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Topic : 06/11 Scary Skinny

Number of Replies: 391
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Created on : Friday, November 02, 2007, 11:53:05 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 11/16/07) We live in a culture that glamorizes svelte celebrities from Angelina Jolie to Paris Hilton. But some women put their lives in jeopardy for the sake of being skinny.  Twenty-three-year-old Jessica weighs 95 pounds and has battled anorexia for 10 years. She says she’s obsessed with exercising and counting calories, and only sees a fat woman when she looks in the mirror. Jessica’s younger sister, Theresa, fears for Jessica’s life but doesn’t know how to approach her. What’s at the root of Jessica’s disorder? Find out why the siblings say the answer lies in their childhood. Then, Jessica isn’t the only one in her family fighting anorexia. Her 12-year-old cousin, Nicole, was recently hospitalized because she lost 60 pounds in the last three months -- all in an effort to look like Nicole Richie. Don’t miss Dr. Phil’s strong message for the young women. Plus, Alita became bulimic at the age of 17 when she weighed 220 pounds. Now, at 24, she’s 95 pounds lighter but still wants to lose weight. Alita says she binges every day -- eating up to six plates of food at a time -- and then purges. She gives Dr. Phil camera crews a disturbing look at a day in her life. And, Alita’s father, Frank, worries that she’ll die if she doesn’t get help soon. Is Frank enabling her bulimia? Share your thoughts here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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November 15, 2007, 10:21 am CST

THERE IS HOPE!!!

I am a 49 year old woman who has been in recovery for 12 years the 29th of December and proud of it! In my day such things as eating disorders were taboo, no one even gave it that name. My parents and friends called it "dieting", I would gain weight and then lose weight and the cycle would always continue. That cycle began when I was 15 years old and and just kept on happening. I felt good being empty it allowed me to be in control, hide those real feelings that I felt. I by no means grew up in a healthy enviroment, my father was extremely controlling to all of us, my parents were forever fighting and leaving each other. We would leave my Dad either in the middle of the night or when he was at work, my Mother did not drive so someone always rescued us. We went to several different schools, always had to make new friends. They would eventually get back together and then the "honeymoon" phase began and then sometime later that cycle would happen all over again! This continued most of my life until my junior high years, we stayed put but my father would leave. I was the "comic", the one with the personality amongst my piers, all of my teachers adorded me. I was involved in school activities, dated the school jock throughout high school, it appeared all good. I really never brought anyone to my house, learned at an early age to "make up" stories to hide the ugliness in my world. The only piece of that I really could control and the only way I new to make it all stop is to feel empty, which translated to not eating. I would actually get sick when I ate as I should of so I convinced myself that medically there was something wrong and that it was "better" for me not to eat or at the very least not eat a whole lot.  Unfortunately these habits continued throughout my adult life, I married a controlling alchoholic! Well this is what I knew, and what I then thought that I deserved. Someone who told me how good I was and then how bad I was, someone who would allow me to keep in the same comfortable cycyle of life that I knew, although it was really bad it was what I knew. It allowed me to hold on to "her" (my eating disorder), my comfort, my friend................

It took an ugly turn 12 years ago, years of abuse from others and myself finally hit bottom. I totally lost it, it was very obvious to my family and freinds, I started getting "sloppy" as they say. Finally after years of this craziness I was saved!! I was in treatment for a total of three months, in and outpatient and continued with meetings for three years to follow. I have spoken at seminars that my doctor headed and have sponsored several woman to give them support and at meeting to let everyone know that you can recover. Some have said it is "one day at a time" but for me especially at the beginning it was "one meal at a time". I had to think of eating as fuel for my body and my mind not to relate that to my issues. I had three beautiful young daughters to raise and love forever and I made the decision that I WILL BE there for them forever!

My husband got sober, I got healthier, our marriage ended...............there was no promise that it would survive healthy! We stayed together for the next 6 years to try but it just didn't work anymore.

