Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cool new study on anorexia

It seems clear that family-based treatment is an excellent way to go for adolescents who develop anorexia or bulimia. But what about adults? Now a new study out of University of North Carolina is looking for volunteers to test a related treatment that could help adults with eating disorders.

When a teen gets sick, parents are a crucial part of her/his recovery. This study looks at how spouses can be involved in recovery. It makes a lot of sense to me, because anorexia is anosognosic--people who have it either can't perceive that they're ill or, in the case of some adults, often can't "decide" to recover themselves. Having someone else take charge of recovery or at least be involved in it can make all the difference.

Kudos to Cindy Bulik and other UNC researchers for testing this one out. I look forward to hearing the results.


Sarah said...

Thats awesome, I'm 22 and interested in what the study will find!

Anonymous said...

It'll be really interesting to see the results of the study. It seems like a promising avenue. I love the acronym UCAN too.

I'm also looking forward to the forthcoming case series article on family-based treatment for college-aged patients from the University of Chicago mentioned here:

Unknown said...

Thanks so much. Just to let you know - We have benefited beyond measure from this study. It was scary doing the piece on the news, but this is such a needed study that Tommy and I want to help in any way we can to get the word out.

mary said...

I already know that we can help our adult children with modified for adults, family based or partner support. The idea that they would work with a partner or family together to help their loved one win the fight is long overdue, but always welcome. I hope it gives as much respect to the person beneath the ED as I felt I had to give my daughter. My daughter benefited from our belief in her strengths so she could invest herself.For some this is so humiliating but it needn't be. We can shine the light and help them tap into the amazing strengths they have without robbing them of their dignity. There is a way even with the most stubborn.

Anonymous said...

I'm very glad that you were brave enough to do the news piece. I'm sure it will help many, many people. Every best wish for continued health and happiness to you and your family.

Harriet said...

I agree--yay Margie.

Unknown said...

Thanks again. You know, when we agreed to do the piece on the news, I thought that I'd just have to get over the initial fear of being on TV and disclosing something not all my family and friends know about me. Like, I'll step up and take the fear and do the piece and concentrate on any good that it might do. I never considered the comments I'd get back on the blogs. It's become a whole new stage of acceptance for me and testing of my self-esteem, etc., which is great; Hearing kind comments like these is so empowering and gives me courage to be "out there" and vulnerable. There have been other blogs from other sites that are just ignorant and mean, and those hurt. So now, my mission is to be mindful of ALL the input and deal with it. ... or "sit with it" as they say in rehab:-). So, thanks for the support and kind encouragement.

Isn't it weird how comments like, "She doesn't look anorexic to me!" throws me into an immediate panic that they are really saying I'm fat?? I want to be able to say to me, "I'm glad I don't look anorexic. I've worked hard not to be anorexic, and maybe this means I'm succeeding in recovery." Right now the former is foremost in my mind. This ticks me off because people saying things like the comment I mentioned negates my recovery work. I suffered a lot to get "non-anorexic" looking and not disordered in my head (as did my loved ones), and I still struggle every minute of my life with the ED hell. To be considered "well" and "over it" because I'm not stick thin is demeaning. The point is: I STILL WANT TO BE even after learning all I know now about what that thought can do to me.

sorry for the rant. And, really, thank you for your support.


Blogking said...

My friend died of anorexia 3 months ago. She was healthy as a horse, had an amazing life, up until about a year and a half ago when she started feeling bad about her body and weight....she died at 88 pounds and I miss her every single day. I pray that this never happens to you or your loved ones. Celebrate life as much as possible!

Tommy said...

All I know is that Margie is my girl and will alway be the most beautiful woman in the world to me. I am so proud of her and all the hard work that she has put into her recovery. The study has really helped us re-discover our relationship and marriage. It was an outlet for me and helped me to learn that I could separate the disease and the resentment it caused from a person I care so deeply for. For spouses/significant others, having a mental disorder/disease is frustrating because you are not part of the process of recovery. HIPPA and other privacy laws prohibit us from being involved unless the patient wants you to be involved. Eating disorders are a very private part of the affected persons life and can be viewed in their mind as shameful and embarassing. Most people outside of the mental health community view a disorder such as this as a persons inability to cope with life or for that matter, a failure. This could be farther from the truth. People with eating disorders are smart, intelligent, brave souls who desperately want control in their uncontrolled world. Embrace these individuals, cherish them, care for them, and let them know that they are loved and worthy of life. After you do that, get them help at a qualified treatment center. UNC and its staff saved Margie, and in the process, I have gained my wife, and marriage back.

I love you Margie.