What's really behind eating disorders?

I was diagnosed with “atypical anorexia”. All clinical therapeutic approaches were failing on me. Finally I was given up for dead by doctors as a hopeless case.


Like a miracle I survived and recovered. My thesis: There’s no such a thing as incurable mental illness, there’s only incompetent doctors and therapists. This is my perspective on ED therapy: (TRIGGER WARNING)

Finding the causes vs fighting the symptoms

Anorexia/bulimia nervosa might be the unsolved riddle of modern medicine and is considered by many physicians as an incurable disease, as no pharmacological therapy shows results and other therapies are not very successful either.

Central in the development of eating disorders is early childhood trauma. The common clinical therapeutic methods – force and behavior therapies – are ineffective, as they only address the symptoms, but ignore the cause. The focus is put on changing specific attitudes and eating patterns, suppressing memories at the same time. These kinds of therapies can be cruel and potentially re-traumatize the victims. Talk therapy does not reach the implicit memory in the right brain and is therefore not suitable for trauma patients either.

Products of imagination?

In 1980 the leading textbook of U.S. psychiatry still claimed that incest happened to fewer than 1 in a million women, and that it’s impact was not particularly damaging.


Were those psychiatrists really so out of touch with reality? 


Freud mentioned in context with eat-purge behavior (swallowing the father’s sexual organ). This remark aimed at the inner reality of the patient. Today we know, that many times real life trauma is part of the history of bulimics. 60-80% of clinical patients showed a past with sexual abuse, incest or rape, to which not rarely coercive oral sex belonged."

The German association of gynecologists write:

In a group of patients with eating disorders who they examined, they found up to 69% sexually abused women and girls. However, German studies could not confirm this high proportion. Research has shown that vulnerability to psychophysical disorders generally increases after experiencing sexual violence. However, a specific connection with eating disorders could not be established.


In my experience, almost everyone with bulimia (and most with anorexia) have sexual trauma in their past.

Eating disorders are quite literally, I WILL CONTROL WHAT GOES INTO MY BODY! 

Many people do not have the memories and some of them never recover them. (quote by a recovered bulimic)


Very seldom, scientists, psychologists, pedagogues, physicians and judges were defending the victim. Rather they were occupied proving the victims to be lying, fantasizing, or actually wanting it themselves. They were part of society’s denial system and got even paid for it. 


According the conviction of about two thirds of psychotherapeutical experts questioned in 1999 are their clients’ accounts an indication of a fantasy product, if they attribute guilt to the perpetrator, or are very certain this occurrence actually happened. This makes a grotesque level of confusion obvious within the psychotherapeutic profession.”


The reality looks very different:


The significance of sexual conflicts in many patients with eating disorders has been well documented. However, even when these have been considered to have some degree of etiological importance, the occurrence of actual sexual trauma or incest in the early lives of these patients has been generally neglected in the literature. At one point in time, it was noted that five of six patients on an inpatient unit for eating disorders revealed an early history of sexual abuse or incest.” [1]

Trivial scientific studies

Despite decades of failure scientists are still looking for organic causes. As an example I give a study of Charité’s (Germany’s largest and most prestigious hospital) psychologist, for which she was awarded a doctor title.The study examined the reaction of anorexics to stimuli (photos of food/women).

The hypotheses 


Patients with AN and somatic comorbidities have a higher mortality than patients with AN without somatic comorbidities”


- are as meaningless and self-explanatory as the results:


The result of the first study  showed, that the affective  stimuli of all four  groups regarding the validity were not evaluated differently: averse stimuli were evaluated as more unpleasant as neutral stimuli, positive stimuli more pleasant than neutral stimuli. In analogue, it showed a higher level of fear in all groups at averse stimuli than at neutral/positive stimuli, as a lower level of fear at positive stimuli compared with negative stimuli.”


Only the technical jargon deceives about the trivial content  of the study.  In other studies she examines  the heartrate variability, and looks inside the brain chemistry (too high serotonin level) for the cause of AN. At least in her publications she tries to explain the disease with the biomedical model, being in line with psychiatry, which denies, ignores or neglects psycho-social-cultural causes of mental “diseases”.


Eating disorders research is very under-funded. The National Institute of Health allocates only 93 cents towards research funding for every person diagnosed with an eating disorder. In comparison, they give $88 for every person diagnosed with autism. This is painfully low.

Neurotransmitters: hen or egg?

Additionally in ED biological changes occur, like neurotransmitter disorders, metabolic and hormonal dysfunction, disordered hunger- and satiety feeling. However, we are not certain if this changes are cause or effect of ED.“


The Charité psychologist asks the same question:

For once it is questioned, in how far specific observed traits during an acute AN correlates of the underweight are, or rather represent independent traits (hen or egg, state or trait)”


She seems to believe in a causal connection, otherwise she wouldn’t do these studies. It should be understandable, that extreme emaciation would cause as a by-product emotional and physiological changes. If those biological symptoms were only results, the effort put into the studies were not worthwhile. Desiring to be recognized as a scientist, she puts her research emphasis on empirical and quantifiable areas, which are irrelevant.

Averse stimuli

How were the study results used for the clinical therapy?

A long-term ED patients, who spent more than one year involuntarily in the Charité, suffered an additional trauma from the repulsive hospital food.

I myself had many (not ED) room mates who lost weight because of the inedible food. They at least had the option to supply themselves, ED patients are not allowed to buy their own food.

The most important thing to regain the pleasure of eating would be appetizing, healthy and lovingly prepared food. No doubt the hospital food belongs to the category “averse stimulus”. Rice pudding is unbearably sweetened with aspartame (highly neurotoxic!).Accumulating evidence suggests that frequent consumers of these sugar substitutes may also be at increased risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (that’s why it’s used for industrial animal fattening).

The other stimuli of the study were women’s bodies. The Charité ward has a young, attractive, charismatic nutritionist, who exclusively consults private patients. Then there is a diet assistant, who from her appearance and personality is the opposite. She is responsible for ED patients. You couldn’t tell her apart from an adipositas patient, her “nutritional knowledge” is restricted to the use of the BMI calculator and the food pyramid. In another clinic the dietician was a “former” anorexic/bulimic. When I saw her the last time, she looked even more emaciated than her AN patients. These two should be categorized as “averse stimuli” as well.

“Low-fat”dietary guidelines

In the dietary guidelines for the treatment of AN of the Charité X times the importance of low-fat food is emphasized, thereby reinforcing the irrational fat phobia of anorexics: this is an unabridged translation:


2. Plenty of grain products - and potatoes

Bread, pasta, rice, cereal flakes (...) and potatoes contain hardly any fat, but plenty of vitamins, minerals as well as fiber and secondary plant substances. Consume these foods with low-fat ingredients.

