Produced in conjunction with #worldmentalhealthday 2018, we take a closer look at the thoughts and non-verbal cues of a young person experiencing eating disorder. Meet protagonist Nadia who is experiencing eating disorder, written by Victoria Chen, a survivor.
WRITER, PERFORMER Victoria Chen
PRODUCER Artwave Studio
“My parents used to believe mental illness wasn’t real. So when I defiantly left home late at night for a run, blotted everything I ate on a serviette and chewed every mouthful for at least 30 seconds before swallowing, they insisted it was merely a phase I was going through, most likely for attention.
Similarly, I never once thought I was ill. I was simply doing what everyone else does to look good, and for someone who grew up chubby and loving food, I had to work harder than the average girl to achieve a certain standard of beauty.
Can’t Stomach was written a few years after I overcame this illness on my own, as I never received medical or psychiatric help for it. As I put snippets of my life into Nadia’s, seeing her life laid out in pages further reinforced how flawed my thinking had been back then, and how serious it must have been for me to have normalised my thoughts. While I am past that period in my life, it continues to be a daily struggle for many others, and some may not even be aware of what they are going through.
Eating disorders are not uncommon, but they are isolating, confusing, and sometimes impossible to express. As such, I hope that whomever listens to Can’t Stomach will understand that these disorders are not always as clear cut as we assume it to be, and difficult to identify from the outside. I also hope that anyone who can relate to Nadia will have the resolve to make safer, healthier decisions in the pursuit of self-acceptance.”
Artwave Studio Original