Viewing blog posts categorized under "Anorexia Nervosa"

Finding Your Sass

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 29, 2018 at 10:51am

When I first thought about writing this blog I had patients with anorexia nervosa in mind. Patients with AN often struggle to find their voice, regardless of how smart, competent and encouraged they may be by others. On the other hand, our patients of high body weight for whom metabolic problems have lead to obesity, can have the same problem: shame and self-loathing has made them reluctant to use their voice, to fight back.

Unfortunately, “finding their voice”, a commonly stated…

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20 Tips and Tricks for Re-Feeding Your Child

posted by Julie O'Toole on May 11, 2018 at 10:42am

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the past 20 years (yes 20!) of re-feeding children with eating disorders, we at Kartini Clinic have learned some tips and tricks, which I thought I would pass along. Whether you are re-feeding a child at home or in a clinical setting, I hope these pointers can be helpful to you.

Remember: even though life stops until you eat and that without weight restoration you will get nothing, there are ways to help make the process less painful and more…

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The Use of NG tubes in Pediatric Eating Disorder Treatment

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 18, 2018 at 12:14pm

It's funny what one gets criticized for. Recently a couple of young patients have let me know that some other eating disorder providers in our community have tried to steer them away from Kartini Clinic because “Kartini Clinic just shoves a tube in everyone”.  You can imagine this was rather startling to hear. And -- goes without saying, I hope! -- quite untrue.

The history of nasogastric (NG) tube use at Kartini Clinic is this: on our pediatric inpatient unit we have always been…

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Thanksgiving with your child

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 21, 2017 at 10:56am

Here we go into our season of Thanksgiving again. And we, at Kartini Clinic, give thanks for a lot of things: for the healing of our patients, for the continued evolution of  (more) affordable healthcare for families, for enough food to put on the table, for the health and safety of our loved ones. 

That’s the good side of Thanksgiving for us, but there is a challenging side as well.  Thanksgiving is not just about gratitude in this country.  Traditionally it has also been about…

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Back To School And The Risk Of Relapse

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 28, 2017 at 10:51am
 

When you practice as long as I have in the field of childhood eating disorders, one thing becomes abundantly clear: there are cycles to the frequency with which patients appear on our doorstep for treatment -- and on the doorsteps of all the other treatment centers as well. The trouble is, it has proven difficult to understand the peaks and troughs of these cycles and correlate them to much of anything. But there do seem to be a few tentatively recognizable patterns. And these…

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Relapse

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 31, 2017 at 10:00am

Is anorexia nervosa (AN) a chronic illness? What do we mean when we say that AN, or any other eating disorder, is a chronic illness?

Wikipedia says: “The term chronic is often applied when the course of the disease lasts for more than three months. Common chronic diseases include arthritis, asthma, cancer, COPD, diabetes and viral diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. In medicine, the opposite of chronic is acute.”

Lasts for more than three months? Oh yes. By that metric AN is…

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To The Bone: What You Should Know

posted by Morgan O'Toole-Smith on July 20, 2017 at 9:41am

 

On Friday, Netflix released "To the Bone," a film about a young woman struggling with anorexia nervosa. The film has received a great deal of publicity, raising some questions and concerns among parents of children and adolescents with eating disorders.

Here are five questions you may have about the film.

 

My child is recovering from an eating disorder; should they watch this movie?

The question we would ask is why? If it is to gain “insight” into a complex brain illness in…

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The Role of Parents in Treatment

posted by Julie O'Toole on April 27, 2017 at 9:30am

This post was originally published on December 16, 2015. 

Possibly nothing has changed so much over the last ten years as the acceptance of parents’ role in the treatment of children and adolescents with eating disorders.

When I founded Kartini Clinic in 1998, “dysfunctional” parents were widely considered to cause eating disorders in general and anorexia nervosa in particular. Toxic and enmeshed mothers were commonly cited by therapists, doctors and lay people as the common…

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Why Weight Restoration in Eating Disorder Treatment Must Come First

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 29, 2016 at 8:46am

This post was originally published on February 13, 2012.

I (among others) have recently been challenged by Laura Collins to get the message out that weight restoration is critical to psychological recovery in anorexia nervosa. Some authority, Laura says, must declare definitively that psychological recovery is tied to weight restoration.

Some authority… okay… but who?

Since the late 1990’s the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) has issued guidelines for hospitalization (after…

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Tolerating our own children’s distress

posted by Julie O'Toole on October 20, 2016 at 8:32am

This post was originally published on November 13, 2013.

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…

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