A study showing a genetic link to the eating disorder shows how wrong it is to simplistically blame people for their illness
Once upon a time, disease was thought to have been sent by God as a punishment for sin.
If not, then it must surely be the work of demons, witches or groups regarded as social outcasts. Thankfully medicine has moved on from the days when Jews were blamed for outbreaks of the plague across medieval Europe, yet with psychiatric illnesses something of the old accusatory myths seem to linger. Until relatively recently, autism was still wrongly blamed on so-called “refrigerator mothers”, who supposedly damaged their children by being cold and unloving. The discovery that autism has a genetic component turned our understanding of the role it plays in families upside down, and now something similar may be happening with anorexia.
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