Lauren is a young woman that struggled with Bulimia Nervosa for 13 years; an eating disorder that affects 2 out of every 100 women in the United States. As a young teen, Lauren had also struggled with Anorexia Nervosa. After losing a significant amount of weight, she began to have trouble walking and seeing properly. Lauren then completed six weeks of residential treatment for Anorexia Nervosa, restoring her body weight. However, immediately following discharge from treatment, she started engaging in eating disordered behaviors congruent with Bulimia Nervosa to assist her with distress relief.
According to Lauren, every evening after getting home from work, she would alternate between binging on junk foods and purging what she ate continuously for eight hours on average until she fell asleep. The behaviors she initially engaged in to reassert control over how she was feeling and what she physically looked like, eventually gained control over her. For 13 years, Lauren hid her struggles with Bulimia Nervosa from her mother until she revealed her secret on an episode of ‘The Doctors.’ However, like many loved ones, Lauren’s mother explained she was suspicious that something was wrong because of how much food Lauren was consuming while still maintaining a slim figure.
Dr. Travis Stork, host of ‘The Doctors,’ and Linda Smith, Executive Director at Magnolia Creek Treatment Center for Eating Disorders, surprised Lauren with an offer for 90 days of complimentary residential treatment to assist her in taking the first steps towards recovery. Before going on the show, Lauren had expressed fear that she did not know where to turn for treatment for her eating disorder nor did she think that she could afford it. Lauren was also afraid of being judged by others after admitting that she was struggling; living proof of ways stigmas towards mental health can inhibit people from getting the care they need and deserve.
After completing our residential treatment program, Lauren is excited to report she “has gotten her life back.” As she explains in the follow-up episode of ‘The Doctors,’ “I’ve experienced more in my time I’ve had now, in my recovery, than I have in the last 15 years.” Our staff keeps regular contact with Lauren each month to check in to see how she is doing and if there is anything we can do to support her further. We will maintain contact for at least two years as she progresses through her recovery journey.
As Lauren compassionately articulated to other people struggling with eating disorders, reaching out for help and being honest and vulnerable are the most important steps towards getting your life back. Eating disorders are the most fatal of all mental health disorders, but just like Lauren, you never have to try to navigate healing alone. You are worthy of care and support, just like she is. If you or someone you know are struggling with an eating disorder and would like to learn more about ways Magnolia Creek can support you, please call our admissions team at 205-409-4220 or fill out our contact form.
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