Standing in a long, slow-moving queue to visit the amazing Madame Tussauds exhibition
in London on an otherwise grey, wet September day, offered opportunity to chat to others. The young couple next in line announced they had come from Birmingham for the weekend.
‘What brings you here?’ the young woman asked.
‘Writing a book,” I said.
“What about?” the young woman asked.
“Eating disorders,” I said.
Her eyes lit up. “Eating disorders!”
This young woman explained she is a counsellor for people with eating disorders – in particular, she spoke of the need for better diagnosis and treatment for people with Binge Eating Disorder. Too often, doctors did not seem to appreciate that the illness was based in the mind.
Too often, the treatment teams did not seem to understand that losing weight – often prescribed with Binge Eating Disorder (BED) – was only one factor in recovery. Skills in helping the person with the disorder to achieve a mindset of readiness for recovery and any subsequent weight loss was often sadly lacking. Without such readiness, for instance, bariatric surgery could compound problems for the patient.
As our queue edged forward to the entrance door of Madame Tussauds, I mentioned A Clinician’s
Guide to Binge Eating Disorder, a textbook which I have edited (with Andrea Goldschmidt and Daniel Le Grange) and provides valuable knowledge on all phases of the illness – its development, diagnosis and treatment.
By now we were so engrossed in conversation, bringing ‘ED’ into the open, that any frustration with the slow moving queue had long vanished.
Before we knew it, our tickets were purchased and we were set to wander through the amazing stages of the Madam Tussauds exhibition.
We hugged and said goodbye for now, each of us feeling doubly enriched on this grey and wet London Saturday.
Wherever you go, talk about eating disorders – you will be amazed at the response – many people want to talk but don’t know how to get started. Lead the way! Let’s get eating disorders into mainstream conversation.