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Welcome to Body Image Week February 6, 2006

Posted by Winter in body politics.

In honour of Eating Disorder Awareness Week we declare this Body Image Week here at Mind the Gap. Over the next few days, we’ll be posting a range of material created and collected by our group members for our forthcoming body image zine.

Towards body power….



1. Louise Whittle - February 7, 2006

RE: eating disorder. I have to say that I think the word “disorder” only medicalises the issue. The mental health user movement renamed it an “eating distress” as a way of getting away from the psychiatric definition.

It also enables people to describe their own experiences as opposed to be told what they are going through from some diagnostic medical textbook.

Overall, the psychiatric system sucks when it comes to “treating” eating distress. Another phrase is medieval torture…


2. Winter - February 7, 2006

I wasn’t aware of that and hadn’t really thought about the terminology. “Disorder” is rather unfortunate word with all its connotations really.

3. Winter - February 7, 2006

If anyone from Mind the Gap would prefer to use the term “eating distress” in their material please let me know and I’ll change it before posting!

4. Louise Whittle - February 7, 2006

There is a useful book regarding this called “Eating Distress” by Louise Pembroke (ISBN:1898002002).

The book came out of a conference (1993) organised by people who had experiences of the mental health system due to an eating distress with the majority being women.

It was really a way of making themselves heard hence the book.

The aim of the mental health survivor movement was to get beyond labels such as “mental disorder”, “eating disorder” and so on as these are rooted in a medical model and distress is actually reduced to meaningless categories.
As someone who “survived” the system, I always use “distress” to describe my experiences.

There is also a booklet called “Eating Distress” produced by the mental-health charity MIND. It is really a guide about what it means with basic advice etc.

Sorry for the long post…


5. Winter - February 7, 2006

I’d like to compile a list of useful books on this subject for a post this week so I’ll add those.

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