Desperate Diets: DrPhil.com Exclusive

DrPhil.com Exclusive
Dr. Phil takes questions from the audience.Dr. Phil returns to the stage after the show and offers the audience a chance to ask questions.

One woman comments on Nicole, the guest who's addicted to diet pills: "We weren't hearing from Nicole's authentic self. Her responses just didn't gel because she's not able to respond to you right now because of the drugs. How did you feel about it?"

"I know. I think she is a delightful young woman. I think she has shown a very quiet and narrow courage for coming here at all," says Dr. Phil.

The audience applauds.

"And I think that right now I'm talking to the drugs and not to Nicole. But I think there's a small ear inside. She didn't come here because she didn't want help. She's 24 years old, she could have told her mother, 'Drop dead, I'm not going,' but there's a part of her reaching out for help. And what I ask her to do is be willing to continue the dialogue, and it would have to begin with detoxification off of the drugs, getting clearheaded " which will take a year to do " but it will get a whole lot better real soon, and then you can begin to make some logical and action-oriented plans. I see in her eyes a flicker of hope and I think both of these young women can make a change. I believe that," says Dr. Phil.
A man stands up with a comment: "I've been a police officer for the last several years and I have seen the road these young women have traveled down and it's not a very good road. But I do have to tell these young ladies that I commend them for coming here and showing their courage. They are on their way to recovery," he says.

The audience applauds.

Another man stands up. "For someone like me, being a male, I'm somewhat oblivious to the weight problem, and like Cassie's father talked about, we don't seem to really understand this disease. What can we do not only as males, but as support family-wise to help young women through these situations and help them become better people?" he asks.

"Thank you for the question," says Dr. Phil. "The most important thing all family members can do is educate themselves about what's going on. As Cassie said, most people just don't understand. But honestly, I think it's somewhat a matter of semantics. I don't think it's necessarily an eating disorder; I think it's a perceptual disorder where you're shown A and you see B in your mind. That's a perceptual thing that you've built up across time. And that has to change and it can change."
Dr. Phil continues: "Both of these young women right now still have relatively intact and healthy constitutions. So what you have to do as family members is really educate yourself as to what is going on with this. Right now you have a drug problem first, and a weight management problem second. You have a perceptual problem that is expressing itself as an eating disorder. And those things can change. These are two very intelligent women and you can use that horsepower to find your way out of the maze. And family can only help if they're informed. Knowledge is a powerful thing. You've got to take the blinders off and say, 'OK, I've got a serious problem here. I'm not going to yell, I'm not going to scream, I'm not going to guilt induce. I'm going to educate myself and become a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.' And that's what it's all about, and I intend to provide the offer of leadership in both of these situations to bring that about."