Walter Kaye is my homeboy

I love that people are beginning to treat eating disorders as actual illnesses, rather than just portraying sufferers as fashion victims. It's true- I've been a victim of fashion myself, but of the horrific mid-1980s styles of mall bangs and fluorescent sweatsuits. And tight-rolled jeans.

But that had nothing to do with my anorexia. Completely nada. I never read fashion magazines, and I still don't. I will occasionally steal them from my therapist's office because they make great material for collages. But otherwise, no. I'm much more of a Scientific American and Time kind of girl.

So it was with great joy that I read in the news headlines that the US National Institutes of Mental Health has announced the launching of a major study on anorexia throughout the US. A better understanding of the underlying biological causes will create better treatments and a better understanding of what goes on in an anorexic's brain.

Much of the current research on anorexia is being conducted at UCSD by Walter Kaye. While this is really cool stuff, what's better is that he is translating it into concrete treatments for the disorder. Treatments that can be measured and used by people, even those without insurance. I'm speaking specifically of the Maudsley Approach, which treats food as medicine. And while using Maudsley doesn't guarantee your child will recover- nothing really does- I can say that you won't recover if you don't eat.

That's why Walt's my homeboy.

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1 comment:

mary said...

I've always wanted to be a fly on the wall during certain health classes my children took because they'd always come away with whatever the particular teachers prejudices were about certain foods. They'd also become more obsessed with cleanliness,almost suddenly. Seeds do get planted elsewhere as well. We see how other families eat, we learn about how those with 'wiser' parents restrict chips and certain types of food. For some even ice cream is considered an unsafe food. One doesn't have to be anorexic to come away with certain food fears. Some drink soda, some only diet ones. I said NO diet drinks. That was my fear seed that I know I gave and the one seed I won't take back. We never drank much soda so it wasn't one I had to speak about often, but I'm guilty. Give us ice cream elderly neighbor was a weekly donor to the ice cream cause at my house..god bless her. If she could live till 97yrs. on some of the foods she loves then all was good.
Do you suspect a beginning for you Carrie, if you don't mind me asking? Something you focused on and allowed to grow into something bigger and scarier than it was? I asked my daughter the same type of questions when I told her how important it was to her brain that she include fat/oils in her daily diet. She wouldn't touch cake type products for a long time...then she did. yippee! She faced her oils fear quickly because she knew her mind was being screwed with by a disease and she knew I wouldn't lie to her. I knew how severe the fear could get if she didn't learn to walk through her own fire, face the fears. She chose to do it in as much denial of ED as she place where denial is a great tool. Recovery. Keep eating whatever you darn well please, because you can, until you really can. Goes with 'fake it till I make it' affirmation.
That's enough of my non scientific mom thoughts. No, it wasn't a fashion statement here either.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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