May 09, 2012
Southern California is the meca of eating disorder recovery meetings and support. The Victorian is proud to announce that we are adding another meeting to the community!
The Victorian is offering a new eating disorder recovery and support meeting, open to the public:
FRIDAYS MORNINGS, 10:30-11:30am
THE VICTORIAN, 505 29th Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663
This is a 12 Step meeting. The women read a chapter out of the ABA 12 Step Book for inspiration and then share their own struggles and successes with the group.
Anyone who is struggling with an eating disorder; anorexia, bulimia or compulsive overeating and would like support to stop is welcome to attend this meeting.
SEE YOU FRIDAY!
May 01, 2012
A recent study found self-harming behaviors in 50% of those battling with eating disorder. Find out what self-harm is all about and how the Victorian approaches treating this behavior.
Upon first arriving at The Victorian the clients sit down with a Case Manager and set their goals. They discuss their eating disorder(s), other addictions, past trauma, family history and incidents of self-harm. Clients with self-harming backgrounds are closely monitored and observed by Support Staff for signs of improvement or set back. The self-harming behaviors are addressed in private counseling sessions with the Victorian therapists.
Self-harm has been around for years with the recovery community. However, many families are still uneducated on the cause and effects of self-harm.
What is self-harm?
Self-Harm is a behavior that can include, biting, burning cutting, picking ones skin and hair-pulling until an injury occurs.
Why do people do this?
There are many functions that self-injury can serve. Most noted is the release of anxiety in relating to other people and related to internal thoughts and emotions. Self-harm is triggered by desiring help from others or one’s inability to deal with a stressful situation. Intrapresonally self-harm helps with regulating overwhelming emotions and generate feelings emotional numbness which separates the mind from feelings that are causing anguish.
A study published in the latest edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health found a link in adolescents between eating disorders and self-harming behaviors like cutting and burning. It also found that in most cases, clinicians didn't screen for such behaviors (the Victorian is a step ahead of the game!)
"Self-injurious behaviors have been shown to be common in adults with eating disorders and in adolescents with bulimia in small studies," said study author Dr. Rebecka Peebles, former instructor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and now an assistant professor at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine reviewed the medical records of nearly 1,500 patients between the ages of 10 and 21 who were diagnosed with an eating disorder at an eating disorder clinic over an 11-year period. Only about 42% of them had documentation that they were screened for self-injurious behaviors when they first were seen in the clinic. Of those who had screening documentation, nearly 41 percent admitted to cutting or burning themselves.
The study suggested eating disorders and behaviors like cutting are linked, and also that people with eating disorders need to be more carefully screened for such behaviors. Experts said the findings help confirm a long-suspected association between the eating disorders and self-injury, and by doing so may improve screening measures.
"It's generally held that these behaviors are fueled by an underlying level of anxiety and they branch out in many different ways," said Dr. Richard Pesikoff, clinical professor of psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine. "People do a variety of self-soothing behaviors like rocking, picking or cutting." That anxiety in people with eating disorders, he said, is often very complex and intense.
"The eating soothes the anxiety, but creates a new set of problems," said Pesikoff. "Then they worry about being fat. Then they have to resolve that. Then they cut."
The behavior of cutting, which he said is typically done to the arms, offers physical relief from emotional pain.
"Cutting produces endorphins that produce an anti-anxiety effect," said Pesikoff.
The experts also said that cutting and burning are methods people with eating disorders use to punish themselves as a result of self-hatred.
If you or your loved one is struggling
with an eating disorder and self-harm we encourage you to seek help immediately. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about treatment and cost: 888.268.9182
Apr 23, 2012
Considering the Victorian is just steps away from the sands of Newport Beach, dolphin siting’s are frequent. Researches say spending time with these joyful creatures actually brings upon higher success rates of eating disorder recovery.
I have never met a Victorian client who didn’t LOVE animals! Dogs, cats, horses, bird- the women are obsessed. Many request the San Diego Zoo or Santa Ana Zoo for our day trips. As well many choose to volunteer their time at local animal hospitals while they are in our step down program, Patrice House. Our ladies love animals! Research shows this might not be a coincidence. A recent study by the University of München in Germany on animal-assisted therapy with dolphins for eating disorders clients produced positive results. The pilot study examined a dolphin assisted therapy for patients with eating disorder. 25 patients received treatment consisting of:
· Dolphin interaction
· Psycho education
· Cognitive behavioral therapy
· Nutritional education
· Craniosacral therapy
These clients were compared to a control group of 7 clients with standard behavioral therapy program. Three months after the treatment only the patients in the dolphin therapy group showed a stable decrease in their overall psycho-social behaviors while both groups had significant improvement of eating behavior. These results are the first to show that dolphin-assisted therapy is an effective tool in the treatment of eating disorders and is of special use in improving psycho-social variables like depression and somatization. Further research is necessary to further observe the long-term outcome of the dolphin therapy approach on patients with eating disorders.
Now we just need to play a day trip to Sea World in San Diego!
Apr 17, 2012
Eating disorders are the most deadly of all mental illnesses. The shocking thing is more woman than ever are showing signs of them.
A common misconception about eating disorders is that eating disorders are limited to anorexia and bulimia. Peoples visual perceptions of eating disroders are also very misconceived believing that someone with anorexia and bulimia should physically appear gaunt and malnourished. To clarify, eating disorders range from anorexia, bulimia, diabulimia, pregorexia, exercise-bulimia and compulsive overeating. At times a person with an eating disorder can vascilate between all of these depending on their condition. In regards to weight, many eating disorder suffers do not look gaunt and slender. Depending on the persons body type, a person can be physically malnourished with their body ready to go into cardiac arrest and yet look healthy with a normal Body Mass Index (BMI.) These misconceptions explain why so many people are shocked to hear that three out of four women have eating disorders. Eating disorders are a mental illness and more often than not, can not be visually detected.
