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Viewing blog posts tagged with "Hospitalization"

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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Why Wait For Treatment?

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 20, 2016 at 3:35pm

It still happens all the time.  I go to see a family in the hospital (and they can be from anywhere) and as I take their history, the parents begin their recitation of what brought their son or daughter to this juncture in the first place.

It often starts subtly: increased alone time as a result of less interest in social activities, more time spent on homework and “fitness” or sport.  Eating “healthy”.  Who can argue with eating healthy and homework?  Then the vegetarianism.…

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Very Early Onset Anorexia Nervosa

posted by Julie O'Toole on April 3, 2015 at 3:20pm

For the purposes of this discussion I am somewhat arbitrarily defining “very early onset” as 12 years and younger.  Despite what you might think, this is not synonymous with “pre-pubertal onset” as Caucasian girls on average begin breast development - and the hormonal changes associated with this - at about 10 ½ years of age. Boys on average begin to go through pubertal changes about two years later.  And for girls and boys of African and Hispanic heritage average ages for these…

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Can I speak to the chef, please?

posted by Julie O'Toole on October 22, 2014 at 7:33am
It’s not very common for me to hear things out of the mouths of our patients that I have not heard before—I have heard most things many, many times. For example: “exercise (insert dance, soccer, cheer, ballet, etc) is my only social life, I don’t have any friends without it,” or “school is the most important thing to me. I can’t get behind because of treatment,” or “I don’t care abut how much weight I gain, as long as it’s muscle,” or “I don’t tolerate… Read More

Levels of Care

posted by Julie O'Toole on April 17, 2014 at 2:49am

At Kartini Clinic our evolution to the current levels of care we offer has been a long one.  In the first days of the clinic we offered only inpatient (hospital rounds for medical stabilization) and outpatient care.  In 2000 we developed the day treatment (partial hospital) level of care.  This was a big step forward and allowed us to “gently land” patients, who required brief medical stabilization in hospital, to a lower level of care. In day treatment, such patients could get a lot…

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Food phobia, the Kartini Clinic recipe

posted by Julie O'Toole on April 9, 2014 at 10:50pm

Talking to a mother whose son has just entered our Food Phobia treatment program I realized that I may not have done a very good job stating clearly what our “recipe” for success with this illness has been.  What can a parent expect?  What can a child look forward to?  What if a provider is forced to treat a child with food phobia in an outlying hospital; how might they proceed?

First, a bit about the diagnosis.

Food phobia is the term Kartini Clinic uses for the sudden onset of…

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Mixed Symptoms

posted by Julie O'Toole on April 2, 2014 at 9:10pm

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…

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But For The Grace of God

posted by Julie O'Toole on March 12, 2014 at 11:32pm

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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The Locked Psychiatric Unit

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 20, 2013 at 9:46pm

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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