4. Daily milk and milk products; fish once or twice a week; Meat, sausages and eggs in moderation. (…) Prefer low-fat products, especially meat and dairy products.

5. Low fat and high-fat foods

7. Abundant fluid Water is absolutely vital. Drink around 1.5 liters of fluid every day. Do you prefer non-carbonated water and other low-calorie drinks (…) ***

8. Prepare tasty and gentle Cook the respective dishes at the lowest possible temperatures, as short as possible, with little water and little fat - this preserves the natural taste, protects the nutrients and prevents the formation of harmful compounds.

No mentioning of fruits, vegetables and nuts. As often as low-fat was mentioned highlighted you would think this was written by an anorexic and not a nutritionist. If low-calorie drinks are preferable, should you choose a diet coke over a fresh juice? (Isn't there a conflict with high-caloric supplemental drinks?)

These are double-bind messages. One hand hand, anorexics are told they need to eat more, on the other hand that low-fat and low-calorie is a good thing, leaving them utterly confused. The amount of calories or fat of a food makes no statement about it’s health value.


From own experiences I know the torture of blood sugar fluctuations are if you are extremely emaciated. A high fat diet would ensure a stable blood sugar. Dr. Berg even recommends a ketogenic diet (obviously for AN recovery this is too restrictive as well as IF).


In the Charité low-fat dairy products are being served to ED patients, which is neither suitable for weight gain, nor weight loss, there is also an issue with calcium absorption.

Antidepressants, serotonin and weight-gain

Every second anorexic is also suffering  from depressions. Conversely, anorexics show an abnormal high serotonin level. Antidepressants'(SSRI) mechanism is to raise the serotonin level. 


Increased serotonin activity may be associated with certain characteristics, such as: Food restriction and rigid, inhibited, anxious and compulsive behavior, such as occur in anorexia.


Why do depressive anorexics get antidepressants prescribed anyway?


Study: antidepressants cause weight gain


Results of World’s Largest Antidepressant Study Look Dismal



Antidepressants double the occurrence of events in adult healthy volunteers that can lead to suicide and violence.

Researchers are still puzzled as to why, if anorexics already have high levels of serotonin, then SSRIs (medications like Prozac which raise serotonin levels) are successful treatments for some individuals.


Obvious answer: the underestimated placebo effect. 

And most depressions seem to lift spontaneously within a period of days, weeks, or months, without the need for professional therapeutic intervention anyway.

Body Mass Index

The Body Mass Index is a good example of a reductionistic pseudoscience. It was thought of by a mathematician and has no medical relevance, and can be very misleading (e.g. bodybuilders, the skinny fat type). Many other parameters, like body frame, extra-cellular water, varying bone and muscle mass are being ignored. Some anorexics starve to death at BMI 14, some are still able to live on their own at BMI 10.

Also, you cannot use the BMI to calculate your calorie-need. An obese woman not losing weight was blamed for not eating sufficient calories. In fact it was the hospital food, I would have put her on a healthy (not calorie-restricted) diet for weight-loss.

Psychoanalytical nonsense

Anorexia was also interpreted in the context of instinctive theory analyzes from the point of view of oedipal conflicts: Oedipal conflicts, i.e. conflicts due to a failed identification process with one's own gender identity, therefore determine the symptomatic behavior of anorexics, understood as an oral form of conception phobia. However, this theory is to be assessed as insufficient for the occurrence of anorexia nervosa, especially since it cannot explain the steadily increasing rate of illnesses despite information and increasing emancipation. Based on FREUD's comments on the death instinct, HANS WILLENBERG interprets the anorectic as well as the bulimic symptom formation as an auto-destructive behavior disorder in the sense of an uninhibited form of the death instinct. Seen this way, anorexia stands for a rebellion against biological laws, for a game with death, which - including the urge for autonomy - forms the flip side of the desire for security and protection.


At least it follows a self-criticism in the same publication:


It is obvious that behavioral theories are very clearly opposed to deep psychological / psychoanalytic and psycho-morphological  concepts  in  their  intellectual  approach.   Behavioral  theories  try to  objectify behavior  and to influence it “mechanically”. Both concepts are  criticized. An essential point of  attack, especially in  the analytical treatment of anorexics, is the reluctant treatment of the symptoms.  Severe conditions of exhaustion must always be remedied - be it in the extreme case by force-feeding - so that  patients are physically and mentally capable of therapy in the first place. At the same time, anorexics show strong resistance if they deny the disease and show no insight. In  this case, it is not advisable  to force  resistance, since the  strongest form of resistance - the refusal to eat - can be used as a weapon against the therapist. Then he is forced to intervene, that is, to break the resistance and force the patient to eat.”


So the lack of empathetic understanding has to be compensated with violence.

Constraint a necessity?

In many  ED clinics you are forced to eat up by threat of punishment, sometimes even on the first day which is health-damaging from a physiologically perspective. One awful clinic I left after a few days was named after goddess Ananke. 


 Anánkē (Ἀνάγκη)”, meaning “constraint, necessity” 

 Constraint is no necessity for ED!

An Experience Much Worse Than Rape: The End Of Force-Feeding
A Chapter from the book: "A History of Force Feeding: Hunger Strikes, Prisons and Medical Ethics, 1909–1974" by Ian Miller
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 333.6 KB


 Ethical Dilemmas in Treating Clients with Eating Disorders

Conversely, mental health professionals arguing against involuntary treatment recognize that while involuntary treatment prolongs life, in the long term it may actually be more destructive and counterproductive for the client’s autonomy to be usurped, leaving her feeling out of control and desperate to resort to more drastic measures to return to her former weight upon discharge from the hospital. Furthermore, those opposed to involuntary treatment argue that such treatment is not curative and indicative of longer chronicity and an increased risk of suicide. A major tenet of those against involuntary treatment involves the ruptured therapeutic alliance and decreased likelihood of seeking subsequent treatment after a compulsory admission.


In 2004, a German court awarded €200,000  compensation for pain and suffering to an anorexia patient who had been subjected to force-treatment.

One of the reasons was:"The cure of their illness is only through long-term psychosomatic treatment and not by 

means of
coercive measures were expected."
Only by coerced eating in therapy many anorexics turn from the restrictive into the purging


British  studies have shown that stealth increases as the pressure and coercion on those with eating disorders increase.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy or symptom shifting

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is said to be moderately successful.


