Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dangerous words

I know of people who have recovered from eating disorders at Remuda Ranch (don't you love the name? don't forget your 10-gallon hat, little lady). But I am no fan of places like Remuda and Renfrew, big profit-making chains of residential treatment programs. They're a real mishmosh of treatments, their long-terms statistics are crappy, and, most of all, they imply through their very existence that families are a liability, not an asset, when it comes to recovering from an eating disorder.

Now they've pretty much come out and said so.

And I'm glad. You know why? Because now at least it's out on the table. I'd much rather have someone say it out loud--Families cause eating disorders--than get the knowing looks, the condescending body language, the unspoken judgment.

The stigma of eating disorders is vile and deep. It kills people as surely as starvation does.

The first step to fighting stigma? Get it out into the open. See it for what it is. Name it. Yank it out of the closet of politeness and into the hard light of reality.

And then stomp the shit out of it.