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Reply #91: Thanks for your post and I'm glad to hear that you healed [View All]

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seleff Donating Member (94 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-08-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #49
91. Thanks for your post and I'm glad to hear that you healed
I agree that the genetics literature is stuffed with these type of (weak) linkage studies, and this particular one isn't really showing linkage, just supporting some kind of pre-disposing factor comparing twins to sibs. I don't expect to look at a chromosomal map in 30 years and see an Anx-1 locus or anything (unless we're talking about a locus contributing to anxiety/depression...even then it will be a pre-disposing site, not a determinant site). As a biochemist and MD I expect that you are struck by the physiologically intense and powerful grip that your anorexia developed as you became low weight, where you could restrict even while starving. I haven't done enough reading to see if I agree that there is a good link between endorphin action and desensitizing to the hunger response, but it was cited in therapy with my daughter along the way. I read a paper by a clinician at the U Minn (don't remember the name) that proposed that anorexia responses may have evolved in human (women) descended from migrating populations (indo-europeans, but less so in africans) as a means of maintaining energy levels to tend to children while the tribe was trying to escape famine. The article posed some compelling arguments, but I don't remember them all.

While I agree that psychosocial factors dominate this disease, the biological pattern and commonality of signs and symptoms in restricting anorexics compel me to believe that there are/will be genetic factors identified that pre-dispose some women to developing this disorder. 18 months of on and off family therapy (and talking to my daughter's therapists the first 8 months of her disorder) have failed to really pinpoint any "blame" for my daughter's condition. I've shared some of the possible factors in one of my other posts. Several authors I've read point out that the family may or may not be "to blame". In my daughter's case i think several factors came together. 1) she had had two previous experiences with a precipitous depression that came and went suddenly in the course of 2-4 weeks; 2) she has had a crisis in her teenage life where she deeply wants to "be somebody" or achieve something great, without knowing what. Early success in distance running as a ninth grader made her think she could train to excellence so she really trained the summer before her So. yr and dropped weight from 103 to 80 lbs running cross-country in the fall. We didn't see the signs of anorexia until she had dropped below 88 lbs, partly because everyone was excited with her drops in time and becoming a State -ranked runner along the way. Her therapy has had to deal with this yearning for identity. Maybe spirituality (we do not practice organized religion in our family although we celebrate jewish holidays, and Latvian cultural holidys-Xmas "winterfestival" and easter (egg hunts)) might be helpful to her. Any advice would be helpful along these lines.; 3) her older sistr went off to college and my mother in law died of cancer the year before. My (anorexic) daughter feels very close to both (especially "ol'mom") and both could have offered much support (older sister did) recognizing what was going on and in recovery. Instead, my daughter grasped onto an older girl on the cross country team who was a normal weight anorexic and who was very strong about "watching what you eat". I believe that my daughter always worried about "what would Anna say" when she approached food, and used Anna almost as a spiritual guru in her development of restrictive eating patterns.

Even though my daughter has recovered her normal weight (103 lbs), the disease has scarred her body and mind. For awhile, it really wrecked our fathr-daughtr relationship, which has gotten bettr.I keep hoping that the scars will fade.

Gotta run to take my 11 yr old son to get sushi (his favorite) for lunch!
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