Our own worst enemies

Once upon a time I thought that if parents just banded together to fight the myths about eating disorders and press for good science that we'd triumph and things would improve. One only needs to look at the autism parent community to be reminded that we are sometimes our own worst enemies.

My fellow blogger Kristina Chew, happens to have science on her side when she says Vaccines Don't Cause Autism, No They Don't but a glance at the comments on her post tells the story of how parents often act as the driver of change AND defenders of self-destructive information.

I wonder if there is any evidence or authority or paradigm change that can eradicate some of these ideas - like vaccines causing autism or parents causing eating disorders. Yes, these ideas started from professionals but live on often by means of parents carrying the banner. Even when the treatment field has moved on they end up fighting parents and advocates end up fighting the very people they wish to assist.

When I face professionals who are stuck in a parent-blaming or parent-marginalizing stance I feel free to face it down. It is harder with fellow parents. Some parents are stuck in self-blame, resentment at other parents, or the crab-bucket mentality. Other parents go off on wild tears in yet newer but no less damaging belief systems. This has to be part of the fight, as it is in the autism world, to face down these ideas no matter the source.


  1. Laura

    Could it possibly be a side effect of our blame culture. We cannot believe, as parents, that this has happened out of the blue. So we want to blame someone or something.

  2. My mom once told me that the idea of genetics causing eating disorders made her feel guiltier than the traditional ideas. If it was her genes, then it was definitely her fault, while otherwise she could blame my illness on the culture we live in and such.

    I think also parents want to believe that when something bad happens to another kid, it's because their parents messed up, and it's not something that could ever happen to their kid. My mom still seems to enjoy the drama of speculating what went wrong in a family when one of their kids messes up.

    (Not that I'm trying to criticize my mom here; I just am trying to think of some explanations. We all have our faults, and my mom has many good qualities as well.)

  3. I personally think the genetics are the foundation and the environment that one is put in can trigger some people easier than others due to genetics. don't self blame. it doesn't get you anywhere.

    know it's not your fault. it's a huge amount of stuff put together that makes an ED what it is and now all we can do is chug forward. stick with it.
    take care


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