Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Mental Illness as Identity

Compared to denial, the alternate extreme is to embrace (or even exalt) one's particular mental illness as a fixed identity. This stance is as contrary to the ideal of the "examined life" as denial, and equally represents a retreat from the ambiguities of our humanness. I see the pro-ana movement as an extremely regrettable and destructive manifestation of our contemporary identity politics, which turns victimhood into an immutable identity, thereby reifying our miseries and denying our own free will to overcome adversity.