Home » TEDx Transcript: Dr. Laura Hill on Eating Disorders from the Inside Out

TEDx Transcript: Dr. Laura Hill on Eating Disorders from the Inside Out

The waitress said, “Oh I’m sorry, honey, we’re all out of that.” She froze. Wasn’t sure what to do, she hadn’t planned, and the father looked up and said, “You know, would you give us a minute, please?”

“Oh, okay!” So the waitress went away.

And he said, “All right, you can’t eat that, this isn’t here, so, do you have your lunch?”

“Yeah, Dad, but I don’t want to make a big scene.”

“It’s all right, just get out your lunch.” And he called the waitress over and goes, “You know, my daughter has a reaction to some of the foods on this menu. She’s just brought some things she’s going to eat. We’re all going to go continue to order.” The whole family ordered, they all had fun, they all interacted, and her noise could stay low enough as she ate her meal-plan in order to enjoy the interaction as much as she could.

So, when we look at the prognosis, what’s going to happen as the future is revealed in the sense of science, and what direction we’re going with anorexia and eating disorders? And with anorexia, some may be able to stabilize, and hold onto that. And we’re seeing that especially when it’s adolescents, and that brain wires forward, and the longer they hold to that meal-plan and get it stabilized, the noise can actually wire out, calm goes, and as long as they stay within those safe boundaries, a person can move on in recovery.

So, there are some with anorexia that will recover, and some that will learn to manage. And there is a sub-part that will remain acutely ill. This is a visual replication of what I think of with anorexia. The title of it is, “Three kinds of lines, in a continuance.” We got your carbs, your proteins, your fats, in very specific dose levels, over and over and over and over. Or is this art? An Italian renaissance piece with multiple kinds of lines, clear image of what the image is.

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So is a meal only a meal unless it is drawn out, filled with variety, and has all kinds of fresh and different types of foods? Or can a meal for some be something to get you through to get on to enjoy life?

Now when I was getting ready to prepare for this, something that I experienced was a great deal of anxiety, and I told my patients that I was very nervous. And they said to me, “Dr Hill, if you go up and you share with them our voices, and you tell them what it’s like for us, we’re going to be here standing on the stage with you, and let you know that we’re here with you.”

So, they’re here with me. And together while we struggle through the meal, let’s help them get on with the act of living. As Helen Keller said it, “The world is full of struggling and it’s full of overcoming it.”

Thank you.


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