Given my interest in the relationships between autism and anorexia I was personally touched by this: Hormone offers new hope in autism research.

Ever since our kids were babies our family has jokingly refered to hugs as "oxytoxin." "I need some oxytocin" means "I need a hug."
Why? Because we hang out with midwives, and oxytocin is the hormone associated with stimulating labor and nursing and bonding. It is the hug hormone, the empathy builder.
Oxytocin is released when people are caressed, massaged, shake hands. Swaddled, wrapped in blankets... are you getting where I'm going with this? Human touch - something that people with mental health issues often get less and less of as they grow isolated. Human touch - a thing children get most from their parents. Something adolescents often reject from their parents. A human need, but one that the tactile sensitive person may find excruciating if not done with great care. Hugs, the most obvious drug possible, if sometimes very hard to deliver.


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