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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, 6:53 am CST

Saddened

My very best friend passed away from Anorexia 2 years ago at age 28.  Anorexia is so complex and frustrating for those of us who love those with this disease.  My friend never experience real life, she lived in a world surrounded by her disease.  Even after 3 heart attacks, a stroke, and multiple kidney failures, she couldn't help herself.  I feel abandoned by her, I feel angry, sad, frustrated.  Anorexia stole her life from the age of 9, it also stole part of mine, her family, and this world.  She was a brilliant young woman and this disease took over everything.  I hate all that eating disorders stand for.

I am angry at the shame, guilt, and sadness that I feel. She killed herself slowly and even though she didn't want to hurt anyone, she did.  She killed herself and we had to watch every bit of torture she put herself through.

 
November 11, 2006, 8:34 am CST

starving for perfection

My 15 yr. old daughter was just admitted into a hospital for anorexia. We caught it "early," but because she isn't "as bad as" the other girls she thinks she doesn't belong there. This is so frightening and overwhelming. We are in the southern california area. Does anyone know of a support group for family and friends? We all feel so helpless and desperate, her illness is effecting us all. How do we keep our lives from falling apart while we hope and pray that she gets well?
 
November 11, 2006, 9:33 am CST

Help professionals to help you--any advice?

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?
 
November 11, 2006, 10:19 am CST

eating for control

I am concerned for these woman.. I once battled with this awlful disease.. I was 23 and went from 160 something to 107 pounds.. I looked like a skelaton (sp) with clothes on. My hip bones would stick out so far that when I layed on the floor on my stomach  I would get huge bruises from the hip bones being on the carpet. I went to the doctor and he told me that if i did not start eating I would die.. I feel its a control issue. Usually we get the mind set that when we cant control anything else  but we can control what we eat. 

 I did finally come out of this sickness.. and am now a healthy size 12 and weigh 160 something. I feel soooooooooooo much better at this weight than at 107...I do know that when i was loosing the weight, I could not see that i was skin and bones, until my sister stepped up.

 I was raised in a disfunctional alcholic family and food was something I could control. if I was only thin enough, used to be my thinking... IF..... Get all the books that you can get your hands on and start reading... YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH--- just the way you are.. its not whats on the outside that matters, its on the inside of us all...we all struggle at times, and its O.k. to ask for guidance..I could go on and on... But we all know, that we all will "GET IT".. on our own time.. when we are ready to face what the REAL issue is behind this disease...

God Bless

K.

 
November 11, 2006, 11:39 am CST

to all of you

There's so much I could say about this topic. I too hate eating disorders and the way this society, media, etc., contribute to them. For 4my2golden , I'm so happy for you that you are healthy and have overcome yours. I struggled with milder symptoms at a young age, but thank God, I am at a normal weight and think I have a reasonable outlook now. Our daughter bought the body-image equals self image lies all through her teens. She's tall so she never felt small enough, and she's also a perfectionist who has a hard time letting go of control. It's heartbreaking when we try so hard to help our children avoid the pain we ourselves have endured, yet they make choices any way, and it's frightening to watch. I feel for you, bayerone. I can relate to the frustration of trying to help a teen who doesn't think she has a problem. Please ask the hospital for referrals regarding support groups. Also, the Dr. Phil site has a page on eating disorder resources. I hope you will find a church in your area that will support and counsel you, if you wish.

You'll be in my prayers.

 
November 11, 2006, 11:46 am CST

How do you help someone?

Quote From: 4my2golden

I am concerned for these woman.. I once battled with this awlful disease.. I was 23 and went from 160 something to 107 pounds.. I looked like a skelaton (sp) with clothes on. My hip bones would stick out so far that when I layed on the floor on my stomach  I would get huge bruises from the hip bones being on the carpet. I went to the doctor and he told me that if i did not start eating I would die.. I feel its a control issue. Usually we get the mind set that when we cant control anything else  but we can control what we eat. 

 I did finally come out of this sickness.. and am now a healthy size 12 and weigh 160 something. I feel soooooooooooo much better at this weight than at 107...I do know that when i was loosing the weight, I could not see that i was skin and bones, until my sister stepped up.

 I was raised in a disfunctional alcholic family and food was something I could control. if I was only thin enough, used to be my thinking... IF..... Get all the books that you can get your hands on and start reading... YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH--- just the way you are.. its not whats on the outside that matters, its on the inside of us all...we all struggle at times, and its O.k. to ask for guidance..I could go on and on... But we all know, that we all will "GET IT".. on our own time.. when we are ready to face what the REAL issue is behind this disease...

God Bless

K.

I have a niece whom is young and anorexic.  She is in couseling and it was caught early.  But how does the family start to help this person?  What can we say to try to help her?  She knows she needs to eat and put on weight or she could possibly die, but her brain struggles with food/eating everyday.  Can you please help me, to help her?  What else can I possibly do except pray? 

Please help. 

 

 
November 11, 2006, 12:11 pm CST

Dear climbon...