I am still healthy and continue to work on me and to make me a better healthy person. I made amends with my father before his death, I am a strong independent woman, I now "feel" when and what I should, I allow myself to have all sort of emotions, I finally like what I see when I look in the mirror. My daughters are all grown up now, and we have all learned together how to heal and how to embrace life. Sometimes along lifes path "she" still wants to rear her ugly head but I now am much larger then her, I do not let her win!!!

Life is wonderful..... all the good, bad and pain we may feel is part of it......the secret is to live it!

 

Signed,

Finally Beat It!!!  

 
November 15, 2007, 6:49 pm CST

11/16 Scary Skinny

Quote From: jmjacobsen

The great thing about TV's is,,,,,,you can change channels. If you are tired of the topic, you are free to watch something else. There are many sides to eating disorders, as there are with most other addictions. Anorexia and bulemia kill THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of OUR children each year.

 

This upcomming show is very close to me too. I'm a 53 year old guy and also the next door neighbor to Alita, the second girl who will be on the show. I've seen her go from a beautiful talented little girl to a skeleton of a person that was near death. We've lived next door to her and her family for 14 years and i'm SO thankful that the show choose to bring her on and get her help.

 

Just because you don't understand it, please don't minimize their struggles and the seriousness of their diseases.

 

Mark

If you don't understand it then maybe you should read more into it. this is a real problem. Having an eating disorder is just like any other addiction. I know becasue i have one.

 
November 15, 2007, 8:21 pm CST

for some there isn't

any hope that is....i'm 33 and have had an eating disorder for 14 years.... i've gone from anorexic to now diagnosed now with what is officially 'purging disorder' or otherwise known as ed-nos.  i am 'normal' in weight ~ but purge teh very little intake i get, my mind over the years has destroyed my self worth.  i've seen therapists on outpatient basis because i don't have insurance.  i know it isn't enough for someone with this disease.  it is difficult to overcome without extensive residential treatment which for people without insurance or a lot of money, is almost impossible.  i have four wonderful kids and struggle every damn day with this disease:(   i have medial assistance and they don't cover anything besides outpatient like i've been doing and its only a limited number of times a month i can go.  we all need to remember that eating disorders are a disease and those with them don't totally focus on food....it surrounds on the lack of self worth when it comes down to it.....and one doesn't need to 'look sick' to be sick....i can't wait for the show because i hope that they are able to get the help they need....so many struggle, so many unheard
 
November 16, 2007, 8:44 am CST

Scary Skinny

Quote From: dap180aa

I am so tired of reading/hearing about these anorexic or bulemic people. I saw a women with this disorder in a bikini years ago and thought I was going to be sick. How she could even psychologically believe she was fat is beyond me. However, I am so tired of this topic.
I feel bad about this but I'm going to say it .  I have no sympathy for these people because it is something they bring on themselves. I can't even stand to look at them, they are so disgusting looking. I know that I should feel bad for them but it is something that even if my best friend had the "disorder" I would walk away. They know what they are doing is going to kill them and yet they choose to continue doing it, competing with the next anorexic or bulimic to see who can be the skinniest and who can get the most attention.
The biggest thing I have against people who do this to themselves is looking at the pictures on TV of people who are starving to death in 3rd world countries. It is a mockery to them that they do this! They are the ones who have my sympathy and I would give my eye teeth to be able to feed them. How dare these selfish people who have everything they need and more deliberately starve themselves for attention and competition when millions in the world would love to have the food they refuse or vomit!!!!! And to those that would whine, "you don't understand", or "you are uncaring", I say I do understand and I do care. I understand your selfish motives and I care about those that are starving because they are dirt poor. We in this country are so blessed and to refuse the blessing is an affront to God.

I will not watch this show. I can't stand to even look at them and their crocodile tears.
 
November 16, 2007, 9:07 am CST

Just Can't Stop...

Once you start purging, It takes a miracle to stop. I haven't found it yet. I am 13years old, 5"2', and I weigh 67 lbs. I have no friends because they say that I look like a skeleton and they are frightened of me.Don't fall into the same boat that I'm in. Get help while you can.

