Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you
The world of eating disorders treatment is changing. Slowly. Infinitesimally. Minusculely. But change is creeping in.
Still, most ED patients and their families get smacked upside the head at some point with the old assumptions and stigmas about these illnesses.
Such as: Eating disorders are caused by cold or overcontrolling mothers; the child has no other way to establish a sense of autonomy, so she stops eating.
To their credit, many docs have left this one behind. Some say they've left it behind but still on some level believe it. And now I have an inkling into why: A friend who's in med school, and who just finished the hour or two devoted to talking about eating disorders in the curriculum, reports that this outdated and discredited point of view is still in the textbooks.
So on some level, these stigmas are still being perpetuated. Big surprise, I know. But you know, it was a surprise. I'm enough of a good girl academically that reading something in a book makes it shiny and important.
I feel pissed off and sad, though, at the thought that this kind of perspective is still living out there in print, for new generations of baby docs to read and take in. Especially since most of them get almost no training in treating eating disorders anyway. So this might be all they take away from med school on the subject. And it's wrong.