October 27, 2009
A Little Knowledge Can Save a Life!
She had a good life. Even as a child, life had been good. Her parents loved her. She was attractive, married to a good man, had two beautiful girls, and lived in a nice house. She was educated, had experienced a good career, and was now blessed with the ability to stay home and be a mom. She was a Girl Scout leader. She was involved in the local youth soccer league. She volunteered at school, sometimes everyday. She managed the house, the finances, and the kids. She made dinner every night, and baked for her husband’s employees every week. She put 120% of herself in everything she did. But something was going wrong. It started with little things but now it was out of control. Her health was failing; body systems were shutting down. Doctors, the best in their specialties, couldn’t figure out what was going on. The symptoms were obvious, but what was the cause, what were they missing? Her body was in a process of consuming itself.
This is a true story, not all the details are included, but this is the picture that was seen by family, friends, doctors, and those who knew Her. What no one figured out was that she was starving herself and had been for more than 20 years. This is my story. I have chronic anorexia. I spent 9 months in inpatient treatment and 3 years in intensive outpatient treatment. I am still in treatment today, six years after leaving inpatient treatment. Despite the constant battle that I fight each day, I believe I am one of the lucky ones. Through my experience with anorexia my family and I have been able to educate people. It is the lack of knowledge, stigma, and misperceptions about eating disorders that cause those affected and their loved ones to receive inadequate or no treatment at all for their eating disorder, and without adequate treatment, eating disorders do kill.
The leading misperception regarding eating disorders is that it is not a disease. An...