Message Boards

Topic : 03/15 Starving for Perfection

Number of Replies: 249
New Messages This Week: 0
Last Reply On:
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.

Find out what happened on the show.

More March 2007 Show Boards.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

November 13, 2006, 10:28 am CST

11/16 Starving for Perfection

Quote From: im_online

Hi,

 

Thanks to all the therapists who treat those of us with e.d.'s  YOU are not to blame for the screwed up health system in the United States.  The health care system has decided we are too tough to treat, too expensive to treat.  We are not "cost effective."  We take too long to get to recovery - if we ever get there at all. 

 

I would never expect a therapist to treat me for free!  While I'm out of the hospital and have moved after being with the same therapist for seven years, I'm in a city with a terrible health care system - much like any other city in the U.S.  I'm using the skills I've learned from my previous seven years as I go from therapist to therapist looking for the "right fit."  I don't need an e.d. specialist anymore, as food should never be discussed in a session anyway. 

 

I applaud any therapist willing to work with those of us who have e.d.'s.  You're taking on some of the toughest cases ever.  I applaud you.  How to get to the core issue of whether or not a person wants to live?  I'm not sure how you can do that.  I just know it takes a lot of digging into our feelings, a lot of listening, a lot of eye contact.

 

My particular awareness came when my potassium level fell so low that I could have gone into cardiac arrest.  My primary care physician told me my laxative abuse had nothing to do with my low potassium level and "no," I couldn't go to the E.R. and get an I.V. "fix."  Being on Medicare, my choice of physicians was very limited.  I cried for the first time.  I was scared for the first time.  I wanted to live for the first time.  I held my hand over my heart and prayed that it wouldn't stop - for the first time.  I didn't want to die, but I didn't know how to live either.  I got on the phone and searched for a hospital that would take a medicare patient of "my age."  Not one hospital in the state of California would take me.  I searched all over the U.S. and found one.  I went in the hospital for two months and then stayed there for 7 years.  I'm still on disablity, not ready for work, because I'm dealing with a change of meds.  It's tough adjusting to a new city.  I have to deal wih the state's health care system again.  I blame the GOVERNMENT, not the therapist for my lack of available care.

 

So, those who are angry about the health care system, VOTE.

 

It takes a very special person to be an e.d. therapist.  We are not "quick fixes."  We take years and years of help.  We are smart.  When the "light bulb" goes off and we decide to live, we work our best and I know there is no greater satisfaction a therapist can have than to see a broken individual walk in and a whole human being walk out.

 

Thank you to all the therapists!

I am a woman that lives in america and everyday i watch the same shows, commercials, movies, look at the same magazines that you do, etc, etc, etc. and I do not have any desire to starve myself to the point where I have to be worried about my health.  Society attempts to persuade and make you conform to certain things everyday.  If you watch a NFL football game, their is about 3 beer commercials on every time-out, are you also an alcoholic? Everybody in this world has got a problem.  In america we will use anything that sells and attempt to make society to conform to it.  Just like sex, violence and drugs...they sell.  We are now finding out that they create more jobs...an alcoholic or anorexic needs a therapist.  If you want to make a difference in america, voting isn't the answer. Talk to your children, other women, men, anybody that you feel is falling into the traps of our today's society.  The cycle needs to be broken before any changes can occur, this will come from the public and what we stand for, not from what any politician can or will do for us.  If you want to make a difference for your children, your grandchildren and so on, the change needs to come from society, not from the health care system.  If you had cancer you wouldn't just take some Advil for the pain, you would treat it with chemotherapy and whatever else you thought would get rid of the disease completely.  If we just changed the health care system in america we would only be treating the pain, not the root cause of the problem.  With that said, the problem would still exist and people would be wanting something else from america cause everyone has a problem.  We need to start being thankful that we have food...that we have the chance to choose whether or not we want to eat or not rather than taking everything to the extreme because many (children) around the world are dying because they don't have the choice.  Put your faith in God, not in today's society when it comes to right and wrong.

 
November 13, 2006, 11:41 am CST

I didn't Mean Disrespect At All

Quote From: kassie1819

i don't mean any disrespect, but i am a bit insulted by your post. As someone who has suffered from anorexia and bulima, overcome it, and is dealing with a relapse, it truly is not as easy as "just having an excuse" there have been times when I have been ill that I have sat in front of my plate for hours and I have been unable to lift the fork to my mouth. It is not a question of will power, if it were, I would have saved myself a lot of time and money. Willpower got me through college and into law school. I find it offensive that you seem to suggest that the only thing these women, or anyone dealing with this disorder, needed was someone to intervene and basically force them to eat. Its not a question of that and its by far not that simplistic

 

 

I was only trying to say that people don't lose alot of weight overnight, nor do they gain alot over night.  I was just saying it takes someone to really recognize what is happening and to act on it.  I was fortunate that my father was the one that did it for me.  I knew better than to doubt what he said.  I don't know (meaning no baggage) that made me want to lose, or just not eat.  I just mean that we can't use excuses other then we want or unknowingly do this to ourselves.  I was one of these women, and could have had a horrible ending without intervention.  I meant no disrespect at all!  Sorry you took it that way. 
 
