Friday, May 30, 2014


Book: How to Disappear Completely: On Mondern Anorexia
Author: Kelsey Osgood
Publisher: Overlook Hardcover, 2014
Pages: 272
Rating: ****/5 stars


Kelsey Osgood sets out to write a book explaining her struggle with anorexia as well as outlining some of the struggles of the friends she met along the way who were also dealing with the disease. Unlike some novels and memoirs based on eating disorders which deters the reader who struggles with Anorexia from recovery, How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia, Osgood writes a novel that shows just how hard iti is to recover.


This was the first book I have read on eating disorders besides stories from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. I really thought the author set out on the right path but in parts of the novel that were possibly damaging to a reader who struggles with eating disorders.

Answerly Book club on YouTube reviewed this book and one of my comments was featured on a video and it basically was saying how we often think that psychological disorders are often seen as biological but Osgood showed how a disorder can be enhanced socially as well. The author often talked about how she felt special having an eating disorder and how without having it, what would make her special? While I am in no way implying that eating disorders are also not caused biologically, I do think it is interesting what social factors can be at play.

The anecdotes of Kelsey Osgood being extremely sick but thinking that she wasn't sick enough because she didn't have a feeding tube, she wasn't being admitted right away, she was an outpatient etc...were extremely sad to read. To know the depths of the authors sickness and how she was constantly fighting between recovery and wanting to get sicker was truly heartbreaking.

I really valued reading this novel. I majored in psychology and took 2 abnormal psychology courses and we did not go over eating disorders at all. I did however note that the author discussed how in the DSM V they are no longer classifying Eating Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified as a disorder which I think  can be dangerous. I think that people often have disordered eating and need to get medical help for it but may not be considered because they do not meet specific requirements of anorexia nervose, bulimia, or overeating disorder.

One quote that particularly struck a cord with me was this one here:

“Girl, Interrupted. Kaysen writes that the real persistence of suicidal ideation is that suicide, once you have opened your mind to the possibility,

becomes a potential solution to any and all problems.

With that quote to end it, I will leave it to you to leave a comment down below on whether or not you have read How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia by Kelsey Osgood. If you haven't, have you read any other novels on the topic of eating disorders?

Despite this being a totally depressing book, I really valued reading it and I learned quite a lot. 


No comments:

Post a Comment