Tag Archives: body image

Brave Girl Eating: A Family‚Äôs Struggle with Anorexia by Harriet Brown (2010)

In this compelling memoir, Harriet Brown takes us down the rabbit hole of eating disorders and describes how the demon, anorexia, tried to steal her eldest daughter, Kitty. I’ve read other memoirs about eating disorders but they have usually been from the eating disordered person’s point of view. This is the first one I’ve read from a family member’s point of view.

Dissatisfied with traditional therapies, Brown, ever the resourceful journalist, sets out to find a method for dealing with anorexia that gave her daughter a better chance of survival. Through her research, Brown discovers Family Based Therapy (FBT), a system where the family is heavily involved in the patient’s recovery. It’s not a popular therapy and there are still far too few FBT certified therapists in the country, but studies have shown that for children under age 18, FBT has the best rate of recovery. That was enough for Brown to take on the extraordinary task of bringing Kitty back.

Brown documents the heartache, the struggle of getting Kitty to eat, and the agonizing torment of not knowing whether her daughter will ever be “normal” again.


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