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Wednesday, 9 October 2013
If you don't believe me.
Please believe Professor Bryan Lask. I am not normally one to gush overly but ....
Lying dozing, listening to Dr Mark last night, I was catapulted bolt upright by the trailer for something later in the programme. The voice was familiar. I am lucky enough to be able to call Bryan a friend - he has been immensely supportive to me and the family, especially since my terminal diagnosis and I am grateful for his quiet, calm emails every now and again.
For those of you who can download the podcast, here it is. He is right at the end.
He opens up his talk by saying that for far too long, parents have been blamed for causing eating disorders and that there is no evidence for this. He talks about brains and brain functioning and his insula theory. He says that no one chooses anorexia and blaming an eating disorder patient for their inability to adequate nourish themselves is like blaming someone who pneumonia for having a fever and telling them not to cough.
See why he is my friend?
Patients don't choose an eating disorder. This is not their fault.
Parents don't cause eating disorders. This is not their fault.
For the best simple explanation of Bryan's insula theory, please read Carrie's blog on it - here. For the full nine yards, including an amazing introduction by David Wood, please buy Eating Disorders and the Brain but be warned, it needs lots of concentration. (Also thrilled to see No 3 on the Google list is Carrie's Decoding Anorexia book!). He and Rachel Bryant-Waugh do a cool journal too, for the really interested.
Look, all you who still think that an eating disorder is some kind of choice and all about vanity or control or self-inflicted punishment and that all parents are abusive or overcontrolling or cold, please understand you are wrong. From personal experience, I really wouldn't argue with Bryan. He's well clevah!