Referring to a previous post
Really, the message I got from that piece was “I’d rather be Fat than Crazy” which is an unhealthy attitude all around.
I think the article is written in the tone of most in our culture, one where ‘fat’ is a dirty word and mental illness is shameful and ultimately undesirable. It’s about one woman’s choice to treat her crippling depression and psychosis with a drug that is known to increase appetite and cause nearly irreversible weight gain.
Even the title of the essay “Killing My Body to Save My Mind” intimates that adding extra weight to her body is deadly and THE WORST THING that could happen to a person. It’s clear this is the writers opinion, and as a very tiny woman (She states she is only 5ft tall and weighed 100lbs) an 80lb weight gain is drastic, and probably feels deadly to her.
The writer repeatedly frames her decision to treat her mental illness as “sacrificing” her body to save her mind, describes the process as a physical “breakdown” “I can feel myself living at the cusp of some physical mishap, perhaps even disaster.” When really what she is describing is her metabolism slowing to a point where she must make conscious decisions and great effort to “stabilize” her weight.
This poor woman is deeply disconnected with her body because she gained weight in the course of treatment. She describes her body as ”offending, unfamiliar carcass” “lipidinous tyrant” “the carcass I’ve had to disown” and does not seek to reframe “healthy” to include extra weight on her body in exchange for peace in her mind.
As a person whose chosen treatment with many different medications that cause weight gain, I can say that gaining weight does not necessarily equate with poorer health or health problems in general. In fact, drastic weight gain or loss are considered among my symptoms and side effects, since my diet is stable and my physical exertion level is constant. I accept that my body looks and moves differently depending on it’s size, but that size has no bearing it’s level of health.
Not only is the article fat shaming, it’s posing a false dilemma by equating only the physical with overall “Health”, and removing emotional/mental components.