November 13, 2006, 12:41 pm CST

You are RUDE

Quote From: melinda366

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.

Your comments are ridiculously shallow and hurtful and just plain IGNORANT!  I am anorexic.  I did not get this way for vanity purposes.  It's my reaction to many bad things happening in my life, depression, my need for absolute control, my need for perfection, and my black and white thinking.  To me you are either fat or thin...no in between.  Eating disorders are very complex psychological disorders that take years from which to recover. 

 

Don't make comments on subjects that you know NOTHING about.....or bear the brunt of many nasty (and very informational) e-mail replies such as mine!

 
November 13, 2006, 12:44 pm CST

Silly

Quote From: trybird00

Has anyone ever noticed that these girls/women with these anorexic behaviors are usually white?  I sure have, I don't think I've seen one show about these topics that has a woman of color affected.  Same goes for the cutting disorders, I have noticed the same thing.  I sure wish Dr. Phil would do a show about disorders that seem to affect only white girls or only black girls or whatever...in our family whenever we see these things on tv we always just shake our heads and say, "silly white folks!" I guess because we just cannot understand/fathom the whole thing from a cultural perspective.

No, eating disorders are not just for white people just like they are not just for women.  If you hunt online or ask a doctor they can give you a profile of the average eating disorder patient but no patient is exactly like that, it's just a tool.  The worst thing you can do (as a parent, friend, partner) is assume that your loved one is immune to the eating disorder because they don't fit the mold.  People of all ethnicities, genders, income levels, etc do get eating disorders.  I've even read some articles that talk about how it is difficult for non-white E.D. victims to get treatment because doctors and family members don't suspect the disorder and there is a consensous out there that is a white woman's problem.  In my opinion, even if eating disorders are less common in non-white people, those people still deserve to get help and recover.  Be careful when you say "silly white folks" because that tells all the non-white people that it is unacceptable for them to confess to such a disorder. 

 
November 13, 2006, 12:44 pm CST

Ignorant

Quote From: horselady4

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 .

 

 

Your remarks are totally ignorant and your grammar and spelling needs some work, too.
 
November 13, 2006, 1:01 pm CST

To all Therapists/Great Question

Quote From: gtwhealth

As a health care provider who works with eating disorder patients, I understand this disease is a personal battle and that change has to come from within.  Do any of you who have been through this have advice for professionals as to what we can do that is the most helpful for recovery?

Wow, great question.  I can only speak from personal experience.  My therapist once asked what my "aha" moment was since many patients point to an event that triggered their recovery.  However, I think it is a series of events and that the bulk of the work is just getting to the point where you are fully comitted to recovery.

 

That said, I failed at therapy a couple times before finding a therapist that really helped me.  The best thing she did was to balance being honest with me and letting me steer my own recovery.  I resisted a lot of her suggestions and she allowed me to disagree but she kept going back to the facts.  I could argue that "I" didn't want to do something and she allowed me that but I couldn't argue when she told me "what works for most people."  Sometimes, her suggestion wasn't appropriate for me-for example, I never kept a food journal because it made me obsess over food.  But most of the time, I was only resisting because I didn't want to give up my disorder.  And once her little fact was in my head, I would mull it over and finally try it.  But I never felt like she was telling me what to do.

 

To summarize, for me the best thing a therapist can do is tell it to me straight.  Whatever she thinks, tell me.  But she should never tell me what to do or control my decisions (that's why I had an eating disorder)-instead she should tell me what normally works and give me options. 

 

Finally, I've spoken to lots of eating disorder patients and the thing they complain the most about is that their therapist doesn't listen to them.  Of course, this is usually because the patient doesn't want to listen.  But what could help, is always explicitely asking the patient how they are feeling about therapy.  It is almost never asked.  You need to reinforce that you are on the same team and ready to modify the therapy for the patient.

 

Hope this helps,

Sammie

 
November 13, 2006, 3:05 pm CST

I understand...

I understand the complexity of this illness - first hand.

