Treatment for eating disorders often occurs in small, private counseling offices or isolated treatment centers, where clients’ voices remain inaccessible. Meanwhile, therapists, nutritionists, and doctors discuss “best practices” for treating those with eating disorders. In this article, the author provides a personal account of her struggle not only with anorexia nervosa but also with various treatments. Relying on journals kept for over ten years, the author utilizes poststructuralist, critical theory to argue that many therapies and medications used in the treatment of her anorexia were unhelpful. She then describes how a more thoughtful/participatory/egalitarian approach for helping those with eating issues, one that relies less on labeling and more on empowerment, was key to her “recovery.”
Closer to Fine: An Autoethnography of a Journey with Anorexia Nervosa
Ginger Bihn-Coss (she/her; PhD, Bowling Green State University) is an assistant professor at Kent State University, Tuscarawas. Her research centers on gender and health communication across various settings. In particular, she is interested in how disenfranchisement, power, and resistance impact health decision-making and work–life decisions. She is passionate about teaching, community-involvement, and how communication can be used to empower oneself.
Ginger Bihn-Coss; Closer to Fine: An Autoethnography of a Journey with Anorexia Nervosa. Journal of Autoethnography 1 July 2023; 4 (3): 359–376. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/joae.2023.4.3.359
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