Marcella, you'll love this one!

Miranda almost died from anorexia. She is eight years old

This inside view of inpatient treatment has details I wish were included in every article on EDs. But warning: it also includes a statement about parent denial that will make your blood boil.

It isn't denial. It is bad information, the natural inclination of a parent to help a child in distress, and a lack of coherence in the treatment world. Parents love their children, and are doing the best they can. You don't expect a mother to create a chemotherapy plan or a father to teach himself to administer insulin.

Train us, however, point us the way, and we will perform miracles.

(marcella, I await your UK view here!)


  1. I've only read the title but even before I did I just KNEW where it would come from! There's a flip side to professionals feeling that parents should take charge of eating and Dee Dawson has cornered the market in it.
    Now that I've had my little uninformed rant I'll go back and read the article.

  2. Yep - you're right - I loved reading this. Nothing in it surprised or shocked me though as I'm far more used to the "inadequate parents can't treat EDs" than the "inadequate parents cause EDs" message.
    I would question whether the Observer really did gain unprecedented access to the clinic - it's private and needs publicity to keep attracting clients and is quite often featured in the media.
    I would agree with Dawson on one thing "The one place parents should never allow their child to go was, said Dawson, an adult psychiatric ward," and I'd say that this goes for adult children too.

  3. Our daughter began losing weight in June 2005 and her Mom and I immediately became concerned. Between June and September we brought her to three primary care doctors, insisting each time something was wrong.They insisted there was nothing to worry about. The third doctor cleared her for competitive rowing. A month later, she was diagnosed with severe AN and shortly after that was admitted to the hospital. It is now obvious thedoctors missed many red flags: 16-year-old girl, losing weight, competing in distance running and rowing, missing her periods, fainting. So when a doctor says he never ceases to be amazed by some parents, I say I never cease to be amazed by some doctors.

  4. Of course I will also agree with Dawson on the need to treat Anorexia agressively and on the severity of the illness! I'm sure she and her staff do an excellent job - I just wish they wouldn't be so critical of the poor old parents who almost always love their children very much indeed and have tried their damndest to help them before they need residential treatment and who are the ones doing the hard work of maintenance and tackling the perpetuating features of this horrible illness when they come out again.


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