Why Blaming Families Doesn’t Help

  • “How badly we have done by parents by separating individuals from families,
  • and blaming families for the problem…
  • We need to ask for a day of atonement for past care,
  • and we need to bring families into the picture.”
  • Dr. Thomas Insel Director of the US National Institute of Mental Health 2007

There are a lot of ‘theories’ out there about what cause eating disorders. Its very confusing to parents. Is it a choice? Or an illness that is ‘not a choice’? How you view what causes an eating disorder will determine how you treat it.

Human beings are complex, no question. Dr. Walter Kaye’s research has shown that people who develop eating disorders typically suffer from childhood anxiety pre-eating disorder. Does this mean their ‘boundaries were invaded’ in a relentless and sustained way? No, not necessarily. Cynthia Bulik has described sufferers as having certain personality traits

A childhood tendency that Bulik calls neuroticism may be an indicator for parents, doctors, and teachers to screen for children who are genetically predisposed to anorexia before they become sick.

“These kids are emotional Velcro,” Bulik says. Troubles that roll off other children’s backs really stick to them, and sometimes so subtly that their parents can’t tell. They tend to be well behaved and smart, but anxious and depressed, often about things over which they have no control—a dead animal in the road, for instance…”

F.E.A.S.T. (http://www.feast-ed.org/) is an organization of and for parents and caregivers to help loved ones recover from eating disorders by providing information and mutual support, promoting evidence-based treatment, and advocating for research and education to reduce the suffering associated with eating disorders.

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

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