 
November 16, 2007, 9:44 am CST

BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER (BDD) - ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a psychological disease characterized with an obsession of perceived flaws in the sufferer's appearance. In reality these flaws are minimal or nonexistent, yet to the sufferer they are very real and can create extreme anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors.  Some of my favorite reads that provide a great introduction and insight into the subject are: 

 

 

The Broken Mirror:  Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder by Katharine Phillips

 

Eating Disorders by Pamela Keel OR Good Eater:  The True Story of One Man's Struggle With Binge Eating Disorder by Ron Saxen

 

A Bright Red Scream:  Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain by Marilee Strong

 

Healing Anxiety and Depression (7 types of anxiety and depression) by Daniel Amen and Lisa Routh OR Getting Help:  The Complete and Authoritative Guide to Self-Assessment and Treatment of Mental Health Problems by Jeffrey Wood

 

How to Journal for Therapy:

http://arar.essortment.com/therapyjournali_repu.htm

 

 

Because the perceived physical defect in BDD isn't apparent to others, BDD can be a difficult disease to understand, accept, seek help and treat.  The late Princess Diana, also suffered from the eating disorders that characterize between 35 to 80 percent of all cutters. 

 

Hope it helps!

 

 
November 16, 2007, 10:27 am CST

Begining of the Disorder

How does one know if it is an eating disorder?  Can someone be doing unhealthy things like barely eating, exercising a lot, and vomiting and it not actually be a disease? When does it become a disorder?  I thought it was only a disorder if you cannot control it, but perhaps everyone thinks they can control it.

 

I think Dr. Phil.com would have warning signs?  Maybe I didn't see them.

 

I was accused of having an eating disorder by two doctors, but I told them "NO, you are wrong".  In retrospect they may have been right.  I did have an unrealistic weight loss goal which was well under 100 lbs.  I remember getting down to at least 96 and perhaps I did get to 89 but it's been 20 years.  I continued the habits from age 16 to 26.  This was how I managed my weight.  There were sometimes where I couldn't help but vomit, but eventually I'd get control of that again and could do it only when I wanted to.  I sometimes just needed to because my stomach hurt or I felt guilty about eating something fattening. 

 

I finally stopped all of it when I was pregnant with my first child.  I lost 20 lbs in the first tri-mester when I would have given anything to stop throwing up.  By that point I had esophogial erosions which I felt were caused at least partially by all the throwing up over the years.  My doctor put me on steroids for pre-term labor and that totally changed my eating habits.  I also gained 96 lbs in that  pregnancy (lost the right way later). 

 

During those ten years I had numerous health problems, especially when things were at their worst, in high school.  At one point I was told I had Lupus, but then I really didn't, but my body was acting like it so they called it stress induced or drug induced.  I was taking numerous meds for many ailments which were probably from the things I was doing.  One time I fainted and woke up in my own vomit that was coming up on its own from the muffin top I had with a few sips of soda (commonly known as breakfast in those days).

 

I used to think people who did all that and got so thin were crazy or doing it for attention.  But I didn't think I was one of them because in my mind I could stop anytime I wanted. 

 

Oh well, now days it is different.  20 years changes a lot of things.  Now I actually do need to lose 20 lbs to get to a healthy weight for me.  Ironic.

 

So, how does a person know when they are in the danger zone?  Don't you know so many teens probably flirt with these behaviors to lose a little weight.

 
November 16, 2007, 10:42 am CST

11/16 Scary Skinny

Quote From: jancyemcd

I feel bad about this but I'm going to say it .  I have no sympathy for these people because it is something they bring on themselves. I can't even stand to look at them, they are so disgusting looking. I know that I should feel bad for them but it is something that even if my best friend had the "disorder" I would walk away. They know what they are doing is going to kill them and yet they choose to continue doing it, competing with the next anorexic or bulimic to see who can be the skinniest and who can get the most attention.
The biggest thing I have against people who do this to themselves is looking at the pictures on TV of people who are starving to death in 3rd world countries. It is a mockery to them that they do this! They are the ones who have my sympathy and I would give my eye teeth to be able to feed them. How dare these selfish people who have everything they need and more deliberately starve themselves for attention and competition when millions in the world would love to have the food they refuse or vomit!!!!! And to those that would whine, "you don't understand", or "you are uncaring", I say I do understand and I do care. I understand your selfish motives and I care about those that are starving because they are dirt poor. We in this country are so blessed and to refuse the blessing is an affront to God.