Conversely, criticisms of behavioral therapy relate to symptom-relatedness. Certainly, learning theoretical conceptions hold potential in psychological behavior research, but they always fall short if they ignore a holistic experience and events. In addition, even with so-called  cognitive deficits” it is necessary to ask in what overall context they are to be seen and whether a purely cognitive view of this phenomenon offers sufficient explanation. Do you not have to ask what meaning(understood in an overall context) is denial? It suggests that another method is being sought with the method presented below in order to explore the phenomenon of anorexia and make them understandable.” 


Every era has a practice it can believe in as a miracle cure – psychoanalysis in the 1930s CBT in the 90s, and mindfulness today – until research gradually reveals it to be as flawed as everything else. 


The evidence for CBT for eating disorders is weaker than you might have thought

Indoctrination and self-deception

I do not assume that most doctors and therapists are malevolent, but all have been through lifelong indoctrination, and very few people have the ability to question given circumstances and authorities. And like those with ED, they are very good at lying to themselves. They know that they cannot change the system. Even though they recognize many grievances, they are repressing it out of opportunism.


Conventional medicine is a facade, which  gives only the illusion to heal people. A hospital is in the red very quickly if it cannot manage to occupy all beds. Sustainably healed patients would mean bankruptcy. 

Hidden realities of our society

Institutional psychiatry and psychology also serve to prevent social realities such as pedophilia and ritual abuse from being fully publicized. The perpetrators are in influential positions. While new clinical diagnoses are devised almost every day in order to be able to prescribe even more medication, in DSM 5 pedophilia was originally no longer classified as a paraphilia, but rather as a “sexual orientation” so as not to stigmatize those affected. When there was an outcry at the change, it was referred to as a typographical error.” 


There is an agenda to make pedophilia / hebephilia socially acceptable. In the 1980s there were movements (the Green Party and others) that advocated the legalization of sex with children. When this approach failed, more subtle methods were adopted:


In 2007 two brochures were published by the Federal Center for Health Education, “Body, Love, Doctor Games” , here are some excerpts:


The vagina and especially the clitoris receive little attention due to naming and tender touch (neither by the father nor the mother) and make it more difficult for the girl to develop pride in her sexuality.” 

“Sometimes trigger feelings of excitement in adults.” 

“It is a sign of the healthy development of your child if he makes extensive use of the opportunity to create pleasure and satisfaction for himself.” 

If girls ( 1 - 3 years!) rather use objects to help you, then you should not use it as an excuse to prevent masturbation. Would take a look at this information leaflet and be inspired - please feel everyone addressed!” 


In the Guide for parents on child sexual development from the age of 4 to 6 years”  the parents are informed that genital games at this age are signs of a well-progressing psychosexual development, that masturbation should be supported  and everyone else Forms of sexual games, such as imitation of the sexual act and the desire to retreat in secrecy” .

In technical terms, 93 percent of the educators give a positive opinion. The brochure is rated as informative, factually sound and comprehensive.

Victim blaming

A good example are the theses of the renowned psychiatrist Otto Kernberg, who is not criticized in public by his peers:


A primary school student therefore experiences the rape by her father as a sexually exciting triumph over her mother” ; in doing so, she is charged with (oedipal) guilt  which she later has to tolerate” ; her feeling of triumph is initially unconscious” to her; and only a trained psychoanalyst like Otto Kernberg knows how to decode her unconscious impulses, the job of psychoanalysis is to make her aware of her old messes, which should help her to deal with her own misdemeanors, so she can finally experience herself as the perpetrator and leave the role of victim: With the magic word unconsciously”  psychoanalysis has been complacently trying for over 100 years to immunize its unfortunate pseudo-argumentation against any contradiction and criticism from outside.


Kernberg sees the (supposedly) fruitful result of his work with this victim of early childhood experience of sexualised violence as follows: “This gave her the ability to identify with the perpetrator, namely the sexual arousal of the sadistic, incestuous father, and so it became also possible to combine hatred of the father with understanding his sexual and their sexual behavior.” 


Blind belief in authority

Although pedophilia causes outrage in most people, it is received completely differently when it comes from an authoritarian source in a deceptive packaging, almost 90% of parents reacted positively to the above brochure! Authoritarianism is very dangerous, the Milgram experiment has shown that the majority of people are even ready to torture and kill innocent people if someone in a white coat orders them to.


Dissidents and non-conformists who criticize the system are silenced. Last year, in a psychiatric report, I was declared mentally disturbed" to discredit me, possibly intending to lock me up again.

Genes to blame or who?

Belief in the genetic etiology of an illness leads to self-surrender because neither doctors nor you can change your own genes. A biological determinism of a disease can lead to those affected being evaluated more unpredictable, dangerous, fundamentally different or incurable.


Most recently, researchers identified the anorexia gene” . From a DIE WELT article:


Genetic cause can exonerate anorexics

These discoveries could “permanently change” the previous understanding of anorexia, explained Anke Hinney from the Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy of Childhood and Adolescence at the UDE. A psychiatric disorder with a physiological background opens up completely new and previously unexpected treatment .In addition, the genetic cause can relieve those affected. The research results were published in the specialist journal The American Journal of Psychiatry


Here again it is implied that those with a non-genetic (or non-neurological) cause are themselves to blame for their illness.


A survey among medical staff has shown that patients with anorexia nervosa are perceived unpleasant, often consider the disease to be self-inflicted, and think that patients should exercise more self-control.


Highlights of studies of inexperienced clinicians and trainees revealed:

  • first year residents (including psychiatry residents) had more negative attitudes toward patients with anorexia nervosa than obesity or diabetes

  • medical and nursing students considered patients with eating disorders to be significantly more responsible for their illness than schizophrenic patients

  • 31% of therapists from a variety of disciplines (psychiatry, psychology) preferred NOT to treat eating disorder patients

  • most common feelings toward ED patients included frustration and anger

  • nurses working WITH ED patients reported increasingly MORE negative impressions of ED patients as their interactions with them continued

Again and again the ambivalence of health care professionals becomes apparent, who on the one hand see AN justified by a biologically based diagnosis, on the other hand accuse the affected (from a psychoanalytic point of view) of being responsible for their own suffering. AN or BN cannot be grasped intellectually.

Self-fulfilling prophecies and nocebos

The diagnosis of an incurable disease leads to a state of hopelessness and apathy in most people and often ends in death, regardless of the diagnosis' validity. This phenomenon is called nocebo (opposite of placebo)

Deep Brain Stimulation - lobotomy in disguise

A new trend in anorexia therapy is deep brain stimulation, in which electrodes are inserted 15 cm deep into the brain. Don't be tricked by false promises of a miracle cure into such foolishness. 70 years ago, doctors were still enthusiastic about lobotomy (in which brain pieces are being cut out), there were "therapeutic successes", and even a Nobel Prize was awarded. Neither the cause nor the solution to your problems lies in your brain!

