Here's a surprising development. From time to time, I will comment on a piece on someone else's blog by writing about it only on their blog, in the comments section, rather than post my comment on my own blog. Said comments invariably get printed because while my writings may be controversial, they're never obscene or inappropriate.

But for the last two days, I have left comments on a piece by one Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, an activist in the area of eating disorders, and they have not been printed. In her essay, called "She's Anorexic, and You're a Bad Mother," (the title meant to be sarcastic), Laura basically heaves a sigh of relief because she claims it is now unequivocal that "Eating disorders are brain disorders...biologically based and genetically transmitted. This isn't opinion," Laura says, "it is fact." How does she know that this is so? Because "Dr. Thomas Insel, head of the National Institute for Mental Health, says so."

Having worked with many young people (mostly women) with such disorders over the last thirty years, I challenged the absoluteness of Laura's assertion with my own considerable experience and research in this area. I mentioned such well-known books by people with hands-on practice with anorexics like "THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF EATING DISORDERS," by Peggy Claude-Pierre, and "THE BEST LITTLE GIRL IN THE WORLD." by Steven Levenkron (also a movie), and "WHEN FOOD IS LOVE," by Geneen Roth. There are many more books and studies about the psychological and emotional underpinnings of anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders.

I began my own career as a clinical social worker and psychotherapist working with a young woman in a psychiatric hospital who was anorexic and bulimic. Her condition was life-threatening, but I intuitively understood that her efforts at self-destruction had a connection to her early relationship with her parents, that she had negated her own need for emotional nourishment in favor of what she perceived to be the emotional needs of her parents, and then translated that self-negation into not even needing physical nourishment. By working with her strictly on an interpersonal basis over the course of a month, spending a lot of time with her each day, establishing a therapeutic alliance she could trust, she became able to eat and hold her food down to the point where she gained enough weight to be discharged and continue on in outpatient psychotherapy successfully.

It is tragic that parents, abetted by doctors who are lazy and greedy, so desperately seek to be not culpable to any degree in their children's dysfunctions that they have created a whole movement whose credo amounts to: "It's not my fault; it's nature." Which, of course, to the abundant joy of the AMA and Big Pharma, has to lead to the use of drugs and other applied methods without the use at all of insight into the nature of the emotional connection between parent and child and how that can go awry.

It is hard work, as a therapist and a parent, to go down into the emotional depths of a deep-rooted psychological condition with a child. It requires a level of self-penetration and healing that medical science is no longer interested in. There's no money in it, and it's just too difficult for the aggrandized ego to withstand.

So, Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh has a blog with comments only cheering her on and nothing from me. So be it. But it doesn't change the truth: parents are always part of the problem.

No comments:


blogger templates 3 columns | Make Money Online