June Alexander translates: Ed Says U Said.

This is the very first time in three years of blogging that I’ve accepted a request to promote/share something on my blog, and that is because the request came from my lovely friend June Alexander, who I met in Alexandria last year. June, an increasingly prolific author with an extended and inspiring experience of eating disorders and recovery, is writing a new book (or five) and wants contributions from as much of the online ED community as she can reach!

Here is the press release she emailed me:

Ever felt misunderstood? Share your experience in ED says U said

This new book will explain The Language of Eating Disorders

Co-authors: June Alexander and Cate Sangster

Jessica Kingsley Publishers (UK). Release: Early 2013

Eating disorders are about much more than food. Anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder invade every aspect of a person’s thinking, sense of self, behavior and relationships. The impact goes beyond the person with the eating disorder (commonly referred to as ‘ED’) – to everyone in the family and friendship circle. Frequently, family and friends – and even health professionals – have great difficulty knowing the right words to say.

International author June Alexander (A Girl Called Tim, My Kid is Back, A Collaborative Approach to Eating Disorders) and fellow eating disorder survivor Cate Sangster are writing ED says U said to help unravel this language confusion.

Eating disorder thoughts play havoc with communication throughout the course of the illness:

  • From the emergence of signs that something might be wrong;
  • During diagnosis and treatment; and
  • Through recovery.

Everybody involved can feel hurt, angry and exasperated at being misunderstood.

ED says U said will present dialogue snippets between eating disorder sufferers, their loved ones and healthcare providers – and explain how ED influences the interpretation.  Simple, well-intentioned conversation like “you are looking so well” can be wildly misunderstood in the mind of a person with an eating disorder– much to the dismay of the person who says it. ED says U said will break down the language barriers and offer suggestions on how to defuse and limit ED’s interference.

Examples of misunderstandings are invited from people who know best: those with experience. The authors seek examples of dialogue when the spoken word ‘is taken the wrong way’, triggering a communication breakdown. Each dialogue example should be limited to about 100 words. Submissions selected for inclusion in ED says U said will be published anonymously to maintain the privacy of all concerned.

Help ED says U said explain the language of eating disorders and facilitate recovery.

Email your contributions to: june@junealexander.com no later than April 14, 2012. For more information visit www.junealexander.com/2012/02/untwisting-eating-disorder-talk

June has posted elsewhere that she would particularly like examples from adults in relation to the effect their ED has had on communication with their partners, families and/or carers, and also from adult males with eating disorders, but will welcome all submissions. I asked her whether she was looking for well intentioned misunderstandings (i.e. you look so healthy…) or ignorant comments (think of the starving children in Africa!) and she replied “both!”.


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