The problem with deep brain stimulation is that we are actually fishing in murky waters because we don't know where exactly to intervene. Each of the studies available so far has chosen a different stimulation location. Experience in Parkinson's patients has shown that DBS is very susceptible to placebo effects. In my opinion, the patients from the Canadian study did not gain weight because electrodes stimulated any center in their brain, but because they regularly went to therapy afterwards.” Prof. Dr. Martina de Zwaan


Deep Brain Stimulation Fails to Outperform Placebo in Sham-Controlled Trial

This woman gained 100 lbs after her brain surgery (lobotomy)and lost her humanity.

Hospitalism - multiple types of deprivation

One of the reasons why I almost died in therapy and many others are being unresponsive to psychiatric treatment is that the cold hospital environment is the most unfavorable place to cure eating disorders, as demonstrated by an experiment on home children (1940):


The children reacted to the mother's deprivation with symptoms of" an increasingly severe deterioration ". The course of the hospital syndrome initially showed the same stages as that of the "anaclitical depression"; they followed each other rapidly. After 3 months the course continued: "The slowdown in motor skills was fully expressed; the children became completely passive; The facial expression became empty and feeble-minded, the coordination of the eyes decreased. ”The average developmental quotient of these children was 45% of the norm at the end of the second year. The decline “first manifests itself in a slowdown in the child's psychological development; then mental dysfunction sets in with somatic changes. In the next stage, this leads to an increased susceptibility to infection and finally, if the lack of affective intake continues into the second year of life, to a noticeable increase in the mortality rate. "Most of the children observed by Spitz at the age of 4 years" could not sit "Stand, run, talk". Of the 90 children, 24 died in the first year of life and 4 died in the second year of life. This high mortality rate is explained by the "total withdrawal of affective intake", from the complete lack of maternal care. 


Even if patients with eating disorders are not infants, they react similarly to emotional deprivation. The Charité also ignores the need for human touch. Therapeutic massages are only available for back problems. 

What Does It Mean to Be Touch Starved?


Why Massage Therapy Needs to Be Trauma-Informed

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) an alternative?

The present STUDY examined the changes in the attachment state of mind, narrative coherence, and reflective function in a sample of AN patients after about a year of EMDR or CBT psychotherapy. The results presented, despite the small sample size, suggest that EMDR is a valuable effective treatment for ED and AN, in line with other clinical study. Several sources starting from 1980 have reported a net correlation between ED and traumatic experiences. Research has been initially focused on the relation between ED and physical abuses and sexual harassment for the simple correspondence to a parental guidance failure. Recent studies showed that also emotional abuses, repetitive micro‐traumatic relational experiences can result in further traumatic symptomatology.

The hoax of the false memory syndrome

Emotional and sexual abuse can take many forms. The number of unreported cases is always higher than the statistics, very few have memories of early childhood, and particularly traumatic experiences are mostly repressed. If you have been the victim of any form of violence, do not let your therapists convince you that you suffer from false memory syndrome or that you should simply forget everything and adapt to society.

The hoax of the "false memory syndrome"


If the gap between the development of eating disorders and occurrence of sexual abuse is very short, subjects may 

not be recovered from memories of such a horrible experience. Severity of eating disorders might also affect their

sexual abuse reports.
In severe forms of eating disorders, CSA experience may be inaccessible to victims.

Eating disorders as a denial mechanism

Eating disorders take an immense amount of thought and time. Sometimes thoughts about food or body image are less anxiety-provoking than the events that caused or amplified the level of emotional distress. Worrying about food, exercise, and/or body size is stressful, but for some, it serves as a distraction (consciously or subconsciously) to thoughts or memories that may be more fear-inducing and distressing. In the aftermath of sexual abuse, eating disorders provide relief and protection from what an individual’s mind tells them might be worse. [2]



The "need" for an eating disorder arises from a combination of two factors: too much is out of control; and the other available coping strategies are not up to the challenge. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse had childhoods that were out of control to an extreme degree, and many of these individuals were, in a sense, betrayed by their bodies when the abuse triggered physiologically normal arousal. The horrible, disgusting, depraved body needs to be punished, starved into an asexual, prepubescent state, and disconnected from the head so that no physiological arousal of any kind enters consciousness, whether it be fear or sexual arousal. [3]

ED and homosexuality

In a study on this topic, 53% of all boys and men with eating disorders were homosexual. This is a huge amount when you realize that the overall frequency of homosexuality is only 1-5%. The causes of this connection are unclear, at least from a scientific point of view. As a possible reason, psychologists cite that homosexuality more often leads to conflicts with oneself, which can prepare the ground for anorexia.


The explanation is that homosexuality is also often caused by sexual abuse.


Many studies agree anxiety is extremely pervasive in cases of anorexia. The study by Kaye et. al. included nearly 700 individuals (some with anorexia, some with bulimia, and others with both eating disorders) and found about two-thirds of them had an anxiety disorder with obsessive compulsive disorder being the most common (41%).


ED patients often have further additional diagnoses such as depression, borderline, personality disorders or self-harming behavior. In reality, these are not independent psychological disorders (which, by chance, often occur together), but only different symptoms from a single, very complex clinical picture that is associated with psychological trauma.

Such patients typically receive five or six unrelated diagnoses during the course of their psychiatric treatment. If their doctor focus on their mood swings, they will be identified as bipolar and get prescribed lithium or valproate. If the professionals are most impressed with their despair, they will be told they are suffering from a major depression and given antidepressants. If the doctors focus on their restlessness and lack of attention, they may be identified as ADHD and treated with Ritalin or other stimulants. If the clinic staff happens to take a trauma hjstory, and the patient volunteers the relevant information, he or she might receive the diagnosis PTSD. None of these diagnoses will be completely off the mark, and none of them will begin to meaningful describe who these patients are and what they suffer from.” (Van der Kolk 2014)


Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD) as a new diagnosis?

In absence of a sensitive trauma-specific diagnosis, such children are currently diagnosed with an average of 3-8 co-mordi disorders. The continued practice of applying multiple distinct co-morbid diagnoses to traumatized children has grave consequences: it defies parsimony, obscures etiological clarity, and runs danger of relegating treatment and intervention to a small aspect of the child‘s psychopathology rather than promoting a comprehensive treatment approach.“

In a letter to the APA: „We urge the APA to add developmental trauma to its list of priority areas to clarify and better characterize its course and clinical sequelae and to emphasize the strong need to adress developmental trauma in the assessment of patients.“

As a reply they wrote that „the consensus was that no new diagnosis was required to fill a missing diagnostic niche.“

One million children who are abused and neglected every year in the US a diagnostic niche“?

