In this post I want to ask my lovely readers a question. I would greatly appreciate any responses.
Today I worked on my resume and my personal statement as part of my application to medical school. As of right now, my personal statement is centered around my past eating disorder. More specifically, I plan on talking about how doctors received me negatively (probably because of their own stigmatizing attitudes towards eating disorders).
Furthermore, despite the horror of my eating disorder, I wouldn’t wish away my experience. My eating disorder showed me how to be the best doctor I can be, which means treating the patient with compassion and understanding regardless of their illness. Aside from demonstrating to me how to treat patients, I became a much stronger, more balanced person through my recovery. I truly believe that I am more capable of medical school and a medical career because my eating disorder taught me perseverance and how to healthfully deal with stressful situations.
Despite the fact that I am currently writing this personal statement, I have my reservations. I know there is a risk involved with bringing up my past eating disorder. Admissions committees could perceive me as unstable and unable to withstand the rigor of medical school. However, if I don’t write this personal statement, I feel like I am lying to myself. My eating disorder itself along with my advocacy for the destigmatization of mental illness and this blog, in which I encourage others to adopt a positive relationship with food, have been SUCH a huge part of my undergraduate career. By not writing about my experience I feel as if I am giving in to the stigma and feeling ashamed of my experience.
I should not have to be ashamed. I overcame an incredibly terrible illness. Furthermore, I took this terrible experience and made it positive by starting this blog and learning to love myself unconditionally. I am a stronger person because of my experience. I just hope that I can convey that in my essay.
So what do you think? Is this total application suicide to talk about a past mental illness? Help me out here!