This quote from a recent letter from a parent speaks for itself:

“I'm thankful for our therapist who knew that (my daughter) needed to go to the hospital. If we had listened to the doctors, even one in our own family who said it seemed extreme to admit her, we would be in a very different situation now. I guess she didn't have enough of the physical symptoms YET, she only had low bp, dizziness, cold all the time, tingling hands, jaundice, losing hair on her head, but growing it on her back, and had lost over 30 lbs., I guess she needed to lose a little more. I don't think doctors look at the mental state of an anorexic. (She) would climb out on the roof when it was time to eat, she ran away from home and was gone for almost 3 hours, and said she would rather die than eat.”

I wish it was the first time I heard this kind of thing, but I hear similar stuff all the time. Patients go from outpatient treatment where no one is terribly alarmed to emergency rooms and extended hospitalization - overnight. Mental symptoms the parents report are downplayed.

There is too little understanding of how the body and brain compensate for malnutrition until - suddenly - it can't. We need a zero tolerance attitude toward malnutrition at any level. Why do we think food is optional? Why don't we acknowledge that malnutrition makes you sick?

And we need to listen to parents, often the first to know something is wrong.


  1. I have a hard time even thinking about that time in my daughter's life. We knew something was terribly wrong, but the doctor's seemed to think we were over reacting. Had we not pushed for treatment, she could have died. That is what keeps me up at night. I haven't spoken with my daughter's pedetrician yet, but plan to "educate" her on ED's in the future.


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