Sunday Smörgåsbord

It's once again time for your weekly Sunday Smorgasbord, where I trawl the web for the latest in ED-related news, research, and more, so you don't have to.

People who are more aware of their own heart-beat (have higher interoceptive awareness) have superior time perception skills.

The tyranny of patient/consumer "choice" in medicine in the face of uncertainty & complexity.

The history of psychiatry through objects.

Perhaps an underlying neurological explanation for the overlap between social anxiety and eating disorders: children with social anxiety often misread human facial expressions.

From the mental_floss Twitter feed: In the 1980s, a product called Vision-Dieter glasses promised to curb your appetite by making food look unappealing.

Escape from anorexia, part II.

Alert over childhood eating disorders in the UK.

Women get real about weight and body image. (Note: there are heights and weights posted here, but in the look-at-me-I'm-awesome way)

An Older Generation Falls Prey to Eating Disorders.

Anorexia nervosa striking children as young as seven.

Advocates work to bring eating disorders out of darkness.

Negative attitudes toward fat bodies going global, study finds.

Care with family roots.

Ghrelin in Eating Disorders.

Anorexia, 138 Years Ago.

Registration for the first annual FEAST Conference outside of Washington DC is NOW OPEN! I'll be there!

Stressful life events predict eating disorder relapse following remission: Six-year prospective outcomes.

Dietary variety and energy density are important in preventing relapse from anorexia nervosa.

Aggression and impulsivity with impulsive behaviours in patients with purgative anorexia and bulimia nervosa.

A brief emotion focused intervention for inpatients with anorexia nervosa: A qualitative study.

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Katie said...

I loved "Escaping from anorexia" - it mirrored what I went through in recovery so well! It's great to see other people out there spreading the information that many aspects of eating disorders that people often mistake for causes (food obsession, body dysmorphia) are actually symptoms of malnutrition.

The article on time perception in people with high interoceptive awareness was fascinating...because I am almost like a human stopwatch and my interoceptive is unhelpfully high, to the point of freaking me out because I can feel every little irregularity in my heartbeat and twinge in my digestive system. I never realised that this could be a reason that I am so good at judging time! Maybe it has benefits after all!

(BTW, this is the Katie who used to blog at themilkfreeway - I'm a giant fossilized armadillo now :P

Katie said...

interoceptive awareness, that should have been. Can't resist putting my typos right!

EvilGenius said...

^^ that's interesting. I also have weird time awareness...especially when asleep weirdly enough! (as in I'll wake up 2 minutes before my alarm on the dot, type thing).

I was intrigued by the impulsivity study. any psychiatrist would immediately 'label' me as having impulsive traits/behaviours now I'm recovered, but I didn't so much during the course of either restrictive OR purging AN. I mean, when I was purging type I had more impulsive personality traits but you could never have labelled me as 'multi impulsive' really cause I had none of the behaviours associated with impulsivity. pretty sure my low weight dampened a lot of that (I mean for eg, substance use/abuse, I drink impulsively/in excess now i'm recovered but I was far too terrified of the calories before!).
anyway just a thought. it's far easier to tell which 'type' of anorexic I was now I'm not anymore. weird.

Sia Jane said...

The age of kids getting younger is scary stuff...
I just hope that as people keep talking, educating, writing...that we can do something to reduce such numbers of sufferers and the ages.
I think there have been a number of people as young as 7 getting eating disorders (I am thinking about a close friend who started throwing her lunch away age 7) and maybe they were just not reported in the same way.
According to research it is the same with women who develop an ED later in life. It isn't that it hasn't been there, it is more it was unreported.

My frustration in the reporting of eating disorders, comes in the use of emaciated images.
It feeds not only sufferers sick minds, but more than that, it further enhances the belief; I am not sick unless I am emaciated.

I wrote to the producers of a show on Ch4 and complained about the use of emaciated images in its reporting of eating disorders, and I am hopeful that they are listening.
B-eat produced a lengthy report and I was inclined to lead them towards that report, as opposed to Ofcom's guidelines.

Anyway, I am rambling...

Carrie Arnold said...


I totally agree with you about both the scariness of ED onset getting younger and younger, as well as the use of emaciated women to illustrate every ED story. I know that editors are overworked and underpaid. Yet I'd also like a shred of creativity when it comes to finding an image to accompany an ED story. It's not all that hard.

hm said...

Wow- the history of psychiatry article was distressing! I think I would have been called mad and locked away back in the day- or lived my life in perpetual fear of it. *shudder

The misreading faces/social anxiety article was interesting. But they said socially anxious children tend to think that "angry" is actually "sad"- it's the direct opposite for me. People look angry. Or is that an effect of social aversion rather than social anxiety?

I was curious about something in the escaping from anorexia article. Great article- very informative. Will read it again. Looooove what was said in question 4 about needing to use rules to establish routine and basically reset your body- what a great rebuff to the "but you're being too rigid- how's this supposed to help you recover?" issue.

But my question was about the response to question 1- at the end of that first paragraph- where it says you will wake up one day and no longer have an eating disorder. ??? In conjunction with that- question 3 response- which says that the voice in the head is simply a symptom of malnourishment- which implies that it will disappear completely upon full nourishment. ???

I am confused by these things. I have been told repeatedly that anorexia is a disease/disorder that will probably be a struggle for the rest of my life. That being fully restored weight-wise will alleviate the mental symptoms, but they probably won't disappear completely. If someone's symptoms DO disappear completely, that seems to imply that anorexia isn't actually a disease, but rather a dysfunctional state of being- and then if the voices in my head don't go away, or I never have that momentous morning where I realize my disorder is completely gone- then does that mean I have failed at recovery??? What if I always have these damn voices? Not fair to hold people up to such a high standard- or to give false hope.

Am I missing something here? Have I been misinformed? Is it actually possible to be 100% free of this struggle? Even if you've had it for your whole freaking life??? Like Gaga says, I was born this way. I can't imagine "eating enough" will make it just up and disappear the way this author insinuates. Would love to hear anyone else's thoughts though.

Katie said...

hm - I couldn't imagine it either, and for one reason or another (too low target weights, chaotic intake once weight restored, maybe type/duration of eating disorder - who knows?) it doesn't happen to everyone. But I had an eating disorder for well over ten years and I don't have that voice/those thoughts any more, except if I'm under a lot of stress from external events and have lost my appetite. I didn't just wake up one day and find they had gone, it was more gradual for me. But the point is, even people with a long history of eating disorders can recover to the point at which the eating disorder is not present in their day-to-day life. When people say it never completely leaves you, I tend to think of that as more in terms of the vulnerability to relapse and the fact that the thoughts do come back when I'm very stressed out. But on a normal everyday basis, there's no ED in my life. My experience isn't universal, obviously some people with eating disorders never recover to their fullest extent - but I'm not alone either, I know a lot of other people who had been dismissed as chronically anorexic go on to get the eating disorder out of their heads and lives.

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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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