Sunday Smorgasbord

Your Sunday Smorgasbord awaits. I hate it when my meals/snacks get delayed, so without further adieu, here's your weekly sampling of ED tidbits.

"Skinny dream" burst by weight loss realities (helpful reminder for those of us with EDs who think behaviors are the solution to our problems!)

Mental health patients turn to each other for strength, advice

Oprah's TV network to air reality show on ED rehab. Needless to say, I won't be watching.

What if: I stopped comparing myself to others?

Are mental disorders brain disorders? (You know what I think- but it's nonetheless a an interesting and useful discussion)

Diets and Eating Disorders in a YouTube World (the part about how YouTube and social media has changed certain aspects of eating disorders is interesting; the rest is a slew of misconceptions. People don't die of EDs because they're just trying to stay thin. Seriously.)

Emotion brain alterations in anorexia nervosa: a candidate biological marker and implications for treatment

A single gene is responsible for OCD-like behaviors in mice

The Extrastriate Body Area and Visual Distortions in Anorexia

GPS for the Recovering? Researchers Study Behavior Through Mapping

A ghrelin gene variant may predict crossover rate from restricting-type anorexia nervosa to other phenotypes of eating disorders

Mind Over Medications: The Role of the Psychiatrist in the 21st Century

Emotion's Alchemy (Seed Magazine feature on unraveling emotions)

An empirical typology of perfectionism in early-to-mid adolescents and its relation with eating disorder symptoms

Alexithymia and eating disorder symptoms in adolescents

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Cathy (UK) said...

I always enjoy your Sunday Smorgasbord Carrie :)

I very much like the NY Times article "Mind over Medications...." Thank goodness I was referred to a psychiatrist who is also a psychotherapist and uses medication sparingly.

Do I think that EDs and many other psychiatric disorders are linked to changes in brain neurophysiology, or unusual brain neurophysiology? Yes, I think that brain neurophysiology plays a significant role in the susceptibility to developing mental illness. However, I also feel that for many/most mental illnesses, environment and interpersonal factors play a huge (and greater) role.

I am highly sceptical of the DSM because I don't think human experience and suffering can be 'placed in boxes' (i.e. diagnostic categories). The DSM may (or may not) have its uses in terms of decision-making around medical insurance and disability, and it's quicker to give someone a diagnosis (say GHPER-NOS... I made that up by the way...) and a 'magic pill' concoction, but the human mind is governed by human experience and real-life stresses that impact on brain function. It's too simple to blame mental illness on (e.g.) an imbalance of brain neurotransmitters or defective brain wiring. And, the psychopharmacological industry is happily making billions from human suffering. Some of these drugs have awful side-effects and the long term toxicity in humans is unknown...

I am certain that a huge factor in the development of my AN was my inherent neurophysiology, but what triggered my AN was life stresses. Medication was all-but-useless, which is why I would never take it again. What ultimately helped was lots of talking therapy, support from fellow human beings - and me accepting myself for who/what I am.

Anonymous said...

goodness gracious... good post and links! seemed to keep me reading all day though!!!!

genetics DEFINITELY plays a roll. if you look through families and their tendencies, my dad's side has anxiety, stress problem. both my brothers have sleeping disorders and PTSD from war... me, i got anorexia/OCD/paranoia with food... i didnt create it, but i do think i created the attachment and the brain disorder developed through association

A:) said...

Hey Carrie,

You wouldn't happen to have access to the full article of "Are mental disorders brain disorders?" If you do I would be really interested if you could send it to me! :)

I also enjoyed the Mind over Medications -- I have an amazing psychiatrist now who is practically unique in the field (even the team he works with thinks he is extremely dedicated)because he is extremely dedicated (will personally call for health issues/medication side effects, sees outpatients in addition to being the medical director a program, etc.) and has a great knowledge of CBT. He also runs groups in the day patient and IP programs.

I have to say that working with him in recovery has been good because although he does not have time to sit through a 50 minute session, he will ask general questions about the patients life and he DOES attempt to empathize/correct distorted thoughts and make suggestions in the 20-30 minutes he DOES have.

The more I learn about neuroscience and psychology, the more I am convinced you cannot have one without the other.

I am not sure if you are familiar with systems theory in biology Carrie? (That systems are more than simply the sum of their parts -- can be related to things like enzyme pathways which have different characteristics than predicted by their basic amino acids structure, etc.) The PERSON who is more than their brain chemistry must be treated in ADDITION to the faulty brain chemistry. This is where the value of CBT, DBT, psychodynamic, interpersonal, humanitsic and social cognitive modalities come in handy. We are people and NOT sets of brain interactions and therefore mental health requires a duel approach.



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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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