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
Viewing blog posts categorized under "Anorexia Nervosa"
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
Sometimes things happen to me that cause me to wonder what planet I have landed on. Five years ago -- to say nothing of ten or fifteen -- whenever I insisted that parents didn’t cause eating disorders, any more than they cause schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or autism, I was treated like I hadn’t done my homework. Thankfully, that has changed. Virtually no responsible eating disorder professional of any stature believes that parents cause severe mental illnesses, of which…Read More
I was recently sent an article from which I will be quoting extensively here (it’s also included in this newsletter - ed.). The article is by Heidi Mills, writing for Outside magazine and features the work of Dr. Emily Cooper of Seattle Performance Medicine. Dr. Cooper has consulted with Kartini Clinic on metabolic health and weight balancing for some time. Originally, we worked together to try and solve the conundrum of patients with AN who appear to be weight restored but who…Read More
I am asked this nearly every week by one parent or another, and I answer reflexively “of course”. In order to do what we do at Kartini Clinic we have to believe our patients can get well, that our efforts and the herculean efforts of the parents can be rewarded. There are no guarantees in life, but there needs to be hope. Hope based on real evidence.
It is true that some patients with eating disorders never do get well. They experience a lifetime of disability and mental illness.…Read More
Recently I was making our daily rounds at Randall Children’s Hospital and received a lesson from a very young patient of ours. I say it over and over: “your patients are your teachers”, and it is really true. I was first told this by Dr. Mizuo Tottori, pediatrician and mentor to many other pediatricians in Hawaii. And life itself has borne out the truth of it, again and again.
This particular little patient has anorexia nervosa and has done very well. Her parents are competent and…Read More
I’m not sure how many of you know it, but Kartini Clinic is looking forward to a major expansion. We have signed the lease in a new building which will allow us more space for our kids and for the rather expansive ideas we are always coming up with. We are continually looking for more ways to support our families, to integrate kids in the Day Treatment Unit (DTU) with their own schools, to improve the experience for families whose child needs medical stabilization across the street…Read More
I was recently asked by a professional skeptic, a parent & friend of mine, “why can’t parents re-feed their own children at home without the stamp of approval of the ‘professionals’”?
Well, they can, they DO, they SHOULD!
Home re-feeding is ideal when it works, as virtually any intervention that can be done at home is preferable to one that requires the input of (even caring) strangers. BUT -- and there are several buts-- it does not always work for several reasons:
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…Read More
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…Read More