Sunday, February 12, 2006

Another patient responds this post, about a patient's rapid, severe, iatrogenic weight gain. (That miserable black hole of a post, from which I have not yet found escape!) Here's Sera, who blogs at A Safe Place:
The weight gain associated with psychiatric meds sucks. It's a pain in the butt...and the hips, and the knees and the back. But the reality is that the giant spiders that used to hang out on my ceiling, the strange buzzing that I would hear coming from the television and the fixation on the Golden Gate Bridge (which is far to close to my home for comfort), suck more. The diabetes is definitely an unreasonable risk, but unfortunately, I started the anti-psychotics before the diabetes risk was widely known. Although I would gladly not have diabetes, because of it, I am being forced to slowly (very, very slowly) lose the weight that I have gained. I MUST exercise, I MUST NOT eat that cheesecake no matter how much I crave it.

I will never be thin...that's a fact. My body isn't made that way. My goal is to be whatever weight that means for me...


Blogger Joel said...

I've been feeling bad for you. Partly because I've come up against the "Fat is a Feminist Issue" lobby and their anorexia-hating-blame-it-all-on-the-fashion-industry defensiveness. In an earlier discussion, I once had a woman write a long blog article describing all the food she was going to eat because of me.

And they say that I can't be trusted because I am bipolar.

The Blame the Patriarchy post which Dr. Maria links attrached not only fat rights activists but also people who think that all you psychiatrists have to do is make up illnesses all day. The main author facetiously called Nia "nuts" -- which I took exception to -- and then said that she could do it because she'd had schizophrenics around her and had cancer.

I told her that neither argument washed with me.

The histrionics are something else, aren't they? I'll continue to show loving support to my fellow bipolars (and to myself) who are having weight problems. Sera said it so well and you've reiterated it.

Now for my final suggestion: just drop the subject. You are dealing with immature feminist-wannabes and their groupies. These read a title like "Fat is a Feminist Issue" and then apply it completely uncritically. The issue is bone structure: some women have big hips and broad shoulders. If they've made an earnest effort to find a reasonable weight, then they've done enough and have the right to enjoy themselves as they are.

In the meantime, keep helping us, Shrinkette. We patients know you have your head and your heart in the right place.

4:44 PM  
Blogger shrinkette said...

Oh, Joel. Thank you. But you know, the commenters are really the stars of the show here. People like you! And I've never had comments like the ones from these "Nia" posts.

I've just posted some remarks from BigMamaDoc because I think they are valuable. And then, I'm dropping it!

5:02 PM  
Blogger Bardiac said...

I respectfully disagree with Joel.

I'm impressed that you've rethought the issue and your original response, and I think you're seeing it in a different way by framing it differently.

The original article framed the woman's mental health and overall health in terms of beauty, and it deservedly got smacked down for doing so. Language use reflects and creates understanding.

Reframing the issue allows us to consider the complex interactions and trade-offs between mental health, health, self-esteem, public image, and ideals of beauty. Acknowledging the complexity may enable all of us, feminist and non-feminist, to approach individual problems more helpfully.

Fat is a feminist issue. So are health, mental health, and self-esteem.

8:21 PM  

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