The letter went on: „The notion that early childhood adverse experiences lead to substantial developmental disruptions is more clinical intuition that a research-based fact.“ (Van der Kolk 2014)

The downside of subjective diagnoses

The diagnosis of mental illnesses” is not objective and very vague. A disadvantage is social stigmatization, another danger is identification with the diagnosis. Patients often unconsciously behave according to their diagnosis. In the worst case, it can lead to groups like PRO ANA.


The current diagnostic criteria according to DSM-IV (refusal to maintain normal weight) and ICD-10 (the weight loss is self-induced) imply a voluntary act by the patient and could therefore favor such accusations of guilt.

It's not about thinness

Exposure to this ideal [of thinness] is ubiquitous, but everybody doesn’t get anorexia nervosa,” Bulik says. “None of the sociocultural literature has ever been able to explain why.” She adds, “A lot of patients will say, ‘It was never about being thin for me, ever.’”

If you look at psychiatric syndromes over 200 years, anorexia hasn’t changed at all,” whereas our culture has, says James Lock, a child psychiatrist.

A deadly punishment

There was a girl starving to death from a neuropathic gut disorder, everybody was pitying her. So it was tolerated I gave her massages. There was also an anorexic woman, at the beginning down to 45 pounds, who had be rejected by everyone all her life for her ugly looks. She expressed the wish to have a massage, too. This time it was not tolerated by the head physician, we got both kicked out as a punishment. She gave herself up and didn’t want to go into therapy anymore and died. My own conditions deteriorated and my relationship to the doctors was broken.

These strict rules and the punishment were meant to protect us (rape and false accusations of rape). The staff was projecting their own hypersexuality, anorexics don't show much in interest in sex, the higher is their need for non-sexual touch.

I was literally repeatedly sexually assaulted in a psychiatric ward where staff had access to sedative type drugs and opiate type drugs and long night shifts that have opportunity.” ( a ritual abuse survivor"s experience)


Body contact is strictly forbidden even among female patients, hugs are tolerated at best. Friendships among the patients are said to be of disadvantage, since they should “concentrate on themselves.”


STUDIES with diving suits have shown that anorexics start eating again when they feel they are being held.


STUDY - Anorexia nervosa symptoms are reduced by massage therapy

Bulimia Nervosa and Massage: a case report examining BodyAwareness with Co-Morbidities Anxiety and Depression.

The developmental literature suggests that touch, consisting of secure holding and hugging, plays an important role in the formation of body image.

So-called consequences (operant conditioning)

If an anorexic doesn’t reach the weight goal (at least 1.1 pounds/week) the blame is always put on the patient. An athletic and physical active girl didn’t manage to gain weight with the calculated amount of calories and was unjustly punished. This was emotional abuse, afterwards she lay curled up crying on the floor, and had to secretively eat sweets in order to gain weight. She had been too honest to drink water prior to the weighing. Another inpatient drank so much water in order to reach the weight goal, she had to be rushed to intensive care. Punishments are euphemistically called “consequences”. In contrast, the other kind of “consequences” (rewards) are not really worthwhile for an anorexic (e.g. allowance to buy some ice-cream).

Voluntary weight contracts?

A consequence for not meeting the weight goal can be confinement to the ward for weeks, which is very detrimental to health, as sun and fresh air is essential.

Therapists want to trick patients into believing they are signing this contract voluntarily. However, it’s indirect coercion, if you don’t comply you are getting kicked out even sooner for not cooperating.

Unimaginative therapy

While one is not very imaginative with forms of therapy, the more importance is attached to weight gain. Patients are being weighed daily in many clinics.

Very often, patients are coerced into tube-feeding. There are only economic reasons for these measures, because in this way the discharge weight can be reached in a shorter time. Artificial feeding does not have any therapeutic value. Exclusively artificial feeding (like in my case) is even detrimental to curing an ED. For this, health risks are accepted and pain and discomfort through the tube.

The lived experience of mental health nurses when force feeding patients with eating disorders 


You’re telling me that you’ve got a patient with a history of sexual abuse – lots of them do, at this point, yeah? – and then you get a load of strangers pile into their bedroom, hold her down and shove something in them against their will – it’s hard to feel like you’re doing a good job there, you know?”


I definitely felt with some patients, just ship them out to palliative care or something you know? We could be helping others, but we were locked in this cycle of mutual abuse, them of us, us of them, and no one won. It just felt pointless.”


At no point have we been trained what to do – no one knows the best way, safest way to do it, we all just find what works and do it, but it always feels so risky you know? If there was a specific ‘this is how you restrain and tube feed’ course, then great, we’re doing the right thing, but there’s not.”


It leaves us terribly open, professionally. If you have to use five staff to hold down a patient, get a tube down, pass the feed down, and they’re fighting it, it’s violent. It’s tough. If someone gets hurt can we say we did it by the book, safely? Well - there is no book. It’s unsafe for all of us.”


I’m supposed to be caring for them – and I’m fighting, literally fighting. And you know their history and it impacts on you. You feel abusive. Tainted.”


I think they [the patients] perceive you differently too – even the patients who are informal, there to recover. They know what you’re doing and it makes them wary of you too, I think. You’re no longer a nurse to them either – you’re also…I don’t know, a combatant, a…a guard. It just creates barriers, everywhere.”


I’ve had nightmares about tubing, really intense dreams, you just can’t switch off from it” 

Tube feeding and formula drinks essential?

When I was hospitalized 2016 in life-threatening conditions, no doctor believed I would survive. In addition they had the conviction artificial tube feeding and formula drinks were essential for the survival of AN patients. 

Knowing the truth and how my body functioned, I refused it, and gained in a short time 45 pounds on regular hospital food, a weight gain that was unseen on artificial feeding. All other AN patients get edemas (not only related to protein deficiencies), I didn’t.

If they want to optimize weight gain, why would ED patients get such crappy food (e.g. unripe fruit)?

The Health Dangers of Supplemental Drinks

Who's susceptible for ED?

Self-centered, unscrupulous and ruthless people (“the perpetrators”) have a stronger immune system, are less susceptible to psychosomatic or psychogenic diseases, and have greater professional success.Sensitive, compassionate, altruistic, highly intelligent people are more likely to develop eating disorders and other mental illnesses. That is why eating disorders are probably the population group with the highest proportion of (ethical) vegans, among doctors in institutions vegans are practically non-existent. Four years ago I had to explain to a vegan medical student that veganism and mainstream medicine cannot be reconciled.

Veganism/Vegetarianism an ED?

