Anorexia and Bulimia in the Family: One Parent's Practical Guide to Recovery

By Grá Inne Smith | Go to book overview

12
Research — past and
present

Fascinating outlines of various lines of thinking and research over centuries, since anorexia and more recently bulimia were first recorded, are given in both Janet Treasure's (1997) Anorexia nervosa: a survival guide for families, friends and sufferers and Marilyn Lawrence's (1995) The Anorexic Experience. The difficulties encountered by carers were recognized and noted. For instance, Pierre Janet, an eminent French psychiatrist in the 1890s–1900s, who outlined the way a patient seeks a support in one of her parents against the other, she promises wonders if her family are not too exacting, she has recourse to every artifice and every untruth … Sound familiar?

Without imagination and creativity, mankind would still be living in caves; sometimes these took place in a flash of brilliance when someone made a connection, more often through a long process of trial and error. Medical research involves painstaking trial and error, and whatever the area — cancer, hip replacements, multiple sclerosis or diarrhoea — many lives will be affected in the process.

Throughout centuries medicine men, doctors and scientists have tried and tested ideas, searching for solutions to common and not so common problems. In some civilizations people worked to share knowledge for the common benefit, in others

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