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Eating Disorders Myths Busted - Myth #2: Families are to Blame

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Myth # 2: Families are to blame

In this second in a series of videos debunking nine myths about eating disorders, Cynthia Bulik, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina, explains why families are not to blame.  The video was excerpted from a talk, "Eating Disorders Essentials: Replacing Myths with Realities," presented at the NIMH Alliance for Research Progress Winter Meeting, February 7, 2014 in Rockville, MD.

See the entire "Eating Disorders Myths Busted" series.

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Transcript

[intro music]

>>Bulik: Now we heard this already today and we're going to hear it again: One of the biggest myths about eating disorders--and our families have suffered from this myth--is that families are to blame. We need to bust that one and I need to give a special slide to Moms because Moms have really taken it on the chin for anorexia nervosa and they have been blamed for anorexia nervosa. Again, we’re going to bust that missed myth because it's not true at all. This is so funny, I told Jordan that some of my slides really mimicked him and lo and behold, here comes The Refrigerator Mother and autism and The Schizophrenogenic Mother and schizophrenia only I added one more. As much as I love some of the writing itself in what Salvador Minuchin did--he was a lovely writer and a great clinician--he did start the myth that somehow families might be to blame for the development of anorexia nervosa. But what we know in eating disorders is that families are often our best allies in treatment—they don't cause the disorders, they are our allies in recovery. It’s our job to help give them the blueprint about what they need to do to become allies in recovery.

[closing music]