Saturday, March 11, 2017

hints and tips

Logging on to Twitter (something I'm not very good at using) this morning I was faced with this.


 Do they have any tips on how I can reduce the risk of my child developing mania or asthma?

There ARE things parents, schools, medics, society can do to reduce the risks of all three, but do we see non-specialists confidently sharing them with the world in order to be helpful to all? No, but then again Eating Disorders aren't like other illnesses, or are they?

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Someone is wrong on the Internet

 One of the side effects of frantically googling for information on a specific subject is finding "related articles". When looking for the useful study presented at last year's EDIC instead I found this

It's on a site that certainly should be reputable. It's a report on a study by some pretty major figures in the ED world so what's not to like? Well quite a bit to my mind. OK, as a parent of a child who developed an eating disorder I'm defensive. I made a lot of mistakes during her childhood and I regret them all. However I don't think that, on their own, they caused her eating disorder and I thought that such ideas had gone years ago. Yet here's a study looking at only such "risk factors". All links mentioned  (and it does explain that they are not proved) are between potentially fatal illness and parenting and there's nothing about the possible genetic and other environmental influences that may influence the development of little understood and woefully under-researched disorders. Those involved in eating disorders "Prevention" might be as disturbed as those who debate with them. Negative energy balance is tangentally linked, in the "related articles" which all explain what a good thing it is.


Wednesday, March 08, 2017

well doh!

This isn't really a post. It's more of a repost of someone else's blog, found via a retweet of the same.

I like this piece, although I do wish it didn't end as an advert.

It reminded me of a study I heard about at the EDIC conference last year (Recognising and Managing Physical Problems on a Specialist Eating Disorder Unit) which I can only find in this very difficult format. As the title explains it's about the physical consequences of long term Anorexia Nervosa. They're dire. My first reaction was "well doh of course they are". My reaction now is "why the hell is  this important study so difficult to find. Every clinician should know this and they obviously don't"

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

What right do I have....

Having hardly touched this blog in the last year this is my second post in as many days and I have ideas for a couple more.

They're all on the same theme. I'm not an expert on the subect. I haven't had an eating disorder and I'm not a professional in the field (or indeed in any field). I get angered and enthused and excited and frustrated in my capacity as a mother, nothing else. I know some stuff about other subjects too and perhaps I'll post a whole series of blatherings about other subjects that I've learned about through loved ones but for now I'll stick with this one. It matters very much to me. It matters to a lot of my friends. I was conforming to the norm I would have done it all last week.  but I didn't. Maybe I'll finish my drafts on Lent the week after Easter.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Happy Anniversary

There are reasons, if not excuses, for this sudden blog after so long an absence. It's Lent. It was EDAW last week. It is the end of the financial year.   If it hadn't been this tome it would have been one of the others that is currently in drafts, probably going nowhere. I can't promise either to keep up my blogging or shut up, but here, for today, I go....
10 years ago I petitioned the Prime Minister to give more resources to the treatment of eating disorders. I know it was 10 years ago because the completed petition was sent to "Tony Blair" and answered by "Gordon Brown" All trace of the wording and reply has been archived to the uttermost depths of the Internet and I certainly can't find them. It was a general "give us (meaning primary care, secondary care, CAMHS, AMHS, parents and patients) more money" request and recieved a general "the government cares a lot about young people (no mention of persons over 18) and will of course invest" sort of answer. These were, after all, the days when we still remembered that Things Can Only Get Better

100s of petitions later we have a government that claims to have made that investment.You can sign a petition if you want to to hold them (or rather some of the clinicians they try to use as pawns in their games) to account on it if you want. Things honestly seem to have got a lot worse for many people but there are developments in community services and some of the general promises made by dear Gordon to me are being paid lip service at least.

Would I do it again? If I was newer to the issue, yes, probably. Now I'm too long in the tooth and cynical. I'm also hopeful that a decade on there is more that a mere parent can do, that there are better ways mums and dads (and partners and siblings) can get involved both in the treatment of their own loved ones and in the politics of health. Or am I being as naive as I was then?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

One more step

In the UK the A Levels are big news every year, although they do appear to have been swept off the front pages of the newspapers this year by Brexit and the Olympics.  Stories of schools pitted against each other and exams getting easier do seem to be being replaced by questioning of the drive for 50% of all 18 year olds to be fed through the college system. 

However, the end of August, beginning of September is still a time of transition in this country. Soon four year olds (some of them only just having celebrated their fourth birthdays) will be going to "big school", 11 year olds will be remembering when they thought the Infants' was big as they contemplate secondary school and yes, masses of parents will be waving goodbye to their young adult children as they go off to college away from home. Dear friends are remembering that time and contemplating a life after "project motherhood".

It's 10 years since we slid clumsily off the conveyor belt of playgroup, reception, school, sixth-form, university.....Younger d's (non) AS levels was the point where we were totally derailed although five years of family therapy had left us all the foolisher as to why we were having such a bumpy ride and why older d wasn't leaving for "Uni" but coming BACK from her eh hum "couple of terms up at Oxford". I still get huffy and do the whole self-blame "I've had family therapy and now I know I'm completely screwed" thing. When "other people" are allowed to mourn the fact that their healthy children are going to college I sympathise but also think "hey, isn't that Expressed Emotion? How come she's allowed to wail in public and if I as much as look at a tissue I'm the cause of mental illness, relapse and very likely world poverty and the atom bomb".

Despite my worst efforts both daughters did do the hokey-kokey of alternating between "student housing" and home, just differently to the way most others do. It saddens me to think that the funding opportunities that allowed them to do it only 9-6 years ago (nursing diploma bursary and disabled person's housing benefit) wouldn't be available for young people under 25 now, and indeed that no one can escape the sausage machine until 18 any more, but that's the benefit of hindsight. At the time of the results we did think it a bit of a disaster. It really wasn't, it was just one more step in our rather chaotic dance of family life.