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Monday 6 February 2012

Strober's last stand

I admit to giving up on this paper.  It the last gasp of a dying breed.  Strober is retiring as editor (thank goodness) and this last defence of a dying paradigm is badly written, badly argued and nothing but a personal attack on the Fairy Blogmother.  The hard copy is condemned to the bonfire and the computer copy to the recycle bin.

I really tried to wade through the sickly treacle of self-aggrandisement and pompous self-justification.  I saw a few tiny nuggets of wisdom.   Sadly, they were so heavily camouflaged by what came across as macabre "delight" in describing both the agony and the suffering of the patients and their families, the nuggets were almost indistinguishable from the detritus of outdated and harmful, non-evidenced based, nonsense that has pervaded the eating disorders world for far too long.

I am not sure what annoyed me more: the very un-English way of exaggerating his own importance, which grates so terribly outside of UCLA, or the fact that he gave himself 19,000 words in an International journal to try and squash the cicada calls of the parent advocacy movement.  He failed.  Attacks like this are all too common.  They have failed before and will fail again.

It sounded to me like the weak roar of a dying lion, whose teeth are so rotten, he is no longer able to feed.


  1. No, but Charlotte: tell us what you really feel!

  2. Lol :D

    I eventually finished the paper, though nodded off a few times reading it.

    I agree there are a few nuggets, as well as some food for thought. However, the whole paper is so laboriously written. And it was inappropriate to launch an attack (however seemingly politely) on the "founding member of a parent advocacy group".

    And as a former sufferer of AN, as well as scientist, I disagree with much of what Strober argues. I have previously commented on the opening paragraphs on your blog, Charlotte, but I will also highlight something else Strober states in the Conclusion to the manuscript:

    "Still, even though vulnerability
    begins with genes and biology, to assume there is neither intentionality nor volition involved at any level of the illness is a fallacy; biology and willfulness are not mutually exclusive processes."

    The starvation of AN, in those who are vulnerable to this illness changes the brain in such a way that personal volition is altered. The anorexic person sometimes feels that they are acting under freewill, but once they are recovered, they can look back with a sense of incredulity and ask themselves "did I really, honestly, think that?".

  3. The starvation of AN, in those who are vulnerable to this illness changes the brain in such a way that personal volition is altered

    Hear, Hear, ELT!

  4. Extralongtail - you deserve a medal for getting through the text. Thank you for staying awake long enough to give your valuable insights.

  5. May I ask what paper you are talking about? I don't see a link or a title.

  6. As I have binned mine, I have asked someone to forward you a copy, Kris....xx