but sometimes that needs to happen.
On June 23, 2013 a young woman I went to high school with passed away. Now, I had maybe seen her only a handful of times in the last few years but this was still heartbreaking news. Dead at 25, "natural causes". Things you should just never have to read...ever. Whether you knew the person, were close to the person or had just heard of them...this is sad.
What wasn't released until a few days ago, was that the "natural causes" were due to health complications from battling anorexia for years. Suddenly all those photos of her on Facebook made it seem more real, photos from the last few years of her young life, she was struggling more than anyone knew. Her family is now searching for answers, and help. They have created a site & are going through the motions of getting recognized by state and federal authorities. Their goal is to be able to accept donations for research and support for those with eating disorders (and their families). The site is here, and you can sign up for email notifications on site updates, and dates when donations will start being accepted.
I'm not judging, I'm not getting on a soapbox, and I am not telling you I know a ton about this subject: because frankly I feel like I know nothing about it. I've never dealt with a disorder like this, but I know many people close to me who have. I have seen the toll it takes on the person, as well as the people around them. It's scary, sad, and overwhelming to even think about for anyone.
A few statistics from here.
-Only 1 in 10 with an eating disorder receive treatment (and only 35% of that 10% receive specific treatment for their disorder)
-Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
-20% of those with Anorexia will die prematurely
-Anorexia is the 3rd most common Chronic Illness among adolescents
-Higher rates of Elite Athletes (20%) having eating disorders compared to the female control group (9%)
A few of my thoughts
-Celebrities have these disorders and they are "idolized" for their "self-control" and "healthy figures", this needs to stop. Skin and bones is not healthy, or sexy, or anything that anyone should aspire to.
-Women have been a huge cause of eating disorders in other women. We are ALL (myself included) guilty of judging others, and putting each other down. Instead of bashing each other, talking negatively, being vindictive, we should be supporting one another. We have all felt down, we have all struggled at some point and when others are being negative towards you it only makes things worse.
-Eating disorders are about control, we need to stop letting people take our power away from us. Food should not be the only thing we have control over in our lives. Don't let people control you, don't let others dictate your life, stop letting people make decisions for you, stop letting others influence your every thought. Stand up and fight- it's your life and you are the one who has to live it. Run your own life.
Some Information & Resources
So sorry to hear about your classmate passing away at such a young age. And sad that she was batteling an eating disorder.ReplyDelete
I know all to well about eating disorders and still struggle with it daily. Have been going from eating very little to eating to much and then purging to excessive exercise since I was 10.. And its not easy and I can see and feel the effects of all those years of eating not eating not enough nutrients.. I still struggle now with eating enough and it is a control thing and a lot of people find they can control food and exercise when other things feel like they are falling apart...
I do the excessive and minimal eating thing, I fluctuate daily...my doctor has never said anything about it since I seem to maintain same weight and usually balance out with calories by the end of the week. We do turn to control food and exercise when things fall apart...it's hard not to. Best thing is finding the right support system to have around us.Delete
I had been really worried when I broke my fibula that all the years of yo yo eating and not eating and lack of vitimans and nutrients would have affected my bones and my healing. Thankfully it didn't but was a wakeup call to me to get my act together. And having support is great I have one or two people who support me most dont get it or see how its a problem...Delete
Glad that you have some good support (I'm always here too!!! ) and that you got a little "wake up call", we all need those once in a while!Delete
Sorry to hear about your classmate :( always sad when someone so young passes away.ReplyDelete
Always a tough subject but you are right, people need to speak up and say something. Help that person out. I don't think they see how bad it is until it's too late.
The hardest things to talk about are usually the ones that need to be talked about more and more :(Delete
Wow, I have known quite a few people struggle with an eating disorder but in all honesty I haven't been close or known anyone to pass away. That has got to be hard. What saddens me the most about eating disorders are that you are right. Often times the people that are closest to them don't know what or how to say anything which in turn could end up something like this.ReplyDelete
I have known quite a few people with ED's but this is the first to pass away from it. Definitely hard pill to swallow...you just never think.Delete
Sorry to hear about your classmate. I struggled with an eating disorder (bulimia). I allowed someone to hurt me with words and actions so badly that I turned around a hurt my body. I also hid it from everyone. It's hard and no one should ever have to go through it. I am hoping my children never have to deal with this.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing- it seems to have made you a lot stronger going through that and coming out on the other side. Letting others words and actions not affect us is extremely hard, finding healthy ways to handle it can be just as hard. I think you are a great role model for your kids, showing them being active and healthy is a great thing....your knowledge/experience and support will help them through whatever they face.Delete
That's really sad about your classmate who passed away from complications due to an ED. First, it's always sad when someone young passes away from anything- no matter what, it's a weird feeling when people our age die even though we know we're not invincible. I mean, my parents' classmates pass away, but they're also in their 60s and that's different.ReplyDelete
Like Hollie, I've known my fair share of people with eating disorders, and I've always heard they were deadly in the sense they would shorten your life, but I've never known someone our age who passed away from one. It is a tough subject to address, and with society's focus on being thin, I can see where people might not say anything until the person looks really, really, sick, and by then, the individual is so deep in the disorder that it's even harder to treat.
So sorry to hear about your classmate! I can't imagine what her family is going through. I agree 100% with you on the celebrities and how the skin and bones look is supposedly "beautiful." And how the media and magazines portray it. It makes me worry about our youth. I'll be praying for your classmates friends and family.ReplyDelete
Sorry about your friend. My BFF from elementary school has been battling Anorexia for a while, so sad, it makes everyone around them feel helpless.ReplyDelete
I totally agree with everything you said above, sadly, I don't think America is going to change. Seems to be getting worst the last few years too.
Scary. It is an epidemic. I don't know what kind of woman I would be if I had to grow up with as much media/ internet exposure as girls have today. I totally think of it as my job to inspire my daughter to have confidence in herself no matter what her size and never lose her 'personal navigation system.' I started a little "bikini pledge" campaign for mamas because of this. Wear a bikini for your daughter!! I do, even despite my muffin top. I hate hearing about these poor girls.ReplyDelete
It's super scary. And what scares me most is how fast it is changing an d getting worse. I graduated high school 8 years ago and I look back and even then things were so different. I see the little girls I used to babysit and just shake my head....slow down on the growing up thing!Delete
I love that you are doing the bikini pledge thing, your kids are lucky to have a strong healthy role model in their lives!