By Phyllis Theroux, Guest Contributor
In 2002, Laura Collins was just beginning her career in Warrenton, Virginia as a serious stay-at-home writer when her 14-year-old daughter was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Her daughter’s various therapists told her and her husband to back off while they took over .
” I was absolutely gobsmacked by the diagnosis . It was the most isolating thing I had ever faced.” Laura
But their daughter did not get better. Finally, they decided to trust their “bravest parental instincts” and manage her care themselves. Only later did the writer Collins kick in. After their daughter recovered, she wrote “Eating With Your Anorexic” which describes the ultimately successful route they took.
Collins’ niche market now is parents. In 2008, she created a organization, F.E.A.S.T. ( Families Empowered and Supporting Eating Disorders) which offers a variety of services and is the only non-profit of its kind.
Of two things Laura is sure: an eating disorder is a brain disorder, and parents don’t cause it although they can make it worse. This makes her a gadfly in the Eating Disorder world.
Not long ago I spent the day with Laura at her northern Virginia house, which at 7:30 in the morning is full of the click of metal taps on a hardwood floor. Collins is a tap dancer. More on that later… [Read more...]