A couple of days ago I posted about a new study out of Finland showing that anorexia is both--as the media are reporting it--"more common and more transient than previously believed." It took me a few days, but I finally figured out what's bugging me about this: the word transient.
Transient is something that happens for a hour or two and then disappears. Transient is fleeting, momentary, temporary.
Transient is not what happens when the demon of anorexia inhabits someone, body and mind and soul, for three or five or seven years. Transient is not losing most of your adolescence and some of your young adult years to a disease that's like an eclipse of the world-as-you-know-it.
Transient is when they close the street to do construction repairs. Transient is not when the street gets blown up. Even if it gets fixed five years later.
One thing I've learned from Sandy Szwarc is to look behind the rhetoric when it comes to studies and research findings. In this case, it's the interpretation, I suspect, that's bugging me. I don't know if it's the study's authors, or the media reporting it, or both. All I know is that anything that puts a child into hell for longer than an hour or two is not transient. Not at all.