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Topic : 03/15 Starving for Perfection

Number of Replies: 249
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Created on : Friday, November 10, 2006, 09:21:57 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 11/16/06) Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, 'If I could lose five more pounds, I'd be perfect?' Dr. Phil's first guest, Darlene, thinks that every day, even though she's 5' 3" and weighs 60 pounds. She walks 20 miles a day followed by 500 stomach crunches and 1,200 leg lifts, so she doesn't have to worry about eating. Her twin sister, Marlene, says she's tried everything to help Darlene win this 11-year battle. Could something in her past be at the root of her problem? Is it too late for Darlene to recover? Then, 22-year-old Jennifer weighs 63 pounds and has the bones of an 80-year-old. Food is such an enemy to her that it takes her up to two hours to eat as much as a tablespoon. Jennifer's parents say she needs to control everything  -- throwing out their food and telling them what they can and can't buy -- and her anorexia is affecting their marriage. They plead for help to save their daughter's life. What does Jennifer need to do to regain her health? Will these women choose to take a step in the right direction? Join the discussion.

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November 11, 2006, 8:11 pm CST

breathing, walking skeleton

My heart hurts every time I see an anorexic person. I just can't understand how  they think a breathing, walking skeleton is beautiful and that is what they look like to me.  Skeletons scare me because they make me think of death therefore I would not be in the presence of an anorexic person if I had a choice. I'm not trying to be mean or rude just honest.

 
November 11, 2006, 10:39 pm CST

My Own Experience

I was always a thin woman and never had to worry about my weight until I gained 50 lbs with the pregnancy of my son. After giving birth I went on my first diet ever to shed the excess pounds. Dieting was the easiest thing in the world for me, and at that point, I couldn't understand why overweight people even existed because it was such a breeze for me not to eat. I ate very little and exercised like crazy. The pounds began to drop off rapidly. My goal weight was 110 for my 5'5" frame. After reaching that weight, I decided to lose five more pounds. I succeeded, and then decided just five more pounds would be better. When I reached a 100 lbs, I was ecstatic until an alarm went off inside of me. I felt the Holy Spirit speak very loud and clear inside of me "Stop dieting now, or you will not be able to stop.!!!" I knew I had heard from God, so I obeyed the inner voice. I stopped dieting that very day. I honestly believe if I had not listened to that inner voice, I would have been in the same condition as these anorexic women are. Since that time, dieting is as much a struggle for me as everyone else I know. I could stand to lose some weight but I don't fret about it . I'll just keep trying to eat healthier. Now I understand why there are overweight people in the world because I am one. Dieting has never been easy for me since that first time I almost crossed the line into anorexia...."the land of no return". God is faithful...we just need to heed His voice.
 
November 11, 2006, 10:51 pm CST

Desparate Parents

For the past two years, our 21 year old daughter has been battling to overcome an eating disorder that has taken on enormous hurdles.  The first we knew of her eating disorder was 6 weeks after she began her Sophomore year in college - she lost 30 lbs. in that amount of time and was so disfunctional that she basically only had energy to get food from the cafeteria, purge, and sleep.  Needless to say, she had to return home and put college on hold.  We've had two years of pure hell; whether it be battling with the insurance companies to get help or having her self-destruct and attempt suicide.  It has been the most overwhelming trying to get expert help.  We spent countless amount of monies the first 9 months having her attend a day treatment program.  The program really didn't do anything to change her behaviors but gave us an opportunity to get family therapy and work on our relationship with her.  She basically gave up with the therapy and then began drinking.  Our daughter was a "good girl" all throughout her High School years and didn't give us any cause to believe she would have so many issues with her body.  She finally called out for help and we had her admitted to a comprehensive eating disorder center  that is out of state.  She's been there off and on for the past 8 months and every time she is discharged she self destructs and the latest reads like a hollywood movie.  She found a guy who "loved her for who she is" and without our knowledge, she was seeing him when she was home on a pass.  This guy is 26 and is a drug dealer and who had been pumping her full of prescription drugs - she disappeared with him for several days until we received a phone call from her to get her.  She had taken hand fulls of drugs to end her life.  We rescued her and had her re-admitted to the Eating Disorder Center again.  She is currently having seizures and is incontinent at night.  We sleep at night knowing that she is safe now but are at such a loss to know what else can be done for her.  The Professionals are recommending that she attend a residential rehab for alcohol and drugs after she is stablized - but we're not sure where the best place is.  Any suggestions?  I'm worried that she might get involved with other addicts at a new center and learn new ways to numb herself.  She is basically annorexic at this point but has been severely bulemic in the past. 

