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Viewing blog posts categorized under "Anorexia Nervosa"

But For The Grace of God

posted by Julie O'Toole on March 12, 2014 at 2:32pm

When I was a girl, my brothers and sister and I had the usual kid-like responses to the world around us.  One of them was innocent astonishment at those less fortunate than we: the man at the bus stop without a leg, the “retarded” kid on the playground, homeless people.  If we were unwise enough to comment on them negatively in our father’s presence we felt the full force of his disapproval, the full weight of his teaching.  “When you see someone less fortunate than you, you are…

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What We Say Matters

posted by Julie O'Toole on March 5, 2014 at 4:18pm

I just returned from Tampa, Florida and the 2014 IAEDP conference of professionals involved in the treatment of eating disorders.  I was there to talk about the very young child with anorexia nervosa, and I was slated to talk for three hours. And talk I did. For three hours! That’s an unusually long presentation time, but I was surprised that the audience and I found plenty to say on the subject.  

At the beginning of my presentation I asked everyone to briefly state who they were…

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FEAST 2014 and Weight Restoration 2.0

posted by Julie O'Toole on February 5, 2014 at 2:44pm

Morgan and I just returned from the parent-founded and parent-lead F.E.A.S.T. conference, familiar to many of you as an online resource for parents whose children are struggling with an eating disorder.

The conference lasted two days, and we spoke at noon on the second day, to a group of (mainly) parents and a few activist providers.  The following comments are just some of my personal impressions, not necessarily shared by anyone else.

The keynote speaker was Laura Hill, PhD.,…

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How to diagnose the child who “won’t eat”

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 29, 2014 at 1:57pm

This blog will be short as I am preparing to attend and speak at the F.E.A.S.T. conference in Texas this week.  Very exciting!

Recently I was asked to consult on a child who “won’t eat” and who hasn’t eaten for several weeks. Her situation is complicated by English not being the family’s first language and by her entrance into the medical “system” being through the emergency room, but it did remind me how complicated making the correct diagnosis can be in a child who won’t eat. This…

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Vegetables and Kartini’s Meal Plan

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 22, 2014 at 2:33pm

Despite the fact that we occasionally receive criticism of our Meal Plan for its supposed “rigidity”, what has struck me after years of reading people’s food journals is the degree to which people self-limit their food choices.  This is especially true of vegetables.  I have also noticed that our families’ food journals fall roughly into two categories: those who seem to relish a more Mediterranean style of eating (the original intent of the Meal Plan, by the way) and those who eat a…

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Quiet hero, mother, activist dear Charlotte

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 15, 2014 at 5:22pm

This is the second time I have blogged about a mother named Charlotte and her brave, sassy and in-your-face crusade to find great care and justice for children with eating disorders.

Only this time it is not only to sing her praise but to mourn her death.

On the website she founded to promote Charlotte’s helix. her bio reads: “Charlotte Bevan is the youngest of three, the mother of two and the wife of a farmer, but definitely not a farmer's wife.  She left school with barely a…

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Appeasing The Monster

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 18, 2013 at 2:55pm

Some blog topics draw in a continuous trickle of commentary long after they've been published.  One such blog is entitled “Determining Ideal Body Weight”. And little wonder.

The other day I answered a comment by a young reader named Charlotte. It started me thinking how urgent her question might be for others who may not have read the original blog (or at least not for some time).  Charlotte wrote:

"I am an 18 year old female with a history of initially EDNOS and then AN B/P…

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The Locked Psychiatric Unit

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 20, 2013 at 12:46pm

No doubt I will make myself unpopular (again) with some of our psychiatric colleagues by speaking out in this way about the use of locked psychiatric units in the treatment of children with eating disorders, but we have had several recent transfers to Kartini Clinic instigated by parents who disagreed with their treatment team’s insistence that their child be admitted to their regional locked psychiatric unit.  The parents visited the unit and were scared by what they saw.

There is…

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Tolerating our own children’s distress

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 13, 2013 at 11:32am

Until I lived in the world of therapists and mental health professionals as part of the Kartini multidisciplinary team treating children with eating disorders, I had never actually heard the phrase “tolerating distress”, particularly as it pertained to parents.  Like most parents, I have a very difficult time tolerating pain in my own children, either physical or emotional and, when put in that situation, I immediately get busy trying to save them.

How can that be wrong?  It’s…

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Selective Eating revisited

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 6, 2013 at 4:30pm

I recently blogged on one of the childhood eating disorders (incidentally not yet recognized as such in the DSM system) called selective eating.  I got a deluge of parental comment and interest, which I would like to try and address here.

What exactly is selective eating?

Selective eating (SE) is a condition present since earliest childhood where a child eats only a very narrow range of foods and refuses all others and yet where his or her linear growth is normal. Such children are…

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