Showing posts from May, 2014

Advocacy Mondays: Save the Date

F.E.A.S.T. is happy to collaborate on the first ever   Mothers and Others (M.O.M.) March in Washington DC on September 30, 2014!  More info to follow but for this in. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. —Helen Keller

Guest Post by Dr. Julie O'Toole

MEDICATION  I am going to begin this blog with a quote from my own book Give Food A Chance , but I will be quoting from the only chapter (“Psychopharmacology”)   which I did not write. Here is Janiece Desocio RN, PhD, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) at Kartini Clinic , speaking:   “rarely do we think about food as having pharmacological properties, but in fact, food is an essential source of the chemicals produced by our brains to stabilize mood, moderate anxiety, induce sleep, reduce pain, and regulate appetite…… the brain is a natural pharmacy”. I want to begin a discussion of medication in the treatment of childhood anorexia nervosa with this quote and its emphasis on food and adequate weight restoration.   Medication should not be used as a substitute for good food and plenty of it.   Without weight restoration you will get nothing. Many parents have written in to the Around The Dinner Table forum to discuss medication in their child’s treatm

Early Symptom Development Study

The University of Chicago is currently conducting a study of eating disorder symptom development.  I am thinking of packing the girls in the car and planning a summer trip to Chicago so we can participate (yes, this is what it has come are now planned  in service of Eating Disorder research).       A bit weird, yes...but this topic is just so fascinating.  Teasing out and helping parents understand the prodrome symptoms is of great, great value. What are the early, early signs of symptom development?  Are early signs sub-threshold symptoms or can we catch before that? If we catch it pre-sub threshold will it make a difference?  Is it possible to identify early enough that we can do an end run around?   Obviously, the study is not designed to answer all my burning questions but it will gather relevant information and I will try to do my bit to assist.   Oh, and not all our vacations are ED vacations.....we have a brilliant do-over trip to Harry Potter World in O

Advocacy Mondays: Awareness

How to affect change.   That really is the big question in advocacy......How do we change 'what is' into 'what should be' and 'what we need'? Awareness is a simple place to begin.  It is difficult to change what isn't known.  So, first we have to make the unknown know....and, I gotta tell ya, Twitter is downright magic for making the unknown known.  Really, it is like ninja power magic for spreading the word. F.E.A.S.T . is hosting a Twitter Chat on May 29th on the topic of Refeeding: A Caregivers' Perspective.  I feel quite passionately that "Refeeding" needs to be demystified and understood by....EVERYONE.  Honestly, I want the whole world to understand 'refeeding'.  I want the whole world to understand how desperately difficult it is and how absolutely necessary it is and how unconscionable it is to not support families fully and properly so they can do it successfully. In support of our first Twitter Chat, parent advocate Je

Friday Reflect- Acceptance, trust, and letting go: a paradox that brings real-life change

by Eva Musby When your child has been stuck with an eating disorder for a while, it’s natural to long for a leap forward. So the moment my family got its breakthrough is permanently etched in my mind. The remarkable thing is that the change wasn’t in my kid. It was in me. We were a year into my daughter’s anorexia, and I knew a lot about  what I ‘should’ be doing to support her . But it was hard to do, and things were looking bleak. One afternoon, I sunk into an armchair and flipped open a book on the subject of acceptance. A few words in, and everything fell into place. It was one of these exciting ‘aha’ moment. From then on, I was strong, I was compassionate, I helped my daughter to eat one difficult food after another, and I got close to her again. For us, it worked. She got better, fast. Have you noticed that all real learning hits us in the face in the form of a paradox? The paradox about acceptance and letting go is that the best way – in my experience the only way – of

Friday Reflections

Getting back to normal takes a long time. In the early days I feared it would never come.  The plummet down was so quick and deep that I couldn't even imagine ' the other side ' far less how we would get there.  I spent a lot of those early, early days staring off into the middle distance, disoriented and numb. As we made our way through we settled into a new kinda normal.  Things got 'better' they did not feel like before.  The rug had been pulled out from under us and we had toppled. We got to a point of standing again but  we didn't feel steady. Not at all. We walked around half crouched: knees bent, arms out trying to hold our balance, suspicious of everything. We were shell shocked.  I hated the 'new' normal.  Hated it.  Things looked the same but felt so unfamiliar.  The oddest thing was not recognizing each other.  I knew the girl who left....didn't recognize the girl who came back. Getting back to a more true 'normal' was a long

International "No Diet" Day

Yesterday was 'No Diet' Day.   Did anyone know this?  May 6th is International 'No Diet' Day .   I had no clue.  I found out today when I read this and this  in my newsfeed. I have so many questions.....   Why is this not a bigger deal?  Why no fanfare? Why no big campaign with advertisements?   Diets are bad......big, scary, bad so why does 'No Diet' only get one measly day (who decides these things?).....further,  'why is No Diet day not smack dab in the middle of ED Awareness week?'  They are kinda related, no? Is it new...this 'No Diet' day thing? is it just catching on? According to wikipedia (a fine enough source, I believe, for the origin of newly fabricated international holidays):      " This day is  dedicated to promoting a healthy life style with a focus on  health at any size  and in raising awareness of the potential dangers of  dieting ". 'The potential dangers of dieting', now, this is awareness that

F.E.A.S.T. Twitter Chats

F.E.A.S.T. is very excited to announce that we will be hosting a new series of Twitter Chats. Our first is on Thursday May 29, 2014.  Please join us! In the vein of our "Ask a Parent" webinar, our first Twitter Chat will provide an opportunity for all interested to engage in a moderated conversation with parents and caregivers.  Our first chat will be on the topic of Refeeding.  Parents and Caregivers from the F.E.A.S.T. community will answer questions and discuss in detail the process of refeeding from a caregiver's perspective. Thursday May 29, 2014 New York, US 4:30pm |  Los Angeles, US 1:30pm |   London, UK 9:30pm Friday May 30, 2014  Melbourne, AU 6:30am #FeastEDChat Tweets from the Trenches:  Refeeding/ The Journey from Diagnosis to Weight Restoration Parents and Caregivers will be taking questions in a live Chat format. To receive an email reminder and/or submit questions  before the event , please register at:  http://memb

Advocacy Mondays

Raising YOUR  Our Voices By Jennifer Denise Ouellette Lisa’s first blog post talked about Laura Collins and all that she has accomplished through raising her voice. I’m not usually a fan girl, but when it comes to Laura, I’m not embarrassed to admit I gush. When Laura was rerouted onto the road to the tragic, upside-down crazy town that is eating disorders, the resources I took for granted when my own daughter became ill in late 2011 didn’t exist. Instead of pulling to the side of the road, bursting into tears, and waiting for a tow truck to rescue her, Laura decided to build her own road—the one that leads to recovery for our loved ones. Heck, she designed her own GPS with  F.E.A.S.T. What Laura did in changing the landscape of eating disorder treatment has been an amazing gift to all of us. Still, Laura is but one woman, and a mortal one at that. Girlfriend is getting tired of driving (I have way too much invested in this road metaphor to stop now, people) and