The recovery process of eating and personality disorders - Klagenfurt
'Borderline' focuses on the recovery process of eating and personality disorders at the Weidenhof Therapy Centre, located outside Klagenfurt, Austria. It aims to raise awareness. 11th April 2011
Borderline is an in-depth photographic reportage focusing on the recovery process of eating and personality disorders at the Weidenhof Therapy Centre, located outside Klagenfurt, Austria. Borderline aims to raise awareness and debunk the misconception that eating disorders are a product of the media and fashion industry, while calling attention to the true causes and symptoms of these conditions.
Among all of the psychological disorders and mental illnesses, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate, killing an estimated 10% of individuals within 10 years of the onset of the disorder. It is widely believed by the general public, that the media and fashion industry’s portrayal of women plays a significant role in the cause of eating disorders. In fact, this is the cause for very few individuals.
The development of eating disorders is unique to each individual; however, most commonly, these disorders have similar root causes which generally relate to their relationships with others and/or resulting from some form of abuse within those relationships; an abuse of a individual's boundaries, or an abuse that is psychological, physical or sexual. The stress and anxiety associated with this can often cause an individual to develop an eating disorder as a coping mechanism to gain a sense of control in their lives.
Katharina Sulzbacher, psychotherapist and owner of the Weidenhof Therapy Centre, says, “They want to be thin to be able to control something in their lives… the fear of being left alone or the fear of not being able to manage what is ahead of [them] is uncontrollable and they cannot approach it. What they can control is how big their food intake is, how many calories, how much they weigh. In therapy, this is called projection. You take something and project it onto something else. You think that will solve the problem, but it won’t.”
The Weidenhof Therapy Centre is dedicated to the recovery process of patients with eating and personality disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating, Obesity, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression and many others. The centre treats and houses both male and female patients of any age, with an understanding that while there are many individual causes for these disorders, their root causes surrounding boundaries, relationships and abuse are consistent among the majority of patients. The recovery is arduous and can take years to accomplish, with a minimum stay of 6 months.
Borderline is a work in progress, which will be revisited periodically over the coming years to document the development of current patients and hopefully witness their full recovery and reintegration into a normal life. The following set of images and extended captions, explore the daily life and struggles faced by the patients on their way to recovery.