 
November 11, 2006, 11:00 pm CST

anorexia is slow suicide

There are deeply rooted psychological problems that make a women feel food is her enemy, see her emaciated body as fat, and essentially deprive themself of nutrition.  The problem is far deeper than appearance.  They can only be saved by intensive therapy and deep love.
 
November 12, 2006, 6:00 am CST

in answer to your question

Quote From: jas7636x

please, someone explain to me how u can look in the mirror at bones and see fat?  are these confused people simply delusional?  from lack of nutrients? here is my big question....why was this never a "problem" 40 or 50 yrs ago?????

You brought up a very valid question.  Its a matter of self image. You know how you can look in the mirror and notice a pimple and the next thing you know you are obsessing about it

because TO YOU it looks like abowling ball in your forehead, to anyone else its a tiny bump.

That is the same type of self-image anorexics and bulimics have only magnify that 100X

and make it your entire body.  You can see someone else to too thin but not yourself.

And yes it was a problem yrs ago - I am 47 and have been anorexic most of my life.  Back in

the early 60's Twiggy was the big trend.  When I was young my mother would take me to the

doctor and he would tell her I was suffering from Malnutrition.  My mother was really displease

because my family was very comfortable financiall and could easily afford food etc... Its just

that I did not eat.  And for me this started when I about 3 or 4 yrs old.  But if you think about it

50 yrs ago domestic abuse and child abuse was kept quiet.

Lack of nutrition and water can and does effect your entire body - your body works off of a very

delicate chemical balance (electrolytes, sodium, glucose, potassium etc.)  And people with

eating disorders can easily end up dehydrated and in the hospital due to all kinds of problems.

My eating disorder set off a horrific neurological disease because my body did not get the appropriate proteins and nutrients when I was small.  The long term effects from eating disorders is unbeleiveable.  I worked through my anorexia and all was fine.  I became nurse

had a son etc...  Then when I was 32 I had my first heart attack 6 months later a stroke then

things went down hill from there.  Within just a couple yrs I was in a wheelchair where I stayed

for over 10 yrs.  Now I have worked my rear off to regain use of my arms and legs.

I now try to mentor and work with people that have eating disorders to make them more aware of the long term fall out from anorexia and bulimia.  I hope I answered your question.  Its very

hard to explain to someone that hasn't been through it.  But I am so glad you asked the question.

 

Brenda

 
November 12, 2006, 7:06 am CST

The look of death

Just look in the mirror...

You will be lucky to make it out of  the place you have dug your self in to .

Wish you luck , hope you make it and can live normal .

There is such a thing of to thin.

Even the modles are not to have bones showing any more , on the run way .

I would rather be healthy and have some weight , then boney and skinny .

 

 

 
November 12, 2006, 9:46 am CST

Need for understanding

 People don't seem to understand that being anorexic is connectedt o the mind.  This is not all about the desire to "be thin" to look attractive.  Depression is a real culprit and it  pulls you down in every way imaginable.  It is painful to read the messages  that display anger at the anorexic.  Be angry at the disease, not the person.  At first, all the attention was being focused on teenagers.  Has anyone noticed that both men and women are much older with this disease?.  This is extremely disturbing since many are well educated, successful and mature people.  They are not driven to be model thin......there is something much darker going on here. 

I am not anorexic but am the mother of two adult children who are or have been.  This is heartbreaking to see and realize I can't just kiss it and make it better.  The entire scenario is difficult to deal with and, as a parent, I must simply give them all the love and support possible. 

Hopefully, the program will address the issue of why this disease has spread across the board to both sexes and all ages.

Please learn more about this disease before making rash statements. 

