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.
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.
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.
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.