Quote From: climbon

My very best friend passed away from Anorexia 2 years ago at age 28.  Anorexia is so complex and frustrating for those of us who love those with this disease.  My friend never experience real life, she lived in a world surrounded by her disease.  Even after 3 heart attacks, a stroke, and multiple kidney failures, she couldn't help herself.  I feel abandoned by her, I feel angry, sad, frustrated.  Anorexia stole her life from the age of 9, it also stole part of mine, her family, and this world.  She was a brilliant young woman and this disease took over everything.  I hate all that eating disorders stand for.

I am angry at the shame, guilt, and sadness that I feel. She killed herself slowly and even though she didn't want to hurt anyone, she did.  She killed herself and we had to watch every bit of torture she put herself through.

I'm sorry for the loss of your best friend. Your anger, sadness, and other feelings are very understandable. I know it's easier said than done, but try not to give in to guilt or beating yourself up. It wasn't your fault. I hope you'll find some help for yourself in grieving this loss and forgiving

yourself for anything you think you "should" have done. I wish we all would realize how much what we do to ourselves does affect those around us. I hate eating disorders and worshiping thinness more than I hate alcoholism and drug abuse. At least most people agree those are

harmful. Please be good to yourself at this difficult time.

 
November 11, 2006, 12:25 pm CST

Back Then It Didn't Have A Name

When I was in 9th grade, I probably weighed 130 lbs. For some reason, and I don't know to this day, I just didn't eat as much.  I didn't see myself as thin, to the point of looking like a skelton, even though weighing 110 lbs.  However, my father saw my lack of interest in eating and DEMANDED that I clean my plate.  This would have been in 1965, and then we knew to listen to our fathers.  I objected to his demand, and he stuck with his decision that I was going to eat and that was that.  I graduated in 1968 weight 135 lbs and looking good at 5' 7".

 

My point is when (yes even DR PHIL too) and I were growing up, there (esp in small towns) were no reasons for excuses.  We had classmates die and yet had no counceling by professionals to deal with it, we dealt with it and went on in life.  And I never heard of an eating disorder until now, when it seems so prevelent. 

 

I had, now that I know what it is called, the beginning of this disease!  I shutter when I see my 9th grade picture and am so grateful to my parents (esp my father) for picking up a problem before it became life threatening.  To tell you the truth I don't know why I didn't want to eat. I was lucky and came from a "NORMAL" family, and no problems at all, other than the normal rebelling that we all do.

 

Bottom line that I don't understand, why doesn't someone intervene BEFORE this comes to life threatening.  This doesn't just happen overnight.  And I think we need to stop using excuses for things happening in our lives, deaths, one parent families etc. and face the fact that our lives are the way we want them.  My father had no father, had no father image growing up, yet he decided he wanted to be the best father ever and he was.  My Mom came from parents that fought constantly, and she knew she didn't want to be that way, and was a super MOM.

 

So eating disorders were always around, just way back (Sorry Dr PHil but it was lol) we had (OR MOST OF US) the respect for our fathers that meant EAT when they said EAT!

 

Good luck to these ladies and I sincerly hope that Dr Phil gives them the help they need before it's to late! 

 
November 11, 2006, 3:08 pm CST

I Understand Completely

As weird as it seems, I have a good idea of what these ladies are going through.  I never thought I would have a middle-aged eating disorder until my life started falling apart.  Last year I weighed about 135# at 5'6", now I'm down to 90-95#.  I don't really have anorexia, I get really hungry but just can't seem to let myself eat.  I look in the mirror and I know I look terrible but it still doesn't make any difference.  I can't find any pants that fit, which is totally frustrating but that doesn't help either.  I think it's just because my life is spinning out of controll - my husband took a job that requires him to travel 40+ weeks a year,  my daugter moved away, my mother and mother-in-law are both dying of cancer and both live very close to me.  My best friend died of cancer and my siblings live in distant states.  My whole support system has vanished out from under me.  I also have multiple sclerosis which plagues me on a daily basis and over the last few months I've acquired a stalker who has caused multiple small problems but I've also had 2 dog poisonings, at least 4 death threats and been stabbed once.  The police department has been totally uninterested so we are thinking about leaving the city where we were both born and raised.  So, the only thing I feel that I have any controll over is my own weight.  It's amazing how something can start as "losing a few pounds" and turn into a runaway train.  i will be watching the show with great interest to see what Dr. Phil can suggest.  I really want to get my life back on track and I need some help from somewhere before this goes to far.   Jeanne
 
November 11, 2006, 3:16 pm CST

Mother had anexoria

I can relate to the women. My mother at the age of 59 became anexoric. After my father's death a year before she became involved with a man that insisted that she lose weight. He told her he wanted her to weigh 135 pounds and she then weighed around 220 pounds. Well, she lost the weight in 3 months. she got down to 135 but her heart gave out on her and she died. Once she got sick and could not take care of him, he made her move out. She moved in with me and I tried everything I could think of the get her to eat, but she would only eat very little if anything at all. These women need to realize that this is going to kill them and their loved ones are going to lbe left wondering what they could have done differently. I live the guilt that I could not help my mother recover from this. I told her doctor and any medical personnel that would listen to me what was wrong, but no one would believe me because of her age. She was put in the hospital and while there she ate good, but once they released her she went right back to not eat or eating very little. If they would have only listened to me I might have had her longer that what I did. I still miss her to this day and wish she was here. There is no future in starving yourself to death. I know I watche my died.

 
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