Why cause matters

"People given a biological and genetics-based explanation for the causes of anorexia nervosa were less likely to blame people with anorexia for their illness than those given a sociocultural explanation."


  1. Just playing devil's advocate here - where does that leave those who are agnostic as to cause?

  2. That leaves them in a position to focus on what really matters most--their recovering child's health.

  3. Unlike the FBT/Maudsley clinicians, I have never been agnostic!

  4. As I said before I was only playing devil's advocate. I know both that those professionals who publicly state their agnosticism say that what matters is not the cause but effecting the cure, and that you Laura have always been sure in your well researched beliefs about the biological nature of EDs. Personally I've actually found more comfort and hope (and practical support) from a few professionals who have been broadly biological but anti-Maudsley than from some who have professed to use "Maudsley" but don't seem to have a clue about biology but then again is it my experience that has been weird or my view of it ;-)

  5. Could it be that some doctors and medical groups are using this illness to keep a door open to "study" families?
    My old medical books reveal a side of medicine that "uses" patients in case studies.
    Because an ED can present itself with an inner war of thoughts and words it does make it a confusing illness. For some, the steps they take in keeping their ED may "feel" like a rebellion or being in control. We know that they are further from control than they'll ever get because they've lost the ability to nourish properly for themselves. My daughter knew that once it got it's grip it mattered most that she learn how to fight it so she could be well again. In the end the dysfunction or function of her family was irrelevant as she had to get better because it was her life that depended on it.The ED was the real enemy. A T should never join forces by neglecting to begin taking real steps to recovery but they do this all the time. In her situation it became clear to her that it wasn't about anyone else even though with the wrong help she could still be struggling rather than doing quite well. When the treatment T began seeing her she felt slapped at the indifference to the fact that she was desperately hoping that someone could help STOP the purging and not want to sit and chat about how this or that makes her feel. She was appalled enough to quit T and told them it was because they weren't helping her. It was because of this they offered her more intensive support but she soon learned that this too felt like a violation. She wasn't being bad! She was stuck. She did gain confidence in herself and was motivated enough to put an end to her ED. She allowed a liberal family based treatment where living at home with our support helped her to recover. Getting happier was harder but in time with work and nourishment she found that life didn't have to "feel" rotten, as it did proceeding her ED. Nourishment was a large part of feeling better but she also had to re-learn how she was going to perceive things. (not an easy task)
    It would be an easy disease to convince a person is caused by the anything outside their own body as we are all stressed by the deeds and demands of others at times.Ulcers were "caused" by stresses for many years and because they became worse when angry it's easy to see how the connection was made. Cancer is still believed to be caused by stresses to the body.(chemical and possibly emotional unhappiness)
    I do feel that stresses of school and home life can bring about anxieties and contribute to a response that end up making one sick BUT I also feel that it's a disservice to attack those who might offer the best chance at defeating an ED without "cause" to do so. Sadly, too much of this seems to be about money. Imagine if they simply focused on the ED and then helped people at risk find new ways to address their stresses in life? I was fortunate that my daughter was able to trust me enough to create her own recovery. What of those who are too intimidated, have children too deeply entrenched to be at home, or just need outside help? They deserve to have some guidance as well that takes them away from the biggest bully of all...the eating disorder.

  6. All of the clinicians and researchers I've met in the ED world were completely sincere. None of them are in it for money or fame - and none of them want to hurt their patients or their families.

    The ones who stick to the old thinking are doing so because they really believe it, and they believe they are helping people.

    Remember, a large proportion are former sufferers themselves - and are very invested in whatever they believe helped them get better.

  7. I wish everyone in the field of ed treatment *therapists, doctors, etc* would get this genetic information. I found it while writing my thesis in college and as much as I the patient can tell people about it, it isn't until a trained clinician with more information then I have explains it to loved ones that people begin to hear it-but they soon forget it also unless it is continually spoken of. I wish the media would come out with some major article someplace with ALL of the research. I want everyone to know.


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