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What I would love to see written about EDs

Posted Nov 23 2008 6:10pm
I've seen two publications that have written about progress in two other areas of mental health: OCD and drug addiction. And I hope that this progress is translated into the world of eating disorders.

One is from a publication I received at the Society for Neuroscience Annual Conference from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It's their latest booklet called " Drugs, Brain, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction" and the image on one of the first pages is this:


Granted, Tom Insel at the National Institutes on Mental Health said as much. But to have it in a handout, a little brochure, the most basic reading material on the subject: that we don't have. I hear a lot more now about how eating disorders are illnesses, not choices- which is good. I just love how in this brochure on addiction, they're not only brain diseases, but treatable ones.

Which is something we can't hear enough.

The other is from a site on OCD, tracing the history of OCD treatment from Freud to current day.

[Freud's] treatment of choice was psychoanalysis, and this was the accepted treatment of the disorder for many decades. Because this approach was met with no success, OCD was considered a rare and intractable disorder...

...Modern psychodynamic treatments, while having similar insight-oriented approaches, involve a more interactive approach by the therapist, with short-term therapy usually being less than 25 sessions. People who suffer from OCD usually have at least some insight into their behaviors, making the ultimate goal of insight less useful; insight alone is not enough to "cure" OCD. We now understand that OCD has, in large part, a biological causation (meaning, for example, that OCD behavior is not simply caused by a bad relationship with your mother), and it tends to run in families. Because of the failure of traditional psychological treatments for OCD, cognitive-behavioral treatments are now used in the treatment of the disorder, with very high rates of success.

Of course, CBT isn't the be-all or end-all of eating disorder treatment, firstly because you have to treat the malnutrition before CBT can really be effective. However, the history of OCD treatment, from an intractable illness to one with a relatively high rate of success, will one day parallel eating disorder treatment.
What do YOU hope will one day be written about eating disorders?
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