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Young Adult Books That Have Characters With Eating Disorders

*This post may be triggering to anyone who has eating disorders, binge eating disorder, bulimia, anorexia nervosa, etc. or who has attempted suicide.

When people have a health challenge that is highly stigmatized, it is very easy to feel alone. My intention in posting this list was to help people by letting them know others go through similar challenges with eating.

1. “Wintergirls” by Laurie Halse Anderson
Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in fragile bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the thinnest. But then Cassie suffers the ultimate loss—her life—and Lia is left behind, haunted by her friend's memory, and feeling guilty for not being able to help save her. In her most powerfully moving novel since “Speak”, award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson explores Lia's struggle, her painful path to recovery, and her desperate attempts to hold on to the most important thing of all—hope.

2. “Paperweight” by Meg Haston
Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert. Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid. Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

3. “Purge” by Sarah Darer Littman
Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

4. “What I Lost” by Alexandra Ballard
What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again. She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size 0 obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

Please do not read if this triggers you. As always, if you need/want to discuss anything, please reach out. 🤍

#themightyreaders #EatingDisorders #BingeEatingDisorder #BulimiaNervosa #AnorexiaNervosa #BodyDysmorphicDisorder

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Young Adult Books With Characters That Have #MentalHealth Challenges

#MentalHealth has such a stigma around it. So many people all over the world have struggles with their #MentalHealth . I aim to erase that stigma. For now, the only way I know how to do that is by spreading awareness through literature.

So here are some books that feature characters with mental illnesses:

1.”The Art of Insanity” by Christine Webb

*This book has mentions of attempted suicide that may be triggering for some readers.

High schooler Natalie Cordova has just been diagnosed with #BipolarDisorder . Her mom insists she keep it secret. Putting up a front and hiding her mental illness from her classmates is going to be the hardest thing high schooler Natalie Cordova has ever done. It’s her senior year, and she’s just been selected to present her artwork at a prestigious show. With the stress of performing on her shoulders, it doesn’t help when Natalie notices a boy who makes her heart leap. And then there’s fellow student Ella, who confronts Natalie about her summer car “accident” and pressures her into caring for the world’s ugliest dog. Now Natalie finds herself juggling all kinds of feels and responsibilities. Surely her newly prescribed medication is to blame for the funk she finds herself in. But as Natalie’s plan to self-treat unravels, so does the perfect façade she’s been painting for everyone else.

2.”Your Voice Is All I Hear” by Leah Scheier

April won’t let Jonah go without a fight. He’s her boyfriend—her best friend. She’ll do anything to keep him safe. But as Jonah slips into a dark #Depression trying to escape the traumatic past that haunts him, April is torn. To protect Jonah, she risks losing everything: family, friends, an opportunity to attend a prestigious music school. How much must she sacrifice? And will her voice be loud enough to drown out the dissenters—and the ones in his head?#Schizophrenia

3.”The Program” by Suzanne Young

*This book mentions suicide and self-harm, which might be triggering for some readers.

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. #Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

4.”How It Feels To Fly” by Kathryn Holmes

*This book may be triggering to those who have #EatingDisorders , #BingeEatingDisorder , #BulimiaNervosa , #Anorexia , #AnorexiaNervosa , and/or #BodyDysmorphicDisorder .

For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her. The change was gradual. Stealthy. Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: #Anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the #Anxiety that imprisons her?

5.”Four Weeks, Five People” by Jennifer Yu

They're more than their problems. Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her if she's okay. Andrew wants to overcome his #EatingDisorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous. Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality. Gorgeous and overly confident Mason thinks everyone is an “idiot”. And Stella just doesn't want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy. As the five teens get to know one another and work to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.

6.”Every Last Word” by Tamara Ireland Stone

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist. Caroline introduces Sam to Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of “misfits” who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

📚 Please don’t read anything that triggers you. My hope in sharing this post was that someone who has mental health challenges would find a character to relate to. As always, if you need/want to discuss anything, please reach out and ask. 🤍

#themightyreaders #MentalHealth

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What my eating disorder took away from me

I used to be confident enough to wear anything I want. I used to enjoy eating at social events and any other type of gatherings, laughing and having a good time and being able to genuinely enjoy the present instead of thinking about how many calories I'm eating/drinking. I used to be able to hold long conversations with my friends and actually listen to what they had to say instead of overthinking about my body and how I look (or how I could look).

I was the type of person someone would reach out to if they wanted to have fun or to even talk about certain things they wouldn't feel comfortable talking about with other people. I used to be reliable, as a friend and family member. I used to be funny, and I tried my best to enjoy every activity I did. I was sure of my decisions and I didn't need anything else than good company to actually have fun.

