Here is what a mother never, ever wants to know: her child has an eating disorder.
Due to the vast informational resources we have in the world today, most people have grown aware of what eating disorders truly entail, and nothing about them is good.
If a child is losing excessive amounts of weight, is becoming an extremely picky eater, or seems to be vomiting a great deal after meals, a mother may secretly hope that a physical illness is present. For that issue can surely be fixed with a round of antibiotics, simple allergy testing, or at the very worst, a surgical procedure.
Unfortunately, the diagnosis is often something that cannot be cured with a medicinal prescription. Too many mothers in our country today have experienced a child with an eating disorder; they have learned the hard way that what is said about eating disorders is absolutely true.
Far too many mothers have watched their children die.
At Timberline Knolls, we treat women and girls with eating disorders as well as other addictions. Here is what we see. We see 13-year-old girls come into treatment with such acute starvation that they suffer from psychomotor delay, meaning they literally cannot think clearly. We see adolescents who have binged and purged so excessively that their teeth are disintegrating in their mouths. We see young women who consume so much food due to their binge eating disorder that their medical problems are those of women twice their age.
And it doesn’t stop there.
We see diabetics, so intent on being skinny, that they manipulate their insulin intake to lose weight. This is diabulimia. We see college students who starve themselves all day, saving all their calories for alcohol consumption at night. This is drunkorexia.
If the girls in the first group do not get help, they will most likely be totally blind, or even dead, in only a few years. If the students in the second group continue down this path, they risk alcoholism and malnutrition; to say nothing of the possible sexual injury they may experience when profoundly intoxicated or passed out.
Because of what we see every single day at Timberline Knolls, we wholeheartedly support the M.O.M. March, founded by MAED, The Alliance, and the EDC. This is a historic unification of moms, families, friends, professionals and advocates in the fight against eating disorders.