have a least a decent nutritional plan to stay in great shape.

    weight loss plan’s last blog post..Weight Control

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