A vegan diet is not allowed in almost any treatment center. In many cases, the vegan diet is part of the eating disorder, but there is also a high percentage that are ethically motivated.Categorizing veganism as an eating disorder is a mechanism of self-justification for (meat-eating) doctors and therapists. Many health professionals consider veganism as a trait of narcissism, not compassion.

Since many eating disorders have problems with self-acceptance, one should not force them to give up their ideals and accept animal suffering for their own therapy. A vegan diet should be possible and organic animal products should be offered.


Severe cases of anorexia get sometimes treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)in which seizures are electrically induced by electrodes to the head. Without muscle relaxants the seizures would break bones. There is no scientific explanation how it benefits the patients, except losing temporarily some painful memories. It can (and will) give you permanent brain damage. Inspiration for this "therapy" were sedated pigs in a slaughterhouse.

I'd rather have a small lobotomy than a series of electroconvulsive shocks… I just know what the brain looks like after a series of shocks — and it's not very pleasant to look at."

KARL PRIBRAM (U.S. psychologist, psychiatrist and psychosurgeon)


Eating disorders: Concern over NI shock treatment

Anorexia Nervosa Inventory for Self-Rating (ANIS)

The ANIS has 14 questions that are not food-related:


These four questions suggest that ES is a suppression mechanism for trauma.


- I can't stand boredom.


- I feel dull and empty.


- I am tense and restless.


- It's hard for me to sit around and do nothing.



These three questions indicate sexual trauma.


- I am uncomfortable seeing others in sexual arousal.


- I'm afraid of kissing.


- I am very afraid of intimate relationships.



These questions also indicate trauma.


- I feel inferior and helpless inside.


- There is no point in me struggling to achieve something in life,


   since all my efforts and efforts do not change anything.


- I have many requirements that I find difficult to meet.


- I feel restricted by the expectations of others.


5 Ways Childhood Neglect and Trauma Skews Our Self-Esteem




Perfectionism is also an indication of trauma.


- When I start something, I need to do everything perfectly and accurately.


- Compared to others, I am very conscientious and thorough in everything I do.


The Traumatized Perfectionist: Understanding the Role of Perfectionism in Post-Traumatic Reactions to Stress

The Chains of Perfectionism (Beating Trauma)

Group therapy

It is not uncommon for forced group activities to give the impression that group therapy is a type of comprehensive psychological sausage machine that, regardless of what is thrown into it, produces a satisfactory result. The rigidity of doctor-centered forms of treatment seems to have been exchanged only for the tyranny of the group as an end in itself. 

Most of the patients I know were annoyed by group therapy.. I myself was often bored to death. It happened that 

there was a dead silence for 15 minutes.


In some cases health care professionals overlook organic causes (e.g. hormonal or GI) for an anorexia symptomology.


A young man with a long history of obsessional traits and food fads presented with anorexia, vomiting and marked weight loss. He showed little concern for his physical state and his vomiting was frequently witnessed as self-induced. A diagnosis of anorexia nervosa was made and he took his own discharge from hospital. He was readmitted one month later, severely cachectic and with biochemical abnormalities consistent with advanced Addison's disease which was subsequently confirmed. He responded dramatically, both mentally and physically, to corticosteroid therapy. It is likely that anorexia nervosa, relatively rare in males, was a manifestation of the psychological abnormalities commonly seen in severe Addison's disease.

Ibogaine for Eating Disorders

Many people who are binge eaters, anorexic or bulimic have had traumatic experiences take place in their lives that were never addressed or fully dealt with and that's what triggered their eating disorder. iBogaine is different from other conventional methods used to treat eating disorders. One of the greatest effects of ibogaine is that it will clear the neural pathways which constituent negative behavioural patterns such as depression. But it will leave the positive ones. In other words, ibogaine resets your neurotransmitter mechanisms, which re-balances your neurotransmitters. How Iboga Heals Eating Disorders with Karen O'Neel


Yoga for Eating Disorders

Teaching those who are in conflict with their physical selves – that there are other aspects of self they can identify with (an energetic body, a witness body and even the pure consciousness of their True Self) – is exceptionally healing. It is often the first step to feeling at home in our physical bodies, and the first step in trusting our feelings and our own unique experiences in the world.

Physically, yoga can be tailored to support digestion, relieve constipation and reduce reactivity around the painful process of refeeding. Emotionally, yoga supports a connection with internal resources so that feelings, needs and longings are grounded. With a design that first “opens” the body through stretching and ends with relaxation, stressful thought patterns that perpetuate eating disorders can often fade (at least temporarily). Sometimes, emotions that have burdened us for years are able to be released during or after a yoga practice.[5]

A STUDY concluded that yoga could be effective in the treatment of ED.

Equine-assisted therapy for Eating Disorders

Horses are congruent in what they are feeling internally at all times and do not pretend to be something they are not. They are authentic and relate to each other honestly and truthfully and embody their experiences. They naturally live in the here-and-now. They do not worry about what might happen next or what has happened in the part. This focus on the here-and-now becomes a particularly powerful way of relating to reality because many clients with eating disorders focus on the source of their anxiety in their inner worlds and oftentimes struggle to live their life authentically.

An eating disordered mankind

As a result of  civilization, everyone is eating  disordered, i. e. eats (or starves) at times for emotional reasons and not for biological needs.

However,  people whose  disordered  eating habits  are less  dysfunctional,  only moderately harmful to health and 
within societal norms are not being pathologized.

Experts and the Dunning-Kruger-Effect

In  probably no other field, authorities are as incapable and misinformed as in nutrition science and health care in general. The average anorexic has more nutritional knowledge than a clinical nutritionist. 

The many theories and techniques help psychologists little to gain insight into an ED complex. Studies have shown
that lay therapists are more effective than professional therapists.
This realization can be a chance to take on more self-responsibility. YOU are your own most important therapist!

"...but memory is not necessary to heal. All that matters is that the trauma be released. Not to focus on it forever but to examine it, release it, be aware in the future when you are triggered by events of the past and allow yourself healthy nourishment. It is the ultimate act of self-love.“ by Karen


I feel from decades of seeing others in therapy, as a buddy, with disorders of all sorts, including eating ones that large amounts of so called "diagnosed" differences are rooted in eiher very early birth/attachment/feeding/maternal disorders and or later serial trauma which may be more subtle and deep - such as not being "filled properly with attention or love" across time .."Fill me in please" .. In others words unmet needs across time ... Sadly it's not possible for many people to grow up properly without coming through the codified messes of their own parents emotional lives and various denials of needs and the baggages that made them like that .. Crucially it is possible to re-feel and re-engage damages like unmet needs/trauma and mourn these things so that "loss of being filled in" or sickness of being "filled in wrongly" in various ways can be grieved ...It's a complex matter but it can be addressed by deep empathic therapy that at it's heart regains back the true emotional narratives the poor patient went through ..- Rabz De Rivers 

Holly, a young woman whose father successfully sued her therapists didn’t like pickles, whole bananas, mayonnaise, cream soups, melted cheese or white sauce. According to her therapists, her eating habits were compelling evidence, that her father forced oral sex on her as a child, because pickles and bananas are penis-shaped, and mayonnaise, cream soups and white sauce resemble semen.

