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Thus sufferers from eating disorders and other addictive or compulsive tendencies who have also suffered serious abuse or abandonment in childhood will need to have a two-pronged approach. The first is to counter the genetically inherited neurotransmission disease through abstinence and through working the Twelve Step programme of the Anonymous Fellowships. The second is to counter the posttraumatic stress disorder, caused by abuse and abandonment, through psychodrama and EMDR.

In addition, a whole range of other therapeutic approaches, such as those mentioned previously, could be helpful for that part of his or her emotional life, which the eating disorder sufferer has in common with the normal population. These therapeutic approaches - regardless of their claims - have nothing whatever to offer in the treatment of addictive or compulsive behaviour as such, but they have a great deal to offer in the treatment of the various complexes, confusions and crises that befall us all and which may affect sufferers from neurotransmission disease as much as anyone else. This is comparable to the treatment offered to patients who may have two co-existing physical conditions: someone with diabetes needs the specific treatment for that condition but will also need surgical treatment for an acute appendicitis if that occurs: having the treatment for diabetes is no protection against getting appendicitis. Correspondingly, people who suffer from neurotransmission disease cannot afford to forget that they are part of the human race and therefore just as likely as anyone else, if not more so, to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or get any other problem that can affect anyone else.

When it comes to treating the effects of emotional trauma in the childhood and earlier life of patients suffering from eating disorders or other outlets of neurotransmission disease, the starting position has to be to get rid of the self-pity and blame that tend to characterise addictive or compulsive behaviour. These patients need to be helped to acknowledge that the abuse or abandonment really did occur - it is not healthy for it to be denied - and also to accept that it was wrong, indeed totally unacceptable. Only then can they be helped to move on - which they have to do if they are to have healthy emotional lives in future. To continue to wallow in self-pity and blame is unhealthy in the extreme, and this is not helped by attendance at meetings of Co-dependents Anonymous or meetings of Adult Children of Alcoholics. These particular Anonymous Fellowships tend to perpetuate the problem by implying that abuse and abandonment have resulted in a permanent negative imprint that is untreatable.

The other disadvantage of these two Anonymous Fellowships is that they focus primarily upon someone else's behaviour - that of a parent or other care-giver in early childhood - rather than following the example of other Anonymous Fellowships that focus the attention exclusively on the sufferer's own behaviour. Ultimately we cannot change other people's behaviour; we can change only our own. We have to learn to become responsible not only for our actions but also for our reactions. Similarly, we learn to accept responsibility for our feelings when we recognise that they come as a direct result of our behaviour being in harmony or at

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