I was born in 1949, the second World War had been over for a mere four years. As a girl raised in the 50’s and 60’s I was taught to read books, wear dresses, skirts and pinafores, and to sit still. As long as I had a book the sitting still was no problem. And I always had a book. At sixteen I participated in the American ritual of learning to drive a car, and never looked back. At eighteen I went to college and sat in class with everyone else, my class choices limited by what was…Read More
Medicine is moving at the speed of light. And that’s a good thing. We have a long road ahead of us to move out of the pre-scientific eras, where no one required an evidence base to do most anything. And we face an even longer road to shed the paternalistic roots of “doctor knows best” (not to mention parent blaming for brain disorders!). But perhaps the longest road of all is the road that is now leading us to real “individualized” or “personalized” medicine.
Actually, I prefer…Read More
Advances in medicine come in all shapes and sizes: vaccines, antibiotics, anti-virals, immune system boosters and reducers, technological changes and recently, the hope that faster, cheaper and more accurate genetic analysis can bring us the new approach to medicine and medications: personalized medicine.
As I have mentioned in a previous blog, a leading proponent of personalized medicine has been Dr Eric Topol, editor-in-chief of Medscape and director the Scripps Translational…Read More
It has become almost trite to advise parents struggling with the “severe pushback” of doing battle with their child’s eating disorder to remember that flight attendants caution parents travelling with small children to “first place the oxygen mask on yourself (really counter-intuitive for parents) and then place it on your child.” When I first heard this advice on a plane (astonishingly not what would have come naturally to me) I thought “of course! If I am unconscious then my…Read More
I’m sometimes not sure whom I make madder: some kids, some parents, or some insurance companies!
Making kids mad:
Me: “Jill, help me understand why your weight would be way down this week?”
Jill (shrugging): “I don’t know. I actually exercised less and ate exactly what I was supposed to.”
Me: “OK. I guess your body is just telling us you need more food.”
Jill: “What!!?? No way! I refuse to have more food.”
Me: “Well…. unless you can think of something that didn’t go quite the…Read More
Eating disorders strike children at virtually all stages of development. Sometimes we think it’s most difficult when they strike a very young child, sometimes it seems the most difficult when a “child” is about to go off to college, or a student exchange program, or start a new school. Personally I think mid adolescence is one of the most difficult times for an eating disorder to strike a child.
Childhood and early adolescence are characterized by learning new skills, but also by…Read More
Have you ever wondered what to tell your other children and family members about your child’s eating disorder? Have you ever wished you had a child friendly, succinct and upbeat resource to share?
Along comes a small book to be published shortly from from Jessica Kingsley Publishers, written by Bryan Lask and Lucy Watson called Can I tell You About Eating Disorders? This little book is apparently one of a series of books written about what the authors refer to as “limiting…Read More
Lots of ink is been spilled on the subject of the stigma associated with having an eating disorder. And in order to discuss the subject sensibly we need to get a few terms straight. It was considered a giant step forward in our field when Dr. Thomas Insel, head of NIMH, began blogging, writing and speaking about the fact that all mental illnesses are brain disorders, and that anorexia nervosa in particular was a severe mental illness. Prior to that it had been possible to…Read More
Providers are finally beginning to dip our toes in the waters which have flowed from the realization that psychiatric and psychological disorders are brain disorders. Case in point: social anxiety.
I don’t know whether we see quite a few eating disordered patients with social anxiety because these diagnoses frequently run together or because social anxiety is so prevalent in the general population, but we do.
And now comes an article by Michael Liebowitz and colleagues from Columbia…Read More
Recently a patient of ours returned from a treatment setting where she had been presented with “challenge foods”. In her case she had been given cheetos and soda pop. Now I ask you, why on earth would someone encourage a child to eat such a thing?
A lot of ink has been spilled on teaching Americans in general and children in particular to make good food choices. Just because you have anorexia nervosa as a child, and desperately need to gain and maintain adequate weight, does not…Read More