Sunday 29 March 2015

A 'new approach' to eating disorder treatment that points the fingers at mothers again... Aaarrgghh!

Gloucester (that is, the Gloucester in the States, not the Gloucester here in the UK), is promoting a 'new approach' to eating disorder treatment in which 'mothers and daughters are educated together about eating disordered behavior, and the family and cultural patterns that contribute to it.' Apparently mothers talk too much about the size of their thighs and such like which triggers their daughters (no mention of sons here) to go on diets and develop eating disorders. Apparently 'learning to think differently about food and one’s body is the pathway to changing destructive eating patterns.'

Come on... for God's sake... this blaming of mothers isn't a 'new approach'; it is a decades-old and positively Stoneage approach.

It completely ignores the fact that research is showing that eating disorders are more about 'genes' than environmental factors. And we can't help our genes, whether those genes come from the paternal or maternal side of a family. Eating disorders are a biological illness.

It also ignores the fact that boys get eating disorders as well as girls. So talking about 'daughters' is also antiquated.

Far from being 'educated' on how we mothers should be bringing up our children, it is often these very mothers who know more about modern evidence-based treatment for eating disorders than the therapists in cases where therapists' knowledge is so outdated.

It is often these very mothers who are amongst the strongest women I have ever met, having stared the potential death of their child in the face almost every day for years and worked tooth and nail to get their child free of this terrible illness.

It makes me mad that people are still talking about eating disorders in this way!

1 comment:

  1. It absolutely kills me to think that parents are being blamed for 'causing' their child's EDs...I just want to reassure you that i truly do believe it's something in the brain that makes us more likely to get an ED. Please please please don't blame yourself for you sons eating disorder...I think just the fact that this theory dismisses EDs in males just speaks volumes about the validity of it. They obviously have very little understanding on what it really means to have an ED. Just to completely disprove this theory, my mother has NEVER been on a diet in her life, she's never worried about her siZe or weight. She's always been a healthy size 8-10. The reason I have anorexia Nervosa is NOTHING to do with how she's brought me up. Everyone's ED is different and people get the for different reasons. You seem like a lovely, genuinely concerned mother and from what I can gather, you're doing the best for your son!!