In addition, she entered therapy with a full-blown eating disorder. She was bulimic, eating large amounts of food, and then vomiting in a terrible binge/purge cycle.

Many therapists considered eating disorders a nearly fool-proof symptom of childhood incest. Holly’s therapist told her that 80% of all eating disordered patients had been sexually abused.


Yet there is no scientific evidence that eating disorders stem from childhood molestation as Harvard psychiatrists Harrison Pope and James Hudson, experts in the field repeatedly stressed. “Current evidence does not support the hypothesis that childhood abuse is a risk factor for bulimia nervosa”, they wrote in a 1992 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

I haven't bothered listing most cited resources, as they are translations from German.



[1]Is there a relationship between sexual abuse or incest and eating disorders?

[2] My Eating Disorder Protects Me: Development of an Eating Disorder Following Sexual Abuse


[3] Psychodynamics of Eating Disorder Behavior in Sexual Abuse Survivors 

[4] A critique of the literature on etiology of eating disorders
[5]The Role of Yoga in the Treatment of Eating Disorders



Brain size may yield clues to Anorexia


Should patients with anorexia ever be force-fed? 


Mothers Who Fail to Protect Their Children from Sexual Abuse: Addressing the Problem of Denial

Treating Eating Disorders With Ibogaine: The Facts

Ibogaine for ED: "I have never met an anorexic or bulimic who was not a traumatised person.”

Results of World’s Largest Antidepressant Study Look Dismal

The developmental literature suggests that touch, consisting of secure holding and hugging, plays an important role in the formation of body image.

Therapist-Patient Sex as Sex Abuse

I was misdiagnosed with anorexia when I was 11

When an eating disorder is misdiagnosed Gastric neoplasia misdiagnosed as an eating disorder

Constitutional Thinness and Anorexia Nervosa: A Possible Misdiagnosis?

Young woman misdiagnosed with anorexia actually had a rare syndrome

Celiac Disease and Anorexia May Be Linked in Women

Anorexia Misdiagnosed by Laura A. Daly

Anorexia Misdiagnosed by Laura A. Daly 2


Teenager’s Cancer Misdiagnosed as Eating Disorder, Leading to Dangerously Late Diagnosis Five Disorders that Mimic Anorexia Nervosa

Investigating Restrictive Eating Disorders in Autistic Women

Psychiatric Rape.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Dokument 670.4 KB

As a 12-year-old with full-blown anorexia, I was involuntarily institutionalized after having an eating disorder–induced seizure. The institution was not equipped to deal with eating disorders, and their only plan of action was to watch me eat, shower, and sleep to ensure I didn’t throw up, exercise, or throw my food away. I was treated less as a medical patient and more like a criminal, unable to privately mourn the loss of my innocence and adolescence.

This was my first insight into how our health care system is unprepared to treat eating disorder survivors, a travesty compounded by society’s rigid physical ideals for women. Survivors could best be served by the development of new treatment options targeted at modifying harmful behaviors and by eroding patriarchal visions of the female body. Instead, we are treated like social outliers who are shamed and told we have taken things too far. Denying the existence of sexism is a historically convenient method of the ignorant, and to tell an eating disorder survivor that our plight is of self-creation is to validate the disproportionate and unrealistic physical expectations for women that have permeated every aspect of society.

I will never forget the first time I saw my own reflection without wanting to see less of it. It took years for me to regain control of my life and body, both of which deserved respect and love after having spent years as a battleground. Sharing my story was the first step toward total recovery and remains my personal form of resistance. By speaking out, we can reduce the shame and stigma associated with eating disorders and give courage to millions of survivors. Jaclyn Munson

All leading organizations are in denial of childhood trauma by saying:

"Families are not (i.e. never ever) to blame."

Nobody would disagree with Keanu Reeves, right?

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Kommentare: 0

Ich habe noch nicht einmal von den systemkritischsten Alternativen Medien eine Reaktion bekommen, obwohl (bzw. gerade weil) mein Fall sehr relevant für die derzeitige politische Situation ist, was beweist, dass wir in einem tyrannischen Kontrollsystem leben, das mit Angst und Schrecken regiert wird. Wer wirklich ein freiheitliches Deutschland wollte, würde bei der Zwangspsychiatrie anfangen. 

Sollte man mich einfach sterben lassen, wird jeder erkennen, welche Heuchelei „JEDES LEBEN ZÄHLT“ ist.

Hungerstreik Tag 80: Die letzten drei Tage (und Nächte) habe ich dauerhaft vor der CHARITE CBF verbracht und nichts mehr getrunken. Heute war ich so extrem dehydriert und abgemagert, dass ich in die Notaufnahme gebracht wurde, von wo ich aber wieder weg geschickt wurde, weil Blut und EKG in Ordnung waren. So trotzig wie ich bin, dachte ich mir, gut dann hole ich mir heute nacht durchnässt im Regen eben eine Lungenentzündung und werde so noch schneller ein Notfall. Die Ärzte und Polizei sahen das aber auch so. Nach einer Stunde Regen erschienen zwei Polizistinnen mit einem Rettungswagen, man wolle mich ins Theodor-Wenzel-Werk bringen (also eine Zwangseinweisung?!). Als ich sagte, dass mich keine Psychiatrie aufnehmen würde und am allerwenigsten das TWW sagte die Polizistin, doch, man wolle dort mit mir reden, was sich nach reuigen Psychiatern anhört (ob es solche überhaupt gibt?). Es stellte sich dann als eine manipulative Maßnahme heraus, mich aus dem Regen zu holen, der Aufnahmearzt schickte mich schon nach 2-3 Minuten Gespräch wieder weg (im Wissen, dass meine Wohnung in der Nähe ist). Man kann ein (skandalöses) Ende meines Protestes (wie auch immer dies aussehen wird) nur verzögern, aber nicht verhindern.

Tag 17: Die Charité hatte an meinen beiden Bannern nichts auszusetzen gehabt, aber die Polizei war heute der Meinung, dass der 2. Banner mit Fotos und Namen üble Nachrede wäre, und beschlagnahmte ihn. Strafanzeige wegen Verleumdung. 






