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Saturday 19 May 2012

Sorry about no video - I was finding my inner feminist....

So the ATDT forum has been "hot" and humming with lively debate about various eating disorder issues, specifically relevant to the UK.  We started a lively discussion in April about the NICE Guidelines for eating disorders (would strong advise not reading the second link unless you have a good 5 hours to spare).  I am well aware that the guidelines are not perfect.  Unless you are boring like me and have read them a good many times from cover to cover, they aren't even adequate.  Most GPs never come across an eating disorder in their practice, so have no reason to familiarise themselves with them.  It is only complete word nerds like me, who need to give backup and information to parents fighting for treatment, that can jump in and out, copying and pasting the relevant "  Studies considered" with aplomb.

In their defence, they are the only Government-funded, official, comprehensive Guidelines for Eating Disorders in the world and I have heard international clinicians talking about them as a reference point for treatment.  I am justifiably proud of them, whatever their shortcomings. They are British guidelines and no "overseas peeps" is going to get away with criticising them without having read them and understood them.  Working from an abbreviated document doesn't cut the mustard with me. (Xenophobic, moi?)

We then moved our discussion on to a more personal footing when discussing the Beat carers workshops, which have been developed with the help of the inestimable Gill Todd and are based on the New Maudsley Method developed by Professor Treasure.

Lastly, we have moved on to debating what the New Maudsley Method actually is and explaining that this is a treatment protocol for carers, not for patients.  This meant I finally found a valid excuse to ring up Prof T and ask for clarification.  It was a blissful conversation that meandered through a whole host of different topics, ending up with farming - Mr Prof T is a farmer and I am now off to buy Dai Lewis, Hedge Laying video.

So why am I trying to find my inner feminist?  I was wondering whether I would have reacted so violently and shrilly, if the questions had not been posed by a man.  I suspect not.  Having older brothers, my natural reaction when questioned is to SHOUT and stamp my foot until either a) I lose my voice; or b) someone listens.


  1. Like me, being the only female in a household of men (apart from the cat, of course, who is a girl). And I used to work in an office of just men, so similar thing!

  2. Mouthy Broads Unite!

    "Most GPs never come across an eating disorder in their practice, so have no reason to familiarise themselves with them."

    You know what? I'm thinking that this is vanishingly unlikely to be true. EDs have a lifetime incidence of something like 5%. A GP with a practice of 400 patients (which would not be unusual state-side, I have no idea what practice volumes are like in the NHS system) would be expected to have at least 4-5 patients with ACTIVE ED at any one time and more like 20 who have active or ED history.

    Most GPs are unaware of how common EDs are in their practice.
    Most GPs never *recognize* an eating disorder in their practice.
    Most GPs misdiagnose an eating disorder in their practice.
    Most GPs are undereducated and underinformed about how to screen for ED in their practice.

    Et cetera, ad nauseum.