Chest 122; Anorexia

15 May
Chest 122 Anorexia C

Chest 122; Anorexia

The X-ray study for this picture comes from a girl with anorexia nervosa. The subject of anorexia has been widely discussed and there is a well formed philosophy around this condition. General opinion is that the anorectic is a person with seemingly contradictory beliefs. They believe they are too thin, they also believe they are too fat. There is a view that anorexia is a self-destructive act; the sufferer has a self-imposed death wish arising from a complex perception of body image.

A contrary philosophy has, however been put forward, arising from the link between food and pleasure. This opposite view is based on the consideration that it is a condition not just of the body, but also of the mind.

The reason people pay so much attention to eating is that it is a pleasure. Like addiction this pleasure drives a person to want to eat more. It could be claimed similarly; 1, pleasure derived from food is self-defeating because eating does not completely satisfy, and from each meal less pleasure is derived and 2, pleasure obtained is illusory because it depends on the body being in a disordered state – in hunger – and in need of repair.

Hunger is a physical condition and the enjoyment derived from eating and drinking (and also from sex) is a base pleasure that employs none of the higher faculties enjoyed by humans; cognition, abstract reasoning, and judgement.

Arising from the opinion that eating is merely a base (animal) need, voluntary starvation can be interpreted as an opposite, possibly even a superior, (human)  act. Extreme dieting could be explained as reaching for the very core of the human nature and starvation construed neither as mental illness nor “eating disorder”. On the contrary, in this way of thinking anorexia is a symptom of ordinary mortality, a viewpoint taken more seriously than usual; taken to its logical conclusion.

I do not adhere to this philosophy myself. It is however an interesting contrary point of view. It does not undermine the position that when a person with anorexia dies, that death is entirely avoidable. It does not take away from the distress of loved ones who find the death literally unbearable.

The picture includes quite prominently the image of the girl with two contrasting patterns arising from within her pulling in opposite directions.

8 Responses to “Chest 122; Anorexia”

  1. sedge808 May 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm #

    wow !!!!

  2. MikeP May 19, 2015 at 4:14 am #

    The overlapping colors read like a 3d puzzle!!!!

    • Xraypics June 13, 2015 at 8:22 am #

      Thanks Mike, glad you can see the conflict in the thought pattern.

  3. Playamart - Zeebra Designs June 12, 2015 at 10:46 pm #

    another great one, tony, and i appreciate your views on this problem. i saw a lovely young woman this past week who has dropped an amazing amount of weight.. she’s tiny and loves her newe figure, but the deep circles beneath her eyes and the sadness i see in her eyes suggests to me that her methods of losing the weight might not have been the best. I am worried about her.

    your post was timely. thanks, z

    • Xraypics June 13, 2015 at 8:31 am #

      Thanks for your contribution Z. As always a very poignant point you make. These artworks is very important for me to help release the pain engendered over many years of observing people like your friend. If they reach out to someone else it helps to balance that, so thank you for your response.

      • Playamart - Zeebra Designs June 13, 2015 at 9:11 am #

        long ago my son had a high fever and pain in his leg.. half a day later when we were at the best hospital seeing the best bone specialist, i knew by his eyes that he was very worried. i told him that later and he was surprised i could read him that well… bottom line was that ‘ten years earlier one could amputate a leg but not a hip. ‘ he had staph-aureas (sp?) osteomyelitis, and spent a month in the hospital and another month with iv therapy…

        a doctor cannot help but be affected by certain patients and cases… if not, it wouldn’t be a doctor i’d ever want to see!

  4. walterwsmith3rd July 29, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    This is striking! 3 dimensional in its structure. So nice. Bold contrasting color do pull and push you in and out of her chest.

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