By Shirazeh Tabibi – Forced Medication and Eating Disorders

 

The eating disorer "bulimia" is binge eating followe by forced purging

The eating disorer “bulimia” is binge eating followe by forced purging

It could be my sister, niece, or best friend slowly trying to kill herself with an eating disorder  It is a quiet, unintelligent cry for help/suicide attempt.  But no treatment works unless the person with the eating disorder wants it to.

Trust me.  I’ve had eating disorders..

When I was coming off of my first eating disorder (compulsive eating), and losing weight, everyone on earth said, “Wow!  You’re really looking great!”  Our society encourages eating disorders in a huge way.  Even people who spent 24/7 with me knew that I wasn’t being healthy about it, but as long as i looked good….

The pressure to be thin, particularly on women, comes from the media, the fashion industry,men, and other women.  Women put pressure on themselves to get thinner, and sometimes, it becomes a life-threatening obsession.

An Eating Disorder Killed Pop Star Karen Carpenter

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by obsessive dieting and weight loss, to the point of starvation.  The cause is unknown.

It mostly affects adolescent females unhappy with their looks.  Their normal weight loss diet runs amok, and they keep starving themselves even after the become little more than skin and bones.  They still think they are fat.  They have an unrealistic body image that can lead to death by starvation.

Karen Carpenter kept performing while wasting away

Karen Carpenter kept performing while wasting away

Karen Carpenter, the ’70’s pop music star, starved herself until she died of kidney failure.  Despite the advantages of a loving family, adoring public, successful career, and the best medical care money can buy, nothing could convince her to start eating.

She kept performing while her family and fans realized she was wasting away, and that something must be wrong.  Karen resisted all efforts, including pictures of herself that, evenutually, looked like starving children in Third World countries — an unrealistic body image that ultimately proved fatal.

Forced Treatment Does Not Work

Involuntary treatment only becomes an issue when in the *public* mental health system:  “our” tax dollars, “our” public interest, etc.  On that front, I don’t think any treatment for anything will work at all unless the person wants it.Involuntary treatment only becomes an issue when in the *public* mental health system:  “our” tax dollars, “our” public interest, etc.

On that front, I don’t think any treatment for anything will work at all unless the person wants it.

That’s one of the (only) things I liked about the Wellness and Recovery Action Plan (WRAP).  In the beginning of each course, the facilitators were required to say, “You can’t be here as a condition of anything.  You can’t be here unless YOU WANT TO BE.”   The very recognition that it wont work unless the patient wanted it to!

Mary Ellen Copeland, Corinna West,  Marsha Linehan did not invent acceptance, mindfulness, or almost anything else in their programs. They stole all of that from Buddhism (or from someone who did) — a centuries-old religion from which everyone on earth could benefit.

Those of us who have had Dr. Linehan as a teacher in her program Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) couldn’t stop laughing when she “came out” as a peer. It was like Ronald “I don’t recall” Reagan revealing his Alzheimer’s disease.

But I agree, of course. that eating disorders are a health issue.

The U.S. is one of the least community-oriented societies on earth.   If the Protestant work ethic, and the Protestant ethic of “keeping to oneself” and not asking for help, comes from European settlers, then the descendants of those settlers who stayed in Europe have evolved in a way that their descendants who came here have not.

We are one of the only societies on earth that CAN afford to provide health care, housing and food for everyone, yet we don’t.

Is force-feeding someone dying from an eating disorder like forcing suicidal people to take psych meds?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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