View from the train as I was back tracking from getting lost near Ome
My grandmother and I in the lobby of her retirement residence, where we had the most wonderful conversations about her insights in her late 80's, life experiences, and point of view. Lunch was really good at the cafeteria where I got acquainted with other residents too!
Reading through a few publications of Psychiatry, and Psychology in Japan I realised a few things:
1) When it comes to Youth, it is still very research medicine based (although this is crucial it is only a subsection of the whole). And official hospital treatment programs for teenagers to early 20s is lacking (although there are voluntary charitable groups here and there, there are hardly any incentives from a government policy perspective for hospitals or clinics to take on mental health).
2) I have yet to come across an Eating Disorders specific treatment facility or program; the number of women I encounter on a daily basis who suffer immensely, (some visibly so, where as majority of others well hidden), those who have contacted me through one video I put up about eating disorders in Japanese, on my Youtube channel, it pains me and am urged to change this situation. Eating Disorder treatment is so specialised and difficult that only those who are aware of its multi-faceted approach to treat these problems as well as the inner mindset and workings of those who suffer, the sensitivity of eating disorder as a mental illness from a medical, psychological, social dynamic is paramount and can tackle such issues.
Trying in my crap Japanese... back when I was still in Toronto...
When I was much less self aware and knowledgeable in my teens, whilst going to high school in Tokyo, heading head first into Eating Disorders (Anorexia and Bulimia), there was no such prevention/awareness/education/support/nor treatment programs at hospitals or anywhere for that matter. And in Tokyo there are major societal, cultural and systematic differences and obstacles which aren't present elsewhere like in North America (in Toronto I was able to get necessary medical help and support, and even that was risky without any guarantee of regaining health; re: stats for treatment and full recovery of eating disorders).
3) Often, those at the top in medical communities here are male; although sympathetic and understanding they will never fully embody living and being female in such a society and the struggles that come with eating disorders (although men do suffer as well, just not as high a rate as females). And in Japanese systems such as medicine the hierarchy favours men, as it is still quite a male dominated society (although there have been huge strides and improvements). The systems and ways are so ingrained within the male psyche in Japan, of those in such powerful positions. *Want to call me feminist? (as a few have commented in my Youtube videos of past); I do not identify as such, as I don't believe in fitting into neat boxes or roles, I respect men and the roles they play in society and everything that makes them differ from me personally. I'm just telling it as it is, and what I'm seeing in the mental health/medical world.
Such a great clip that challenges female/male stereotypes and perceptions (which is reciprocal, both ways).
Maybe it is time to start thinking about gathering information and researching to set up a facility specialising in Eating Disorder treatment in Tokyo... would that be an impossible task? Never impossible but probably close.
The things that go through my mind on a given Saturday while getting lost, on a train to visit my grandmother, in Tokyo.
A few links I found interesting:
-School of International Health Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo; Developmental Medical Sciences:
-National Institute of Mental Health/National Centre for Neurology and Psychiatry:http://www.ncnp.go.jp/nimh/english/index.html
Sorry for the long one, but I think it is important to discuss openly about issues like these, any thoughts?
Those of you who are struggling with disordered eating: go to former blog post here: http://beingmariet.blogspot.jp/2011/04/few-thoughts-after-talks.html please seek help from a professional as the sooner you get treatment the better, but you are not alone, one step at a time, there is hope for recovery.
Ok, gotta get ready for work tomorrow, good night:)