Support is invaluable for anorexia

A FEW months ago, my world was altered by my daughter developing severe anorexia nervosa. 

Many parents on the ward at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne described stories of having to fight to be taken seriously by their GP, being told to back off and not make eating an issue and to allow the child the choice to eat. We were blessed by a GP who took me seriously.

The most important messages we received in the early days of my daughter’s diagnosis was that people with an eating disorder cannot choose to eat, that as parents we did not cause anorexia, and that anorexia is a brain disorder that results from starvation. 

Yes, there is some correlation with perfectionism and obsessive-compulsive or anxiety comorbidities, but the actual fear of gaining weight, the weird behaviours and thoughts and compulsion to exercise are a result of a malnourished brain – and the solution is food. And who better to insist on food and