February 5, 2015

Tell your mom

I am so deeply moved by a comment just received. It was on an older post, but where a very frightened and confused young person said her mother "can't know" about her eating disorder. I responded to her, but THIS response is so beautiful and deserves a post of its own:

"tell your mom, she loves you and she doesn't want you to hurt. I wish I understood this when I was your age and got help, now that I have children of my own I understand that there is nothing that would make me stop loving them. Your mom will do anything to help you, don't keep it a secret tell someone all you have to do is reach out. & I think you just did."

She's right. She's exactly right. Tell your mom.

10 comments:

  1. It's so cute that you act as though no parents suffer from a mental illness of their own, which may actually render them incapable of emotionally supporting their child. I wish the actual universe functioned like that.

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    1. It's so tragic that you would think that advice to tell one's mother is wrong because some parents are mentally ill.

      Wait, ED, is that you?

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    2. The ironic thing is that, in the viewpoint of most ED-mommy advocacy groups out there, we're not allowed to even discuss the possibility that parents of children with EDs might be mentally ill themselves. Evidently, open discussion of a real and tangible issue which might actually have a major and persistent impact on the parent/child relationship cannot be acknowledged, because that means we're "parent-blaming".
      I mean, yeah....all these mommy-advocate groups will acknowledge that OTHER families might have mentally ill people in them. Just not THEIR family. And certainly not any other mommy-advocate's family. And no, you cannot ask. And no, none of these mommy-advocates will ever consider their own mental health. That's not allowed.
      It's the CHILD that's the problem. Always. Let's keep the problem with the CHILD.

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    3. I don't know who you are shadow-boxing at, but you seem to see some coordinated "mommy" army that is mentally ill and "in denial" about it. Some parents are mentally ill, in which case I think more sympathy than venom would be in order, and in which case the urgency for good evidence-based care and expert treatment would be even higher.

      Being mentally ill isn't a crime or wicked: its an illness.

      As is an eating disorder. I'm not at all offended that you spew venom at parents but your statement that "the CHILD that's the problem" as if a mental illness is the person is very sad. The ILLNESS is the problem for the patient and for the family, not the child. Parents who are trying to help their kids are not angry at them or blaming them. Parents are trying to save their kids from a horrible illness, a difficult life, and the risk of early death.

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    4. On the idea that it is the ILLNESS, and not the child, that is the problem, we definitely agree.

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  2. My kid told her mom (and also me, her dad). We battled the anorexia all together and now she is completely recovered.

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  3. If mental illness leaves an adult incapable of helping a teenager recover from anorexia nervosa, then what about professional treatment providers? A survey of 300 eating disorder professionals found that 70% have received a personal diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder of one kind or another. Warren, A Qualitative Analysis of Job Burnout in Eating Disorder Treatment Providers. Does this mean that 70% of eating disorder therapists should be disqualified from providing treatment?

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    1. That's a false choice. Having been ill doesn't qualify or disqualify. Providing good treatment, informed by good data and training and experience, is the only qualification I care about.

      Many of us have had or currently have mental health issues. That's just part of the human condition.

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    2. Are there any professional treatments for anorexia nervosa that have a success rate greater than 50% in clinical trials?

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