NYT Article on ED (AN) Recovery


While I disagree with the premise that recovery is not possible for everyone (I truly believe it is), I think this article raises an interesting point about how we define recovery. Is it when weight restoration and normal menstruation occur? Is it when the patient stops obsessing about food? I think the process of recovery is a personal and individual process, and recovery will always mean different things to different people.

Still, recovery is possible for EVERYONE.

I definitely agree there needs to be some form of a working definition for recovery… but I think there will be a problem trying to get a consensus on what that should be, because personally I think it looks different for everyone…

I also think this article is extremely detrimental as it is taking some facts, creating others, and twisting more to prove a point that those quoted do not even support. For instance at least four people of those quoted didn’t agree with the final product, nor was I able to find ANYWHERE that the death rate for anorexia is 1/3. Most say up to 20%, but I also found 5-20%… definitely not 1/3.

The saddest part is that if you google the article or search on twitter you will discover that several people suffering have latched onto this as a reason to NOT fight as hard – a girl on tumblr said this solidifies her belief that she’s wasting her time and doesn’t have a reason to continue fighting. Yes, that is her eating disorder talking, but the article fueled that.

Kat, For some reason your comment ended up in my spam filter, so that’s why I didn’t see it until now. I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written. I didn’t realize that this article so greatly exaggerated the death rate for anorexia. That is also interesting that many of the people quoted don’t agree with the final product. Have you thought about writing a letter to the editor?

I actually did write one and received a very odd response back (I was actually surprised to even receive a response since they say on their site that they don’t do that) telling me that, “we do not
believe these points require correction,”

The points I made being the same that I outlined in my comment here
a) the people quoted were misrepresented (Harriet Brown actually chimed in and said she did not like the overall article either — which made 5 of the 8 along with those that were interviewed but not used that did not agree with it)
b) the death rate mentioned was incorrect
c) ending with the quip that you carry your eating disorder with you forever was irresponsible journalism that would have a negative impact on those suffering

Wow. I hope the people quoted in the article approach the NYT as well. That is just poor journalism. I’m glad you contacted them, even though they weren’t receptive. I bet they’ve gotten other emails as well.


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