Parent gets APA to drop parent-blaming

Chris, a parent, wrote me yesterday about something I must share.

The American Psychological Association's "Help" page says this:

"Certain psychological factors predispose people to developing eating disorders. Dysfunctional families or relationships are one factor."

But it won't say that for long. Because Chris contacted the authors listed on the page. Two said they don't remember writing it and don't know why their name is on it. One said she believed it but had no evidence aside from clinical experience to support the statement.


This is the kind of kick-a no-nonsense activism we need more of out there. I applaud Chris and everyone else out there trying to dislodge these myths and dangerous, antiquated ideas. Now, who is up for tackling the page on parents and eating disorders?


  1. Bravo for Mr Chris!

    This is damn fantastic news to read, couldn't put a bigger smile on my face today, (just like the YouTube below- I SO needed this after feeling like a rung out sponge- argghhh!)

    Mr Tiemeyer, former soft-ware engineer, or whatever from is so eerily reminiscent of our d's former therapist, (we've now been through two, on #3 at present!) And I'm quite offended at that entire back-and-forth article, reads like the same 'ol blame game, but now even more confusing and misleading because he's woven in so cleverly, nice things like Maudsley, among all the other damaging things we parents have done to give our kids and ED!!

    I think Mr Tiemeyer should have stayed in the computer software field... kinda like all those psychologists with an array of specialities/intersts who get employed with ad agencies. Such a conflict of interest now, we really have our work cut out for us as parents don't we?

    Cheers~ *T

    "Since everything is none other
    than exactly as it is
    one may well just break out
    in laughter."

  2. Tracey's right - laughter is probably the only thing that it appropriate for that little lot. After all with so many possible ways that parents can be the cause of all their children's problems, there's not much hope for us is there?
    The best contradiction to this rubbish that I've seen recently came from my own daughter when an ignorant (and totally unprepared) "professional" laid much of the blame for our problems on our relationship and noted that there were "negative aspects" or our relationship. The response was "OBVIOUSLY. If there weren't then that would be weird". It's good to know that my daughter doesn't think I'm weird, even if she's probably wrong ;-)

  3. Chris clearly states that the family may be one aspect of the development of an eating disorder. I think it is beneficial for all of us to look at ourselves and consider how we may have contributed to the situation. That is not the same as "blaming" parents, rather it is taking into consideration relationship dynamics that could impact another in a negative way.

  4. Every family is dysfunctional. Yes, people with eating disorders come from whacked-out homes. So does everyone else.


    It reminds me of the shrink (and I mean that with every negative connotation I can muster) who saw me the day after I overdosed. He first asked if I took X pills intentionally. I said, "No you ass, you *accidentally* take that many pills. Yes, it was intentional." Then he said that my ED was because of my disappointment in less than perfect parents. "I knew all along my parents weren't perfect. It doesn't bother me- after all, I just look more normal in comparison."

    Maybe I'll write our software engineer turned psychologist here. Then again, maybe I could take his job... ::strokes my invisible beard::

  5. Oh my God! This Matthew guy just got my sicilian temper stoked! I am so going to send him an emial. After I take a deep breath to avoid bad language.


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