Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Anorexia: Pain and Stigma

Photo by contributor Toby Upson, an 18-year-old man from England. Last year, Toby was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. His condition was so severe that at one point he was rushed to a hospital where he was given two days to live. Luckily, his body managed to stabilize and he eventually was transferred to a hospital that specialized in mental health. It was there that he began using art as a distraction and coping tool.

About this photo: “there is a huge stigma around anorexia. if you ask someone to describe an anorexic they think of young girls that want to be a model. this piece uses 2 photos layed on top of each other. if I tell someone I’m anorexic there is an immediate assumption about me. this work is a bear all photo. some may find it shocking but that’s not the target. I tried to challenge the opinion of what people think when they think of an anorexic. I wanted people to realize the pain and distress I and thousand’s of other anorexic’s go through while in recovery.”

Find more from Toby at his blog.


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11 comments on “Anorexia: Pain and Stigma

  1. lauramacky
    June 24, 2014

    Creative image and powerful.


  2. BookOfBokeh
    June 24, 2014

    Shocking? Yes, in a way, but shockingly good, personal and intense. Amazing!


  3. rommel
    June 24, 2014

    Yikes! I didn’t think anorexia can be that severe.


  4. inesephoto
    June 24, 2014

    Oh he is lucky, my best wishes to him. His art is very powerful. He will make it out!


  5. Laurie Free
    June 24, 2014

    I was anorexic in my twenties and in the depth of it had nothing to do with image and everything to do with control I also ran with several men that now looking back I’m pretty sure had eating disorders. great blog and cinematography


  6. Nana
    June 25, 2014

    I was an anorexic of the 80s-90’s. Very powerful. Reblogged ❤


  7. cattan2011
    June 25, 2014

    awesome work and simply beautiful. It is hard to bear or hear someone suffering from this problem which is out of their control.


  8. luro97
    June 25, 2014

    Thank you for the photo and your unique insight. Consider me schooled.


  9. wizardofvase
    June 25, 2014

    As crazy as this sounds in my opinion this images captures mixed emotions,turmoil, struggle and the will to survive. They always say you can read a person’s thoughts threw his body language and threw the eyes, as the eyes are the window to the soul.


  10. Rebekah Miller
    June 27, 2014

    Eating disorders are a horrible disease. I hope your art is helping your recovery. It’s a powerful illustration of how EDs can affect men as well as women.


  11. His Pet
    June 30, 2014

    There is a reason for your recovery, the Universe has a purpose for you. Tell your story, using your photography, it will matter, it will make a difference. Very powerful images here.


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