Feeding the enemy

And you thought family dinner was already scary enough?

If you've run out of things to blame, try this: eating disorder caused by siblings.

Oh, Mr. Freud, what's it like to live forever?

(I'm joking, by the way. Of course siblings don't cause eating disorders. In fact, in the Maudsley approach the siblings are an active and important part of recovery and as a result are themselves able to stay engaged and included and well. I just could not resist sharing the tortured and circular thinking in the "research" cited above.)


  1. Talk about adding two and two and getting five hundred.

  2. That's one of the more appalling things I've read on the subject. Right up there with refrigerator mothers causing autism.

  3. Amazing how much of this kind of stuff there is around even in this day and age. Seems to me the authors of this nonsense are the delusional ones.

    Int J Psychoanal. 2001 Feb;82(Pt 1):43-55. Links
    Comment in:
    Int J Psychoanal. 2001 Jun;82(Pt 3):601-2.
    Loving them to death: the anorexic and her objects.

    Lawrence M.
    The author suggests that eating disorders function to reinforce phantasies of control of the internal parents, a feature of Klein's view of the manic defence. Using this hypothesis, she attempts to differentiate between anorexia and bulimia. It is argued that in anorexia objects are felt to be permanently in thrall, suspended or frozen, whereas in bulimia they are attacked in a frenzied and intermittent way. Using case material from three seriously ill patients, the author draws attention to some important differences between them. Two of the patients were treated in psychoanalysis, while the third was seen for an extended consultation and once-weekly treatment thereafter. It is suggested that the nature and degree of the murderous attack on the internal couple may determine the severity of the illness as well as the patient's capacity to benefit from treatment. The conclusions drawn are discussed in relation to some contemporary views on eating disorders as well as writings on the difficulties of working through the Oedipus complex more generally. The author suggests that eating disorders may represent a special case of oedipal illusions.

  4. oh, that one is even worse!! gruesome!!!!! gak!

  5. Or that people with AN just really need to get laid (heard that from a former T...that's why she's a *former* T)

    Strangely, my brother didn't start hating me until after the onset of my illness. He was (well, is) significantly older than me, so we were never that close, but nonetheless.

    What's even more interesting is how (I think) some of these theories were originally created and promulgated: case studies of sufferers themselves *while they were in the acute stage of illness." Um, hello. You take someone who's frightened and sick and give them a "reason" they're feeling completely nuts and let them go loose on whoever is close at hand (usually close family members), well, such theories emerge. I wasn't even asked "if" my mom "messed me up." I was simply asked "how."



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