Inner Hunger: A Young Woman's Struggle through Anorexia and Bulimia

Overview

A painful, powerful, and ultimately enriching account of what it feels like to be young, confused, and controlled by food. Adolescence is a time full of pitfalls for teenage girls. Many escape relatively unscathed; some--unable to cope successfully with the pressures exerted by family, school, and the media--develop eating disorders. Marianne Apostolides was one of those girls. She became anorexic at the age of fourteen and struggled for the next ten years with anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia. In this ...
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Overview

A painful, powerful, and ultimately enriching account of what it feels like to be young, confused, and controlled by food. Adolescence is a time full of pitfalls for teenage girls. Many escape relatively unscathed; some--unable to cope successfully with the pressures exerted by family, school, and the media--develop eating disorders. Marianne Apostolides was one of those girls. She became anorexic at the age of fourteen and struggled for the next ten years with anorexia, binge eating, and bulimia. In this courageous work, Apostolides recreates the years in which she felt she could control her life only by controlling her diet. Insecure, unable to communicate with her parents, and driven to achieve at school, she initially found relief in the structure of calorie-counting and schedules. When the constant dieting became too much for her body to handle, she began to binge, and then to binge and purge. Her world defined by food, Apostolides would battle throughout high school, college, and adulthood to confront the deeper issues that compelled her to hurt herself again and again. This is a book about a young woman who did not know how to cope with her feelings, and who, through therapy, was able to find the road to recovery at last. Absorbing and honest, hers is an important story of anguish, frustration, and, ultimately, triumph. This book should be read by educators, parents concerned about their children's physical and emotional health, and young people who are either experiencing some form of eating disorder or are trying to recover.

"...a well-written, harrowing, and courageous memoir detailing the physical, emotional, and mental effects of anorexia and bulimia."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this candid recovery memoir, the Canadian author details her decade-long eating disorder, which began when she was 14. Right after bingeing on a package of Oreo cookies at summer camp, she resolved to lose weight in order to improve her appearance and become more popular with peers. Compulsive dieting and exercise turned Apostolides into an angry teen who battled daily with her worried mother over her refusal to eat enough to maintain her body weight. The author is careful not to blame her family directly for the escalating self-destructive behavior that soon changed from anorexia into episodes of bingeing and purging bulimia, but she does maintain that the seeds for her condition were sown in a childhood with a distant father, a self-sacrificing mother and a successful brother whom she idolized. Those suffering from similar conditions will benefit from Apostolides's account of her psychotherapy, which provided the emotional insight to overcome her obsession with food. However, the author's self-absorption, perhaps necessary to her recovery, occasionally wears thin. (Aug.)
Library Journal
Apostolides presents a poignant personal account of living with and finally overcoming anorexia and bulimia. The book successfully fulfills the author's purpose of creating better understanding of the underlying causes of eating disorders in teenage girls and women. Apostolides pulls no punches as she graphically discusses the progression of her eating disorder and the long road to recovery. Her vivid narrative reflects the anxieties and frustrations she experienced throughout the years of starvation, purges, and binges. The recommendations for fostering social changes that support young people are outstanding. An appendix lists organizations to contact for help. While there are many books about eating disorders, personal narratives on the topic are not as readily found. Highly recommended for popular psychology collections in public and academic libraries.--Elizabeth Goeters, DeKalb Coll. Learning Resources Ctr., Dunwoody, GA
Kirkus Reviews
Persuasive in its realism, this brief journal attempts to be a guidebook for the girls and women—and their friends, relatives, and therapists—who suffer from eating disorders. Waking up to the detritus of another night's bingeing—empty wrappers of "cookies, muffins, granola, bread"—set the author on the road to ending a decade of first starving herself, then bingeing and purging. She vacillated from skeletal (80 pounds) to rotund (160 pounds) as she moved through junior high, high school, college, and into the work world. Apostolides's bouts of starvation and gluttony were apparently concerned with the issue of stet control, meant to transform herself through sheer willpower into the kind of person she thought her parents and others wanted her to be. Beginning at about 14, she exercised, played sports, got good grades, and virtually stopped eating, hoping she would be admired and accepted as her stellar older brother had been. However, while her peers "were learning what it felt like to explore adolescence, I was learning what it felt like to explore anorexia." Two years later, she began to experiment with bingeing and then purging, vomiting boxfuls of cereal, packages of cookies, and containers of frozen yogurt eaten at one sitting. She finally did enter therapy, and benefited for awhile, but then plunged back into the binge-purge pattern as college graduation neared. In fits and starts, with the help of the drug ecstasy (she warns of its dangers), an assortment of therapists, a series of lovers, and finally a move from Manhattan to California, she acquired the tools to deal with her disorder, to reconcile with her parents, and to "nurture" herself "in other ways."Notably straightforward recounting—sans melodrama—of the pain, frustration, and feelings of helplessness experienced by Apostolides and her fellow travelers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393045901
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 171
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.89 (d)

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