Wednesday, November 2, 2016

REVIEW: My Demon's Name Is Ed by Danah Khalil

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Danah's eating disorder has a personality – it's a demon she calls Ed, the voice in her head that undermines her self-esteem and her perception of the world. How can she explain that even when she tries to develop healthier eating habits, there is a demon wriggling inside her mind, determining her every step? The eighteen-year-old author of this novel for teens brings her own journal entries to life, revealing the mental anguish of a teen suffering with anorexia and the terrifying grip the disorder holds on her.

I was very interested in this book because I have a personal interest with eating disorders. I have struggled with disordered eating throughout my entire life. I have overexercised and under ate and I have binged. I could relate so well to Danah's struggles and her feelings. It's hard to develop a normal relationship with food when it's everywhere and when some people criticize from all angles. Dana got criticized from her mother when she ate too much and she got criticized when she ate too little. I've been there, so I get it. This book follows the development of her anorexia, as well as her recovery after she decides to check herself into a treatment center. I know it seems to weird to criticize the author for focusing so much on the eating disorder, but that was part of the problem with this book. Dana very rarely talked about other people in her life, except when she was talking about how much they supervised what she ate. She rarely talked about friends and she rarely talked about why she felt such a need to starve herself. Eating disorders typically go far beyond just wanting to be thin. There are usually reasons why a person feels the need to starve themselves and I don't feel like Danah delved into those too much. I was in therapy for a while and we would talk about my bingeing a lot. But we would also talk about my feelings when I wanted to binge and what was going on in my life that day, etc. Danah talked a little about her therapy, but her therapy consisted mainly of food diaries and weigh-ins. I can certainly understand why that would be the primary concern at first since Danah was dangerously underweight. I just don't feel like the therapy ever moved beyond that to something deeper. And because Danah talked about food and nothing but food, I don't feel like I ever really got to know her. This was a book that definitely triggered me in terms of my own issues with eating and I thought it was very realistic. I just don't think it offered anything new in terms of dealing with an eating disorder.

Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.

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