I was just on an eating disorder support site and came across their online memorial page. There are over six-hundred entries for people who have died from anorexia-nervosa and bulimia. Many of them were adolescents. One Los Angeles girl died on her way to treatment. Seeing all of these names of people who have actually died from complications from their eating disorders really struck me. Sometimes it is easy to dismiss eating disorders as not being that serious. I never think that restricting my food intake or binging and purging could lead to my death. Seeing the names of people who have died from their eating disorder really makes me want to take my eating disorder recovery seriously.
It was hard for me to address my eating disorder when I was in adolescent eating disorder treatment, since I felt like there were so many things already wrong with me, like my challenges with substance abuse. I am so glad that I was forced to look at my eating disordered behaviors honestly, and that I was offered such quality treatment in such a supportive environment. Left to my own devices, I would have continued to act in my eating disordered behaviors, which would have most likely resulted in me compromising my sobriety. My drug use and eating disorder were strongly linked, as body image and self esteem issues were a large contributor to my using drugs. Being forced to address my eating disorder in treatment is probably one of the main reasons I have stayed clean. The issues that drove me to starve myself or binge and purge are the same issues that led myself and others to use drugs. I learned that the most common element surrounding ALL eating disorders is the inherent presence of low self esteem.
Visions recognized these links and provided me with not only substance abuse treatment, but specialized care for my eating disorder. I was challenged to learn how to make healthy food choices, and was able to work through difficult food issues in a safe environment. Having my meals and behaviors monitored was not at all something I wanted to happen, but working through all of the discomfort of recovery turned out to be very beneficial. I began to learn tools to help me build my self-esteem and less destructive ways of dealing with my feelings. I am so grateful that I was able to address my eating disorder and to find a path to recovery in eating disorder treatment. As I look at all of the names of those who fell victim to their eating disorders, I know that no one else has to die from this. Recovery is a reality and eating disorder treatment can be the first step to freedom.
If you think your teen is suffering from disordered eating, body image issues, or any other form of self harm or abuse, please don’t hesitate to contact us today for adolescent eating disorder treatment in Los Angeles