Viewing blog posts tagged with "Anorexia"

A wolf in sheep’s clothing

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 20, 2012 at 2:00pm

Every researcher in the field of eating disorders tries their best to reduce the burden of suffering for patients.  They try to contribute to the meaningful scientific discussion.  Having said that, however, I am going to proceed to critique an article by Natalie Godart, Sylvie Berthoz, Florence Curt and colleagues at the Institut Mutualiste Montsouris in Paris, France; the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research; King’s College, London Institute of Psychiatry; the…

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Anorexia Nervosa Case Report, Circa 1684

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 23, 2011 at 11:50pm

As promised, here is the first patient case report by Richard Morton in his 1689 book, Pthisiologia. My comments are in regular italics and his original text in bold (with original, Stuart England grammar and spelling!).

History 1

Mr. Duke’s Daughter in S Mary Axe (a medieval parish in London memorialized by a modern London street of that name) in the year 1684. and the Eighteenth Year of her Age, in the month of July fell into a total Supression of her monthly Courses from a…

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Anorexia Nervosa in the 17th century

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 17, 2011 at 12:38am

There seems to be a discussion that simply will not die in the world of eating disorders (particularly when it comes to anorexia nervosa) around whether the “desire for thinness” is culturally bound and whether AN is a “modern phenomenon”.

A few years ago I was fortunate enough to acquire a copy of Pthsiologia, a book written in 1689 by Richard Morton, an astute observer and physician of his day.  Morton’s description of two cases—one in a boy and one in a girl-- of what we now call…

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Coming to Terms with My Daughter’s Genetically Programmed Body Size

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 18, 2011 at 1:59pm

Friends:  at the F.E.A.S.T. conference in Washington DC, I was approached by a mother (we’ll call her Kathy) who thanked me for helping her out from a distance with my blog titled “Determining Ideal Body Weight”.  She told me how she struggled to come to grips with the weight gain her daughter truly needed to get well.  I was very impressed by her eloquence, humility and dedication to her daughter.  I asked her if she would consider writing a guest blog so that other parents…

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Don’t take no for an answer

posted by Julie O'Toole on October 28, 2011 at 3:00pm

I made this dialogue up, pieced it together from things that have been said to mothers and fathers seeking our care for their eating disordered children many times over the years.  

“Doctor, I am really worried about Simon.  He seems thin to me and recently all he does is study and exercise, he rarely goes out with his friends any more and he used to be such a social kid.”

“Don’t worry, Mom.  Kids go through all kinds of stages.  They have to experience who they are and often try on…

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Boys with anorexia nervosa

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 30, 2011 at 3:00pm

I sit at my desk drinking coffee; our patient census over the years is approaching two thousand children and young adults, the majority of whom have had anorexia nervosa or its variants.  And I am thinking about our boys.  

Given the approximate accepted statistic that 90% of patients with AN will be female, (even though the percentage is higher in younger patients), that still gives us around 200 boys.

Remember, with that many, if you think you recognize someone from these…

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Going off to college (with an eating disorder): 4 Tips for Parents

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 24, 2011 at 12:57am

We get a lot of questions about how to handle college for an eating disordered young adult.  There is no one right way to handle all situations, but I will list a few of our ideas here.

#1:   Make a plan!  Do not just cross your fingers and hope that things will go well for your child. Wishful thinking is not your friend.

#2:   If  your college-bound child is currently active in their eating disorder, for example bingeing or purging at any frequency, losing weight, restricting their…

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Family-based eating disorder treatment for the young adult patient

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 16, 2011 at 2:59pm

Family-based treatment for the young adult patient

For most of us when we are 17, 18, 19 or slightly older, independence from our family of origin can’t come a moment too soon.  We are anxious to be independent, and highly allergic to ‘being told what to do’.  And usually—though young folks often do not credit this—our parents are equally anxious for us to do so.  Although many of us parents are very tearful at the ‘loss’ of our child to our home, we are also excited to see them…

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Think what’s at stake

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 30, 2011 at 3:40am

I am often asked: “do we really need to have all this treatment for our child’s eating disorder?  Can’t she/he just talk to someone once a week and not have it interfere with school/soccer/summer vacation/my work schedule?"

I imagine they could.  But then you’d get what people used to get: spotty and unreliable results.  In past decades, people with anorexia nervosa were ill for years, often long into adulthood.  Restricting eating disorders became more entrenched and soon purging was…

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When Other Family Members are Affected by an Eating Disorder Too

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 12, 2011 at 8:46pm

What does it mean to say a family member of a patient with anorexia nervosa is “affected” or “partially affected” with an eating disorder?

The last ten years have brought us a lot of new information about eating disorders in general and anorexia nervosa in particular.  One such bit of new information is the evidence of heritability of anorexia nervosa.  In a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry Dr Cynthia Bulik, a well known researcher from the University of North…

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