By: Becky Henry
Why am I marching on Washington D.C. on September 30th, 2014 in the M.O.M. March Against ED and Lobbying with the EDC on October 1st?
Twice I’ve had the empowering opportunity to lobby with the Eating Disorders Coalition and share my painful stories of having a child with an eating disorder. I was blown away by the compassion and interest of my representatives when we met with them. Interestingly, each of them shared that they knew someone with an eating disorder.
This chance to use our voices and share our stories is an incredible opportunity and it was made so easy because the people at the Eating Disorders Coalition know what they are doing and train us that day! I would have never done it on my own.
Here is some of what I’ll be sharing:
- It took 2 years to get my daughter diagnosed with an eating disorder. THAT IS WRONG.
- She is still sick. THIS IS EVEN MORE WRONG. It’s been 14 years. She no longer speaks to us.
- Health Care Providers are given far too little information about eating disorders. This makes it hard to diagnose people and refer for effective treatments.
Far too many professionals have been taught outdated information about what causes eating disorders. The fact remains, NO ONE KNOWS. But many believe myths and that does HARM.
Most people do not know you cannot tell by looking at someone if they have an eating disorder.
Even professionals and advocates in the field of eating disorders can fall into believing that all really thin people have eating disorders. And many don’t recognize that those of a “normal” size and larger sizes can have seriously malnourished brains and organs.
- Parents have been pushed aside from treatment. Evidence shows us that when parents are included in treatment, the outcomes improve and treatment time shortens. The chemical dependency field has known this for over 3 decades. We need to catch up.
- There remains far too much stigma and shame about these biological brain illnesses. And it’s time for parents to step up and speak out. We are coming out of the shadows and silence to make our voices heard. Without shame. We are changing the course of eating disorders treatment by speaking out in numbers too big to ignore anymore.
Please join me in marching and lobbying to push for mandatory education on these most deadly of all mental illnesses so that maybe we won’t ever hear another under trained therapist say, “If it weren’t for pathological parents, we wouldn’t have eating disorders.” That is doing harm and this has to stop.
You can make a difference by showing up. It would mean the world to me. I still have hope that one day our daughter will be back in our lives.