J
 
November 12, 2006, 9:52 am CST

bringing woman up from

every culture has it's variation on the theme of woman, and her so-called essential inferiority and/or sinful nature.
ours particular variation admonishes women and girls that in order to purge themselves of their essential "sinfullness" and become "good" they should be THIN, THIN, THIN!!! I see women who are trying too hard to become good.  In our contemporary, secular North American society, we have translated the idea of original sinfulness of woman into a war between fat/bad, thin/good.
It is no easy task in a society that condemns "fat" as an offence to the public eye, to overcome the urge to redeem yourself by becoming very thin.  We all do it.  And i dare to say, we have on that subconcious backburner, variations on the inconsiderat and self-righteous phrase "How could he/she go out in public like that when he/she is SO FAT!".  Every time you turn on the TV there are advertisements with smug, self-congratulatory women (models), unctuously oozing their supposed superiority because they are thin (slim) or have better hair, or forever-young skin, or more perfect man-pleasing sex life (the 'Viagra Concubine"), so no wonder women and girls try to be thin when our culture constantly compares them negatively to these so-called "perfect" examples of women who smugly intone "I'm WORTH it"! (what, and we, the viewers, the great unwashed mass of womankind, are not, until we become like these dopplegangers we see and hear each day in advertising?)  It is kind of sickening, actually.
So, not to let the rest of the world off the hook so easily, there are many variations around the globe of this search for the perfectly purged woman, such as wearing a veil to develope spiritual purity (compared to what, those who do not cover themselves?); and getting thin to show you're successful at "being a woman"; or "having it all", that is being able to hold down a career, a husband, and several wonderful flawless children and take them to soccer games too, all without being fat, ugly, cranky, difficult or, God forbid, TIRED!; being more self-effacing and self-abnegating than the next woman; "keeping sweet"; and so on and so forth, ad nauseam, all to the main tune of "the onus falls upon woman to correct herself to match some holier-than-thou ideal". 
we all, men and women both,  need to lighten up, big time.


 
November 12, 2006, 1:34 pm CST

It's not about the weight

Quote From: survivor5

 People don't seem to understand that being anorexic is connectedt o the mind.  This is not all about the desire to "be thin" to look attractive.  Depression is a real culprit and it  pulls you down in every way imaginable.  It is painful to read the messages  that display anger at the anorexic.  Be angry at the disease, not the person.  At first, all the attention was being focused on teenagers.  Has anyone noticed that both men and women are much older with this disease?.  This is extremely disturbing since many are well educated, successful and mature people.  They are not driven to be model thin......there is something much darker going on here. 

I am not anorexic but am the mother of two adult children who are or have been.  This is heartbreaking to see and realize I can't just kiss it and make it better.  The entire scenario is difficult to deal with and, as a parent, I must simply give them all the love and support possible. 

Hopefully, the program will address the issue of why this disease has spread across the board to both sexes and all ages.

Please learn more about this disease before making rash statements. 

J

As a former anorexic,it was at first about achieving some "magic weight" and then becoming automatically happy.Then it was about control(I could at least control what I ate when everything else seemed out of control). Then it seemed like the being in starvation mode seemed to be providing my brain with some sort of chemical that made understanding that my weight was at a near lethal low difficult.

   I only overcame this horrible disease by coming home from college to my family and slowly I began to eat.This was about 30 years ago.I still remember the calorie counts of most foods and there are some foods that I just can't eat.

   I look back with amazement that I did live through this and I shudder when I see the pictures.It is indeed a emotional disease and being angry at them does not help nor does yelling at them to eat.I'm not really sure how I got better but I thank God that I did.

   M

 
November 12, 2006, 4:08 pm CST

anorexic son

My husband and I are trying to help our 13 year old son who has anorexia.  He works out 3 (or more) times a day to gain that "6 pack" and limits his food intake drastically.  He is extremely athletic and feels that any weight will reduce his athletic ability.  He won't eat in front of people, lies about what he's eaten, hides food, and continually makes excuses when we try to get him to eat (food to cold, hair in food, not cooked properly, etc.)  Does anyone know of any good books or resources for teenage boys who have anorexia?  My husband won't accept the problem.  I'm willing to try/read anything! 

 
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