I am a journalist writing a longer piece on selective eating for D2 magazine, the weekly magazine of Norway’s leading business paper The Norwegian Business Daily. Having both a brother and a friend who are so called picky eaters, I’ve always been curious about what causes selective eating and what it’s like being an adult selective eater. This year, as you might know, selective eating disorder for adults (Arfid) was recognized as a diagnosis in the US, so I thought that it might be a good occation to do an article on the subject. Not that everyone who’s a picky eater has the arfid-diagnosis, but I think it still might be helpful in explaining some of the mechanisms behind selective eating. I would love to interview you for the article, as I really like your website, and I think you could provide great insight to the article. You can contact me anytime (and preferably as soon as possible, as deadline is approaching), either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling me on (0047) 930 19 878.
Saturday, A Re-boot. February 11, 2012
Hello to all new readers, and welcome, and thank you for dropping by.
This website is for anyone who suffers from, or is interested in what is increasingly being termed ‘Selective Eating Disorder’ – adults with limited eating. It’s slightly misleading to call it ‘selective eating’, because there’s no element of choice about the things we can’t eat – if it was a choice, it wouldn’t be a problem, would it?
The thing that makes us not be able to eat certain things is a reflex – which by definition is involuntary. But we’re used to being called picky or fussy (terms which also imply choice) , by people who can’t grasp this fact, and there doesn’t seem to be a word at the moment for being unable to eat things, so it will have to do.
The aim of this blog is twofold – first, to help unite and support the many people who suffer from this condition (and from other people’s lack of understanding), and second, to get the point across to the wider world that this is a problem and not a choice.
Hope & Anticipation July 5, 2011
So, I got a referral to an Adult Clinical Psychologist. Told her the eating problem. She took it seriously, she believed me, she asked sensible questions, and she reckons she can do something that might help. Said a colleague of hers had helped someone with the same problem.
Even though I haven’t started the treatment yet, and I don’t even know what it involves, already it seems like a miracle. After so many years of being brushed aside and ignored with this by professionals who should have helped, to finally get to this point feels like more than I ever dared to hope for.
I’ll of course be blogging this as I go along – more anon.
Bad Candy – When Confectionery Isn’t February 4, 2011
When you’re weary, feeling small, or indeed at any time at all, confectionery is a good thing, right? Wrong. Or, more precisely, it depends. It can’t be good when it’s bad. So I’d like to dedicate this post to Bad Candy – you know the stuff, people act like it’s meant to be nice. But it’s not.
I’ve put together a little gallery of the Least Wanted, which ranges from the humdrum to the profane. Let me know if I’ve missed any out.
Not Defunct April 8, 2009
Just to clarify – this blog is not defunct, though a person could be forgiven for thinking that it was.
Unfortunately I just don’t have enough time at the moment to keep up with posting as regularly as I’d like – or, conveniently enough, to keep up with my fruit-trying project, either. So I’d just like to apologise for the infrequency of posts recently.
And I’d like to say a hello and a welcome to those of you who have come across this site for the first time recently, and to those of you who are visiting from academia, and especially a thank you to those of you who have taken the time to comment. No comment is too short, and no life story is too long.
I hope to bring you some decent posts in the near future – in the meantime, I really suggest you subscribe to post and comments feeds, so you know when something’s new.
A Strange And Interesting Prospect October 7, 2008
In the course of trying to set up a real-life gathering of picky eaters – which incidentally, I think is going ahead next month sometime – I ran a mental simulation of what it might be like. And I realised it would be really weird – in a good way, I mean.
Because I have never in all my life met another person who is like me in this regard. I’ve never met someone who knows what it’s like to not count certain things as food. I’ve never met another person who’s lived their whole life with all that that entails. I’ve never met a person who I wouldn’t have to explain this to. I’ve never met a person who knows what it’s like, who actually understands. Ever. I’ve been so alone with this my whole life, I kind of can’t imagine what it would be like to suddenly not be the only one in the room like this. Do you know what I mean?
Some notes on understanding September 30, 2008
I’ve just revisited an old discussion on another website, which was a post by a non-picky eater about the concept of picky eating. In the discussion I made a valiant effort to try to explain. I do not think I was successful. But I really don’t know what it is that is so hard for people to understand about picky eating.
If people know what trauma is, and I say “This traumatises me”, what is so hard to understand about that? What about it is so difficult for people to just accept? Does it really undermine their own unquestioned beliefs about themselves and the world so much that they really can’t go there?
In a way, I don’t really mind if people don’t understand it – I don’t really understand it myself. What bothers me is people’s refusal to accept it, just because they don’t understand it. That strikes me as blinkered, narrow-minded, arrogant and self-centred in the extreme, not to mention a massive failure of empathy and meta-representation.
If I was blind, people wouldn’t go around saying “why don’t you just open your eyes?”, would they? They wouldn’t go around complaining about my inability to see, as if I were doing it just to annoy or inconvenience them. They wouldn’t for a moment betray the belief that just because they can’t understand the mechanism or cause of my blindness, that it must be in some way self-inflicted or attention-seeking or childish. And they certainly wouldn’t keep harping on about how much I’m missing out on.
If I say to a pianist “I can’t play the piano”, he probably won’t say “you non-pianists are so annoying, what’s your problem, why don’t you just try?” So why is “I can’t eat fruit or vegetables” so difficult for people to take on board? It’s very simple. I genuinely don’t get it.
People must be able to understand the concept of not being able to bring yourself to do something. For instance, I would find it very difficult to betray a friend. I would find it very difficult also to walk over hot coals, or throw myself off a cliff, even with a rope attached. Other people don’t, but I personally would. And it seems to me that the people who would have no problems doing such things don’t tend to interrogate and judge the people who’d prefer not to.
To me, it is equally difficult to put a non-food in my mouth. What’s not to understand?