 

I don't even know how I got into this mess. I am 24, almost 25. I started with the starvation/deprevation when I was about 16. I got sick of that, and moved on to binge eating/laxative abuse. I don't even know why I turned to laxatives. I have never been a compulsive excersiser or purger in terms of throwing up, but I use laxatives daily. Starting off with the normal dosage..but over time your body becomes used to them and they no longer work. I was up to 180 a day...no joke. I got help, and am in therapy now. I see a nutritionalist every other week and a therapist/psychiatrist every week. I too have issues with perfection in terms of control fanatic. I was sexually abused (multiple times) by my older brother. No one ever knew...and I guess it ate me on the inside. He is now passed away (he was a mess...always - ended up dying from a methodone overdose. he was on methodone to get him off of crack/cocain). Anyway...there was always a lot of fighting in my family due to my older brother. We were such a happy family...with the exception of him. He really did spin our house outta control. My parents are luckily still married and as happy  as a couple could ever be. I beleive their religious values and faith/involvements in church has helped them get through everything. My father found my older brother dead on his bed of his half-way-house on December 27th, last year. This should be an interesting Chirsitmas. I am so happy, yet this thing is still with me. I just recently started seeking out help....with the assistance and persistence of my fiance (who I live with and love to death). He told me a few weeks ago "lindsay, this isnt normal.  I dont feel right. I need to make sure youre 100% healthy and okay before we continue planning this wedding". Now that was a wake up call. I am doing this for me, but also for him and for us. I dont want to lose him and my "issues" seem to be scaring him away. Please wish me luck, I need to beat this or I risk losing the best thing that's ever happened to me...my fiance...

 
November 13, 2006, 3:07 pm CST

I understand...

I understand the complexity of this illness - first hand.

 

I don't even know how I got into this mess. I am 24, almost 25. I started with the starvation/deprevation when I was about 16. I got sick of that, and moved on to binge eating/laxative abuse. I don't even know why I turned to laxatives. I have never been a compulsive excersiser or purger in terms of throwing up, but I use laxatives daily. Starting off with the normal dosage..but over time your body becomes used to them and they no longer work. I was up to 180 a day...no joke. I got help, and am in therapy now. I see a nutritionalist every other week and a therapist/psychiatrist every week. I too have issues with perfection in terms of control fanatic. I was sexually abused (multiple times) by my older brother. No one ever knew...and I guess it ate me on the inside. He is now passed away (he was a mess...always - ended up dying from a methodone overdose. he was on methodone to get him off of crack/cocain). Anyway...there was always a lot of fighting in my family due to my older brother. We were such a happy family...with the exception of him. He really did spin our house outta control. My parents are luckily still married and as happy  as a couple could ever be. I beleive their religious values and faith/involvements in church has helped them get through everything. My father found my older brother dead on his bed of his half-way-house on December 27th, last year. This should be an interesting Chirsitmas. I am so happy, yet this thing is still with me. I just recently started seeking out help....with the assistance and persistence of my fiance (who I live with and love to death). He told me a few weeks ago "lindsay, this isnt normal.  I dont feel right. I need to make sure youre 100% healthy and okay before we continue planning this wedding". Now that was a wake up call. I am doing this for me, but also for him and for us. I dont want to lose him and my "issues" seem to be scaring him away. Please wish me luck, I need to beat this or I risk losing the best thing that's ever happened to me...my fiance...

 
November 13, 2006, 3:47 pm CST

dr phil i wont ever understand the sickness these poor women have!

i just cant understand what a mind is telling a person that makes one starve themselves to death,its better to be 150 pounds over weight than to be almost a skellinton in skin,how in the world are these women still able to even live at the state there in rite now? i do hope for thear sake your not too late, i do pray they will recover from this and be able to live a normal life<>
 
November 13, 2006, 6:43 pm CST

We Have Our Own Answers

Quote From: survivor5

 Wow, you made a very important point.  Each therapist adds to your knowledge about yourself.  There is no magic pill or perfect advice that any therapist can hand out.  E.D. attacks each individual in it's own way for various reasons.  You may have opened they eyes of many, many sufferers.  Thank you so much.

J

Hi,

 

I wanted someone to give me the magic words that would "snap me out it."  There were none.

 

Honestly, the most important thing my therapist did for me was validate my feelings with a sincere look in here eyes.  She didn't have to say a word - her facial expressions said it all.  As I was validated over an over by my therapist, I was able to validate myself.

 

When I was finally able to validate my own feelings, the more I moved forward.  I had the answers all along.  They were buried deep inside.  My dear therapist helped bring them out and keep them out.  It still takes work to validate myself, but that isn't an e.d. issue anymore, that's a "people" issue!

 

A therapist draws out of us what has always been there, but became lost.  She helps us find our lost souls, lost selves and we learn to love ourselves when we never thought we were loveable.

 

We can wander from therapist to therapist, hospital to hospital looking for an answer.  It's only when we sit still and listen to our inner voices, that we understand, we have the answers to our  recovery.  We need a guiding hand to help us through the process.

 

 
First | Prev | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next | Last