The great majority of we human animals want to live in communities and follow the same lives as others with the same rules. There have always been a much smaller number of rebels who do not want to follow this example. They consist of leaders, stuck-insiders and creative geniuses. Leaders are those who have their own ideas and their aim is to teach them to groups of people who want to be told what to do. If they don’t want that then the leaders will coerce them by brute force, i.e. rulers who need to raise armies. The rest of the outsiders consist of two species. The first are the stick-insiders who want to do their own thing or nothing, but don’t want or cannot because of their retiring nature show it to anyone else because they are fundamentally terrified of their fellow creatures. (more of this later). The second kind are those who are the imaginative geniuses that prefer to educate themselves and spread the fruits of their research to all of us. Einstein is a good example. Although he could mix with the people he loved, he himself admitted that his work came first.
When people’s lives become unbearable, the bravest of them go on strike. When the suffragettes were imprisoned the only way they could make themselves noticed was to go on hunger strike. This is a very effective way of drawing attention to their plight. Nelson Mandela did the same for the same reason when he was in prison. Their enemies knew they would get blamed if they died and that would rouse wrath outside.
Whenever a large group of people feel they are not free enough to do what they want and say, a new outbreak of strikes emerge. Today there are many young people, mostly women, who go on hunger strike. Only we don’t call it that, it has been dubbed as an illness: anorexia nervosa. Why? For the same reason that Russian politicians had their political prisoners diagnosed as mentally ill which gave the authorities a right to take away their freedom. How can anything be an illness when it comes into being as the result of deliberate action by a person?
What do we do? Put them in a different kind of prison: hospital. Unbelievable!! Here are two good reasons why girls go on reduction dieting and put their lives in danger. First, they want to follow the fashion of being very thin so they can wear certain kinds of clothes that most other girls are wearing. The other reason is to rebel against their parents. You won’t believe this, but it is treated in the same way as the suffragettes were treated, but in a less brutal manner.
One of the reasons I gave up being a therapist is that the usual method is to try and get them to eat again or to go into hospital in extreme cases. There is only one thing to do. Help them to win back for themselves the right to care for themselves properly and to work out for themselves a regime good enough to keep them well and prevent them from dying. You have to have a will of iron to give up eating. This means that when they finally see what they have been doing to themselves, they are in a position that enables them to solve the problem for themselves by learning to give up their illusions and come to terms with reality which means accepting their true selves, not anyone elses.