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cause and trigger

Posted Aug 23 2008 10:34pm

The word "trigger" is used a lot in association with eating disorders.

Patients tend - and are often trained - to identify the trigger for their illness. Divorced parents, moving across country, competitive school, bullying.

It seems to me that triggers are not very important if the illness can be triggered by anything from watching a TV show to surviving the Holocaust - if you have a certain genetic predisposition. What we call triggers are what I believe they call in the law "proximate cause." Life is a trigger, and the real question we should be asking is "what is the best trigger lock?"

Was it SuperSizeMe, or was that person's brain simply waiting for the next sensationalist media food experience? Was it the bullying or was that the greatest source of genuine stress at a time the brain was primed to begin the disease process if stress happened?Was it training for the race, or was this person attracted to track because her brain was looking for a way to express its underlying illness?

I have often wondered what we'd do if we discovered that eating disorders often started on Mondays. Would we create a six day week? Would we castigate society for relaxing too much on weekends?

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