Hi there! My name is Tetyana and I run this blog, and the associated Tumblr and Twitter accounts. I have an Honours BSc and an MSc in Neuroscience, both from the University of Toronto. I live in Toronto and I have the awesome privilege of working for myself.
Why Science of Eating Disorders?
I started this blog because I really wanted to write about science and blog about peer-reviewed literature–and I felt like writing about eating disorders was appropriate, given my personal history (see below) and my background in neuroscience. Blogging about sensory neuroscience in invertebrates (the coolest, I absolutely adore small neural circuits and lower-level sensory processing) wouldn’t be as popular and there are a lot of good neuroscience blogs out there, anyway, so I thought, I’ll blog about the science of eating disorders. I originally planned to blog mostly about neuroscience and genetics, because those are things that used to interest me the most, but as you can probably tell, it is much more than that now. It is not so much about “science” in a strict sense as much as about peer-reviewed research. The content is really dictated by the interests of the contributors.
At this point, my goal is to facilitate knowledge synthesis, translation and dissemination, if you want to get “buzz-word”-y about it, as well as to encourage readers to think critically about published research (and what media outlets often report). I want to share the findings in the eating disorder research community. I want to tackle the myths that surround eating disorders. And I want those struggling with eating disorders, as well as their friends and family members, to not feel ashamed, at fault, weak, or guilty for having an eating disorder. Our brains are organs just like our stomachs, hearts and lungs; if I don’t feel guilty or ashamed for having a stomach ache, I shouldn’t feel guilty for harbouring powerful irrational thoughts.
A Brief History of My Eating Disorder
My eating disorder started in Grade 9, and I was officially diagnosed with restricting-type anorexia nervosa in Grade 10. Through my own initiative, I received treatment over the next two years at a local hospital; it was of limited use. It mostly involved gaining weight, being discharged, unintentionally losing it, and going back to regain it. Over the next several years, if I had been re-diagnosed, I would have fallen under many different diagnostic categories in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), depending on the time: from anorexia nervosa restricting-type, to anorexia nervosa binge-purge type, to bulimia nervosa, to eating disorder not otherwise specified (a very common trajectory for individuals diagnosed with an eating disorder).
People often ask me if I am recovered. My response is usually to shrug. I wouldn’t call myself recovered, but I wouldn’t call myself sick, either. What I do know, however, is that this is the happiest and healthiest I’ve been in a long time, and I’m loving it. As for now, I think about eating disorders from the perspective of a scientist and a researcher than from the perspective of someone who has struggled with it, though, of course, both of these perspectives inform each other.
Enjoy the blog, and remember, if you have any suggestions or questions, use the link below (at the centre bottom of the page) or the contact page to get in touch!
(The photographs were taken by my amazing and talented friend, Samya Kullab, in NYC.)