Eating disorders turned me into a 'thrill seeker', since I couldn't find thrill or joy in anything else other than burning calories. Even burning calories wasn't that enjoyable, it was sort of like a punishment that made me feel relief and less anxious. At some point, right before I decided to ask for help, I found myself seeking thrill engaging in several different activities that didn't fill the void; some of them might've turned into unhealthy habits and some I let go.

Someone once told me that people who have struggled with eating disorders can surely recover but it will always leave a scar. I didn't even used to think I could recover but now that I have, I know now what they meant: it left a mark, it took away my confidence and reliability and it's very hard to get those back. As I recovered from an eating disorder I fell into depression and I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. My eating disorder created a chain of events that would turn into messes I had to clean, and eventually, depression and anxiety.

But I'm doing better, since I would much rather deal with these mental illnesses and diagnosis than my actual eating disorder, because now I have therapy and a psychiatrist, which helps a lot.

I continue to be a thrill seeker but I'm more self-aware now, of both the consequences of my actions and the impact it has on others around me. I continue to fight every day not to feel miserable with my body image, but I've made peace with the scale and my weight: I don't care anymore, honestly I just want to be happy. Slowly claiming back everything an eating disorder took away from me: it's tiring but worth the shot.

#Depression #GeneralizedAnxietyDisorder #Anxiety #MentalHealth #EatingDisorders #Orthorexia #Anorexia #BulimiaNervosa #PersonalityDisorders #CheckInWithMe #CheerMeOn

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TW: Eating Disorder, disordered eating. CW: Disordered eating and weight loss. Anyone losing weight and has a history of disordered...?

Does anyone else on a weight loss journey with a history of disordered eating, find the medical/psychological terms and tips used by the medical profession to just be fancier/medical jargon-filled terms for what you did when you were ill in the throes of disordered eating? 🤔

'Like make sure to drink a ridiculous amount of water. Or try to make sure your movement output matches the calories you're intaking'.

It really just dawned on me how fatphobic most of our global society is🥲

You're praised for engaging in those restrictive measures when you're overweight. As if 'finally you've seen the light' when working out multiple times a day when in a bigger body.

I do want to lose weight, but it feels like every system and institution is almost goading me to fully engage in disordered eating. And to hell with the consequences as long as you're in a smaller body😮‍💨

#ChronicIllness #MentalHealth #Depression #Anxiety #Agoraphobia #Fibromyalgia #ChronicPain #ChronicFatigue #BackPain #IrritableBowelSyndromeIBS #BingeEatingDisorder #DisorderedEating #EatingDisorder #EatingDisorders #AuditoryProcessingDisorder #Deafness #BulimiaNervosa #Anorexia #Obesity #Insomnia #Asthma

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I’m too disgusted to look at myself anymore #BodyDysmorphia #BulimiaNervosa #EatingDisorders

I have tried so hard to overcome this on my own but it is only getting worse.

I hate my body. Not just the look but the feel. Not only am I constantly in pain but I am just ugly. I am gaining so much weight. I don’t recognize myself.

Why can’t I lose this weight? Why am I stuck like this? I don’t want to see my body. I especially don’t want my boyfriend to see my body. He doesn’t think I’ve changed physically but I see it.

I see how big I am. I see how disgusting I look. I am thinking of enabling my eating disorder so I can stop hating myself. I just want to stop hating my body.

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Pretty for once

I felt pretty for once. Everyone says I look good natural. I did my hair and everything. I am so blessed to have a woman who always says I am beautiful and helps me feel pretty on a more regular basis. #Love #BulimiaNervosa @catsaremyfriends

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Cramping is horrible— practically unbearable #BulimiaNervosa

There is no enjoyable aspect of bulimia but the most physically painful is the cramping. The pain has started becoming so bad. I’m watching tv and just trying to not binge. I only need to eat a healthy amount and relax. It’s going to be ok, I am stronger than my thoughts. #EatingDisorder #EatingDisorderRecovery #BulimiaNervosa

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I hope your day is going well! #BulimiaNervosa

I’ve been having a really hard day with my eating and it has me pretty upset. Powered through dinner and now I’m laying in bed trying to distract myself.

I hope if you’re seeing this you’re having a good day and you know that you aren’t alone in youe struggles. You’re wonderful 🩷 Photo is of my beautiful Frenchie girl to help brighten up your day!

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Anyone else want to be beautiful?

All I have ever wanted was to be beautiful and skinny. I am so glad I found someone who thinks I'm perfect just the way I am. I still feel haunted by the beautiful people around me. They all remind me I will never be as pretty as them. It hurts my self-esteem a lot. Please give me some kind words. #Selfesteem #BulimiaNervosa #looks

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