Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Guest Blog: An ED ignorant’s perspective
I have heard of Anorexia Nervosa and of Bulimia, I know (or think I know) that they are mental health issues with physical consequence. Apart from knowing sketchy details of how the conditions manifest themselves that is probably the sum total of my knowledge and having no immediate, or known, contact with a sufferer, should that be where my interaction with the conditions ends? This seemingly simple question however is one that is answered by individuals depending upon their perspective on the issue. If they are a sufferer or parent of a sufferer the likely response is that I should not be apathetic and instead should get involved; if they are like me not involved the response would probably be, I know all I need to know.
Having read the Charlotte’s Chatting and Chuntering blog for some time now I frequently come across her ED writings and these are scattered with references to treatments, hospitals and the like which reduces the likelihood of my reading the article through. This is not through any reluctance to learn more but rather the lack of time to spend in understanding everything she is trying to cover. I wonder if it is due to some sort of innate reticence on the subject and whether or not I should take the time to learn more on the topic. Having a child with a different long term condition I am well aware of the isolation and frustration sufferer’s parents feel at the levels of obfuscation and humbug that the medical fraternity can engender. The groups involved directly in any serious illness usually revolve around the sufferers, their parents, their doctors, their specialists, the nursing staff and last but by no means least the self help Internet groups and aligned charities. This is a simplistic representation but it demonstrates how the broader chapter is not involved except when they know someone who is a sufferer or their parent.
Charlotte’s charismatic leadership is inspiring and makes me question if being ignorant about diagnosis, treatment and living with a condition is acceptable. In what is frequently described as the digital age access to information is immediate and profound. Twenty five years ago would have required a trip to a library with hours trying to find only the slimmest of information. Today it is possible to read vast amounts of variable data from widely diverse sources and perhaps be more confused than before. So should I make the effort to understand everything about ED to get the most out of her blog? I think not. The key to Charlotte’s blog is that it reaches parts that other blogs cannot. It should garner support either financial or material from the wider pool of resources that are her readership. There is no shame in ignorance and in an environment where information is readily available it is easy to get more informed. The articles in the blog that I have found opaque are usually acronym filled and looking them up can reveal some shocking websites (CAMH in particular).
Going forward I will use Google where I need to and if it is a thread that I don’t wish to follow I will look forward to the next one.