A DISORDERED WORLD
Jeanene Harlick was a newspaper and freelance journalist for several years, until she was lured into the “eating disorders treatment-industrial-complex,” as she sometimes calls it, in 2004. For the next ten years, she cycled in and out of this dehumanizing treatment system, which only served to exacerbate her mental health struggles, rather than “cure” them. In 2011 – before she was introduced to alternative paradigms of “mental illness,” and started critically examining the treatment she had been subjected to – she won a precedent-setting lawsuit requiring insurance companies to cover residential treatment for eating disorder for individuals living in California.
Now, following graduate studies in mental health (where she was introduced to the Recovery Model, the consumer movement and labelling theory, among other things) and years of her own reflection and research, Harlick questions whether Harlick v. Blue Shield was a such a resounding victory. Still grappling with a variety of issues – which she prefers to not reduce to labels – Harlick is navigating her way back to mental heath by returning to her writing as well as social activism. In addition to joining the “Mad in America” corps of bloggers, she launched her own Web site, “A Disordered World,” one year ago. You can visit there to read more of Harlick’s writing, as well as to learn more of her story.