- Medical Stabilization
- Normalization of nutrition and symptom blockade
- Developing an understanding of the role of the eating disorder"
Just to be clear where F.E.A.S.T. stands on all this, along with B-eat, Joy Jacobs, Dr O'Toole, Kitty Westin:
F.E.A.S.T. Protests Continued Use of “Parentectomy” In Eating Disorder Treatment
WARRENTON, Virginia( January 21, 2009) - Families Empowered and Supporting Treatment of Eating Disorders
F.E.A.S.T. calls on all clinicians treating eating disorder patients to end the routine practice of restricting families from contact with loved ones during hospitalization. Parents were once routinely blamed for causing or failing to prevent eating disorders in their children, and treatment consistently involved removing the patient from the family’s influence, sometimes called “parentectomy.” Although modern science indicates anorexia and bulimia are treatable brain-based disorders, “The legacy of blaming parents and patients for eating disorders lives on in the continued practice of limiting parent access to their children during hospitalization,” says Laura Collins, FEAST’s Director.
Parents of eating disorder patients need and deserve clinical support in understanding and responding to this grave illness. Supporting the family as a whole is one part of supporting the patient’s long-term health.
FEAST calls on all professionals treating eating disorder patients to:
Allow the same family and caregiver access to patients as appropriate with any other medical illness
Learn about recent advances in treatment that emphasize family involvement
Set aside outdated prejudices about “over-involved” and “enmeshed” parents
Include parents and other caregivers as an integral part of the treatment team
Communicate with the family in the same way as with any other medical illness
From the experts:
o “There are very few circumstances in pediatrics under which a parent should be restricted from contact with their own child regardless of the diagnosis… Parents are an essential part of the team, without which there really can be no healing.” (Dr. Julie O’Toole, Kartini Clinic, US)
o “Parents should be part of the treatment team. They should be valued and respected and given the knowledge they need to help make important decisions regarding the care and health of their child.”
(Kitty Westin, Anna Westin Foundation, US)
o “Parents are part of the solution, not the problem. If progress made in the hospital is to be maintained post-discharge, parents must be involved from day one.” (Joy Jacobs, JD, PhD, Healthy Bites, US)
o Parents feel overwhelmed and disempowered by the way the condition takes over their lives, and this gets compounded and entangled by the way they are sometimes excluded by professionals and clinicians.
Professionals and clinicians are challenged by treating this condition, and some still hold outdated and mistaken views about how parents cause the problem. (Susan Ringwood, beat, UK)
o “I think parents' guilt is significantly amplified when professionals push them to the side. There's an implicit message that they have, in fact, contributed to their child's illness.” (member of FEAST’s Parent Council)
Laura Collins, Director
A refusal to eat a balanced diet resulting in a loss of at least 25 percent of body weight is indicative of a mental illness, especially if there is no known physical illness accounting for the inability to maintain a normal weight for height and age. The disorder most often strikes teenage girls who have low self-esteem and an irrational belief that they are fat, regardless of how thin they become. Without treatment, the self-induced starvation can lead to death.
Where to begin? Well, boys and men with eating disorders face quite enough stigma as it is. "The irrational belief that they are fat" is a SYMPTOM of the disorder, not the cause of it. The starvation is not "self-induced" - that would make it a CHOICE by the patient. Anorexia Nervosa is not a choice. It is a psychiatric disorder.
I am amazed, in this day and age, at such ignorance, banality and sweeping generalisation by a facility that claims on its shiny new bs website
"It is important to understand that eating disorders are mental illnesses, and they are not simply a lifestyle choice. "
They are NEVER a lifestyle choice, SP.