I will not watch this show. I can't stand to even look at them and their crocodile tears.

You know....before I watched the show I felt the exact same way you do. Even while watching it I found myself wanting to throw something at the first young 23 year old woman who had a constant look of winced pain on her face.......("get over it and stop whining.....JUST EAT!!!" was my initial reaction)....and I got mad at the 12 year old who lost all that weight so quickly and wound up in the hospital....but I had to give the mom credit for jumping on the problem right away. I do wish she'd make the kid get that darn hair out of her face, though!! Lord that's irritating!! 

 

However, after seeing the 23 year old's mother.....so cold...and listening to the sister say how their family has "never been one to say 'I love you' to each other........I kind of had to find a little more compassion.  I'm sure it's horrible to live with someone who has an eating disorder....but why not get that person help when it first starts instead of ignoring it until it's so far out of control? And, you don't turn your back on your child who has a problem.

 

I raised three kids...two daughters and one son....and watched them very carefully for anything like that.  Also, we had family dinners...TOGETHER..AT THE TABLE....there was no eating fast food or eating in front of the tv or skipping meals. We ate healthy but never FOCUSED on food or weight.  They are all a normal weight now and have always been...no over or underweight. And, by the way, I raised them alone and worked two and three jobs at a time, so don't think it was easy to keep an eye on them or to find time to cook meals and sit down together...but you don't chose easy, you chose right!... and, thank God for the crock pot!

They had to follow rules; they had to be clean and well-groomed.....no hair hanging in their faces!!....but we never discussed weight.....and, no matter what, all of us told each other EVERY DAY that we loved each other. It helped us through the hard times.  Even to this day, whenever we talk on the phone, we always say "I love you" to each other, and we always hug whenever we see each other.  ( I lost my brother in a car accident on Christmas Eve in 1995 and the only thing that comforted me was that the last thing I said when I spoke to him on the phone was "I love you."  I mention this because I'm beginning to think that a lot of the reason for these eating disorders is a lack of love of self, and lack of self-respect,  which stems from a lack of love, support and respect from family!

Food for thought...

 

 
November 16, 2007, 11:17 am CST

sad but true

I know how it is to suffer with this problem.  I went from 150 lbs. down to 79 lbs beginning at the age of 15 and on into adulthood.  What saved me was a doctor telling me I would loose my children because I was going to die.

 

My problem began because of incest and not eating was the only thing I could "control." 

 

There are reasons behind this behavior, I am sure of it.  As Dr. Phil says, "You must first admit it" before you can deal with it. 

 

My Lord and Savior played a very important part in my survival and now He will see me through "being overweigh" which is the flip side.

 

I see a lot of pain in the eyes of the ladies on the show.  Not because they are skinny and will die, but because of the reason or reasons they do not eat.

 

Is this the only way they can let others know their hearts are hurting?  Maybe, just maybe, if someone would put their arms around them and let them cry until they can't anymore, they will experience the Saving Grace of Our Lord.

 

God be with everyone who is suffering.

 
November 16, 2007, 11:26 am CST

There is hope

Quote From: dancinntharain

Once you start purging, It takes a miracle to stop. I haven't found it yet. I am 13years old, 5"2', and I weigh 67 lbs. I have no friends because they say that I look like a skeleton and they are frightened of me.Don't fall into the same boat that I'm in. Get help while you can.

Bless your heart, why did you start this behavior? 

 

Please realize that it does not matter if you have friends or not.  It is not about others, it is about you and your future.

 

Get strong, and take charge of your life.  If you can choose this behavior you can choose a better one.

 

Ask God for help.  He will teach you what you do not know or understand.  In time you will become a survivor and not a victim.

 

God be with you during your "wilderness journey." 

 
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