Tag 93: Heute benachrichtigte Charité-Psychiater Dr. Ahlers den Sozialpsychiatrischen Dienst. In der Notaufnahme waren Blutwerte und EKG immer noch gut, trotzdem wurde ich zwangseingewiesen und landete auf Station 4 (die einen besseren Ruf als die 4a hat) des TWW. Weil Oberarzt Dr. Helms sagte, er würde mich nicht (wieder) oral vergewaltigen, und anerkannte, dass es sich um einen politischen Protest handelt, sahen die Richter am nächsten Tag von einer Zwangsunterbringung ab.

Ich glaube die Ärzte befürchten, dass ich ein ähnlicher Charakter wie Kafkas Hungerkünstler bin, und einen primären Krankheitsgewinn daraus ziehe, mich zu Tode zu hungern.

Tag 99: Fr. F. vom Sozialpsychiatrischen Dienst war da. Sie persönlich war zwar der Meinung, ich und mein Hungerstreik sei narzisstisch-emotional-instabil, man würde jetzt aber abwarten, bis mein Zustand lebensbedrohlich wird und dann auf der Charité-Intensivstation zwangsernähren. Dann werden die Ärzte eingestehen müssen, dass herkömmliche Sondennahrung unwissenschaftlich ist.

In der Notaufnahme hatte mir ein Arzt angeboten, mir beim Refeeding behilflich zu sein und hatte dabei eine Flasche Fresubin in der Hand gehabt. Ich habe dankend abgelehnt.











Ich soll daran glauben, dass mich für die unzähligen Strafanzeigen eine deftige Strafe erwartet.

Force-feeding of rational prisoners has been a source of controversy for over a century. And recently, it has been a source of widespread condemnation by medical and human rights associations. Physicians for Human Rights and the American Medical Association both declared that, “forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable.The World Medical Association released guidelines “concerning torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,” which specifically address force-feeding — and these guidelines were endorsed by the Red Cross.

Holger Meins von der RAF verhungerte TROTZ ZWANGSERNÄHRUNG. Auch hier registrierte der Arzt, dass die künstliche Ernährung nicht funktionierte.

Als er [Holger Meins] am 9. November 1974, von seinem Anwalt in der Justizvollzugsanstalt Wittlich besucht wurde, wog er bei einer Größe von 1,83 Metern nur noch 39 kg.

Er war während seines 58 Tage andauernden Hungerstreiks künstlich ernährt worden, der Gefängnisarzt hatte in den letzten zwei Wochen jedoch täglich nur 400 bis 800, in den letzten vier Tagen nur 400 kcal verabreichen lassen. 

Das Gefühl, aus dem eigenen Körper entfliehen zu wollen, kenne ich.

Man will mir glauben machen, mein Passwort wäre gehackt worden.

Man lässt mich jetzt nicht mehr bestimmte Artikel bearbeiten, deswegen ergänze ich fehlende Textteile an dieser Stelle (Die wahren Hintergründe von Essstörungen):


Selten standen WissenschaftlerInnen, PsychologInnen, PädagogInnen, MedizinerInnen und JuristInnen auf der eite der Opfer. Vielmehr waren sie meist damit beschäftigt, zu beweisen, dass die Opfer lügen, phantasieren, es selbst wollten usw. Somit waren sie alle Teil des gesellschaftlichen Verleugnungssystems und bekamen dafür auch noch Geld.” [3]



Nach Überzeugung von ca. zwei Dritteln einer 1999 befragten Stichprobe von 91 psychotherapeutischen ExpertInnen ist es für sie dann ein Hinweis darauf, dass es sich bei den Erzählungen ihrer KlientInnen um ein Phantasieprodukt handelt, wenn diese KlientInnen die Schuld für das Geschehen eher beim Täter suchen oder wenn sie mit größerer Sicherheit davon ausgehen, dass dieses Ereignis tatsächlich stattgefunden hat. Damit wird deutlich, was für ein Ausmaß an geradezu grotesker Verwirrung im psychotherapeutischen Lager herrscht.” [4]


Hospitalismus: multiple Deprivation

"Die Kinder reagierten auf die Mutter-Entbehrung mit Symptomen „eines zunehmend schweren Verfalls". Im Verlauf des Hospitalismussyndroms zeigten sich zunächst dieselben Stadien wie bei der „anaklitischen Depression"; sie folgten rasch aufeinander. Nach 3 Monaten schritt der Verlauf weiter fort: "Die Verlangsamung der Motorik kam voll zum Ausdruck; die Kinder wurden völlig passiv; Der Gesichtsausdruck wurde leer und schwachsinnig, die Koordination der Augen ließen nach.“ Der durchschnittliche Entwicklungsquotient dieser Kinder stand am Ende des 2. Lebensjahres bei 45% der Norm. Der Verfall „manifestiert sich zuerst in einer Stockung der psychischen Entwicklung des Kindes; dann setzen psychische Funktionsstörungen ein, mit denen somatische Veränderungen einhergehen. Im nächsten Stadium führt dies zu gesteigerter Infektionsanfälligkeit und schließlich, wenn der Mangel an affektiver Zufuhr bis ins zweite Lebensjahr hinein andauert, zu einer auffallenden Erhöhung der Sterblichkeitsquote.“ Die meisten der von Spitz weiter beobachteten Kinder konnten in ihrem Alter von 4 Jahren „weder sitzen, stehen, laufen noch sprechen". Von den 90 Kindern starben im ersten Lebensjahr 24 und im zweiten Lebensjahr 4 weitere. Diese hohe Sterblichkeitsquote wird aus dem „totalen Entzug affektiver Zufuhr“ erklärt, aus der völligen Entbehrung mütterlicher Zuwendung.

Selbst eine kurzzeitige, einige Tage dauernde Trennung von der Mutter in den ersten beiden Lebensjahren kann […] schwerwiegende Folgen haben. Die Kinder verhalten sich nach einer solchen kurzen Trennungserfahrung noch einige Wochen nachher aggressiv-trotzig, verweigern etwa ihr Essen und sind noch auf Jahre hinaus ängstlich. [...]Der während einiger Tage ausgestandene gefühlsmäßige Mangel stört ihren Appetit sowie ihren Schlaf und lässt sie aggressiv gegen ihre nächste Bezugsperson werden.“ [44]



Auch wenn essgestörte Patientinnen keine Kleinkinder sind, reagieren sie ähnlich auf emotionale Deprivation. Auch das Bedürfnis nach menschlicher Berührung wird in der Charité übergangen, therapeutische Massagen sind nur bei Rückenproblemen u. ä. indiziert. [20][21]