I'm not infrequently asked why I am "so" angry. It's the wrong question.
Why AREN'T YOU angry?
Shouldn't we ALL be angry?
That eating disorders are, in most situations, under-diagnosed, under-treated, poorly funded, misunderstood , trivialized, sensationalized, exploited for causes and money, and stigmatized: this doesn't make you angry? Spitting mad? Rending your hair and standing on the street with a sandwich board? How do you CONTAIN your anger and where do you channel it? How do you keep anger from becoming bitterness? I know what I'm doing about mine.
How about that even in the ED specialist world they can't agree to a single principle or organize to hold their fellow experts accountable? That dissent in the field is considered more dangerous than poor practice? That sham treatments and evidence-based treatments are indistinguishable to the public, the media, and funding agencies? Not even that evidence, where it exists, can be dismissed without penalty by law or certification or even conscience?
So YOU are not doing these things? Thank you! And things are better than they were? I agree.
They still suck, however. Anger is appropriate. Rage is natural. There is SO MUCH TO DO and it isn't going to happen by butterfly and Kumbaya alone. It is going to take some anger, some motivation, some confrontation. People will have to be challenged. Standards will have to be created. Offense will be taken. Heads will roll.
"Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean."
In fact, it's really our responsibility to be angry. On behalf of those families who are just about to find out how hard it is to get good information and good treatment. On behalf of the young people who trust their parents and the adults in their lives to recognize and intervene when they are in danger but will be disappointed. On behalf of the mothers and fathers who will only discover after they've put their trust in a succession of inadequate or even harmful solutions that there were any alternatives.
On behalf of our recovered children and friends whose own precious children will be at risk.
If my "anger" troubles you, I have to ask you: where's yours?