Hi, just got swallowed into a wikipedia k-hole and wanted to share. Feel free to add to this thread. I'm mostly posting it to save some of the quotes which are really triggering.
*TW. Not promoting anything. Just some psych-educational/historical tidbits.
*The articles I found covered femme experiences of anorexia- not intentionally excluding any one else.
Fell into this hole by browsing books about fasting on amazon, and came across this creepy cover:
You can learn about her and a handful of other victorian girls like her in this wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia...ki/Fasting_girl
From there, I learned that in addition to nervosa there's also Anorexia Mirabilis, (https://en.wikipedia...rexia_mirabilis) a "miraculous" lack of appetite. The most cited example of these "Holy Anorexics" is the medieval Saint Catherine of Siena "in whom fasting denoted female holiness or humility and underscored purity."
Some interesting quotes from that wiki:
anorexia mirabilis, rather than misdiagnosed anorexia, was a legitimate form of self-expression with motives set in contrast to the modern disease paradigm.
Don't get me started on hunger strikes as a form of political expression, especially feminism.
Many of these women claimed that they possessed at least some measure of spiritual enlightenment from their asceticism. They variously claimed to feel "inebriation" with the holy wine, "hunger" for God, and conversely, that they sat at the "delicious banquet of God".
This is a theory commonly seen in Christianity where indulging one’s animalistic desires are seen to lead to the mind becoming weaker and more prone to sin.
So it could be argued that fasting is just a workout for your mind/willpower to keep it from becoming weak.
Another point to consider is the potential search for power; Catherine of Siena initially fasted as a teenager in protest against her proposed marriage to her sister’s widower. Women could gain power, freedom and respect from remaining virgins more so than they would have becoming wives. Catherine of Siena remained a virgin and was allowed to pursue her theology and interests in a convent, leading to her becoming the only female Doctor of the Church. A wife and mother would have had no time to do that! Fasting then was also another form of control, taking power back for the individual and as such it was similar to one of the underlying factors in AN today.
They left out the part about how in modern society thin people have more social power (and how women, needing more power, would pursue that.)
These sections have a certain spiritual flavour often depicting the thin emaciated individuals as angels and pure and full of light.
I just liked the aesthetic language here.
Ok and this other cited article - with "witchcraft" in the title how could I not click?
Enjoy these CREEPY tidbits from a "contemporary account of anorexia mirabilis" of a fifteen year old undamentalist Christian girl in Colombia whose family was believed to be under a curse (google mistranslated a bunch of the pronouns to male):
Alexis began to detail that "what you doctors call anorexia" had started four years ago, when Ismenia was about eleven years old. After a feverish episode that the lady described as being strained by a "dengue," the girl began to see a hooded character next to her bed - "a satanic, no doubt," pointed out the good lady, never cut in words-. Then, Alexis reported periodic visits of "goblins" to his room and his bed. These goblins, who at first played with Ismenia, soon became hostile, offering delicious food to the patient, which later became "disgusting things", "wormers" and "dull". Since then the food disgusted Ismenia. Gradually the child stopped consuming her food, eating only food bought out of the house - especially canned sausages, pack potatoes, and other packaged foods. Eventually he even abandoned these foods.
The clinical picture of Ismenia began in the year 2000, when it counted eleven years and six months of age, after the febrile episode of long duration already mentioned. Ismenia then stopped eating foods because they caused disgust and nausea, because they "smelled ugly" or had a "dull" smell. The family then consulted the otolaryngology and gastroenterology departments, which, after careful study, ruled out any anatomical-physiological anomalies that would explain their condition. During the same period, Ismenia increased water intake and physical activity; Since then she preferred larger clothes for her size, she looked pale, her skin was always cold and very dry.
That was the time, remember, of the satanic visits at the foot of the girl's bed, to offer him offerings of tasty and fine foods that then inexplicably became decomposed debris. "Mama," says Alexis, who was telling him his daughter, "they showed me some filthy things last night; Elves in my bed showed me many dishes of food with the richest things to eat, chickens, meats, rich food. When I was going to try bite, Mommy, those foods would turn into gusaneras and suddenly everything smelled dull. Everything around me smelled dull. Therefore, explains the mother, her daughter dawned without desires to feed. Everything reminded him of the repellent smell and vision.
Best ED bedtime story ever?
In closing let me leave you with this quote from Saint Catherine of Siena, who is clearly ana af:
Pls add to this thread and share any FUN FACTS you may know.