A study by ScienceDaily showed sixty-five percent of American women from 25 to 45 report having disordered eating behaviors, according to the results of a new survey by Self Magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.
An additional 10% of women report symptoms consistent with eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating disorder, meaning that a total of 75 percent of American women surveyed endorse some unhealthy thoughts, feelings or behaviors related to food and/ or their bodies.
“Our survey found that these behaviors cut across racial and ethnic lines and are not limited to any one group,” said Cynthia R. Bulik, Ph.D., William and Jeanne Jordan Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the UNC School of Medicine’s department of psychiatry and director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. “Women identified their ethnic backgrounds as Hispanic or Latina, white, black or African American and Asian were all represented among the women who reported disordered eating behaviors.”
“What we found most surprising was the unexpectedly high number of women who engage in unhealthy purging (bulimic) activities,” said Bulik, who is also a nutrition professor in the School of Public Health. “More than 31% of women in the survey reported that in an attempt to lose weight they had induced vomiting or had taken laxatives, diuretics or diet pills at some point in their life. Among these women, more than 50% engaged in purging activities at least a few times a week and many did so every day.”
Although the type of disordered eating behaviors the survey uncovered didn’t necessarily have potentially lethal consequences of heart attacks like anorexia or bulimia nervosa, women report they are associated with emotional and physical distress. And despite the stereotype that eating issues affect mostly young women, the survey found that those in their 30s and 40s report disordered eating at virtually the same rates. Findings show that:
- 75% of women report disordered eating or symptoms consistent with eating disorders; so three out of four have an unhealthy relationship with food or their bodies
- 67% of women are trying to lose weight
- 53% of dieters are already at a healthy weight and are still trying to lose weight
- 39% of women say concerns about what they eat or weigh interfere with their happiness
- 37% regularly skip meals to try to lose weight
- 27% would be extremely upset if they gained just five pounds
- 26% cut out entire food groups
- 16% have dieted on 1,000 calories a day or fewer
- 13% smoke to lose weight
- 12% often eat when they’re not hungry; 49% sometimes do
Eating habits that women think are normal, such as banishing carbohydrates, skipping meals and in some cases extreme dieting, may actually be symptoms of disordered eating.
The online survey garnered responses from 4,023 women who answered detailed questions about their eating habits. Please take this information and share it with your friends. Let them know that their extreme dieting and obsession over their physical appearance can turn into a life threatening illness if their not careful.
Apr 11, 2012
Post recovery eating disorder survivors are so thankful for their treatment and healing that many become passionate about prevention and treatment. Today on the Recovery Blog we are featuring some fabulous organizations and methods for fighting eating disorders after treatment. Read on!
While undergoing treatment for anorexia, 19-year-old Dayna Altman started making string bracelets, naming them after people who inspired her recovery and trading them back and forth with her sister back home. Now she is using the bracelets to spread hope to others affected by eating disorders, and to urge young women to forge their own definitions of beauty.“Beauty is different to different people” and shouldn’t be defined by magazines or movie stars” Altman says.
Spurred to action by her ordeal, Dayna and her 16-year-old sister, Jamie, created the company BeaYOUtiful Bracelets. The website, which urges young women to find beauty within themselves through monthly videos, sells bracelets to raise money for the National Eating Disorders Association. Through BeaYOUtiful you can purchase bracelets that fund eating disorder treatment and or create a video for the BeaYOUtiful website telling others the beauty within yourself. Check out: BeaYOUtiful.org
Cover Girl Culture
Nicole Clark is a former Elite International model. She chose to make Cover Girl Culture a documentary about the medias effect on girls and to help bring about positive change in the media. She gained valuable insights into the inner workings of the fashion & advertising worlds and has become an expert on the impact the media has on our girls, namely the sexualization of girls and pressures on them to be thin and pretty. Nicole steps forward with her documentary to share her knowledge with girls and women.
You can join Nicole’s advocacy work by bringing her in to host a workshop at your local school or by purchasing her DVD and showing it to your friends. Check out: CoverGirlCulture.com
Eating for Life
The Eating For Life Alliance is dedicated to making user-friendly information, resources and the knowledge of the nation’s experts- available to everyone. Their focus is predominantly on college campuses. College is not only a time when eating disorders often develop — but an excellent time to address eating disorders and heal from them.
You can join the Eating for Life Alliance by bringing their experts to your college to do a panel on eating disorders. As well Eating for Life has been successful at educating administration and health services on eating disorder prevention and treatment. Check out: EatingForLife.org
National Eating Disorder Association
The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) is a one stop shop for eating disorder prevention and treatment. NEDA is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by eating disorders. They campaign for prevention, improved access to quality treatment, and increased research funding to better understand and treat eating disorders. They work with partners and volunteers to develop programs and tools to help everyone who seeks assistance.
The biggest ways people can get involved with NEDA is by hosting a NEDA Walk in your area. This way a walk sends eating disorder awareness to the community it’s held in. As well as the funds that are raised from the walk go to eating disorder research and treatment. This is only one way to be involved with NEDA. They also have art contests, opportunities for sharing your recovery story and media watch dog campaigns that make sure the media is not encouraging eating disorders. For more info Check Out: NationalEatingDisorders.org
Normal in Schools
Normal in Schools started out as an off Broadway play about eating disorders. It then started traveling to schools and educating students about the disease. Now, Normal In School’s is a nonprofit that educates about eating disorders, self-esteem, body image and healthy coping by implementing the arts and mindfulness-based programs that engage participants in innovative ways. The array of programs is long and suitable for a wide range of audiences from middle school to medical school students and that resonate with parents, clinicians and educators alike.
The great thing about Normal in School’s is they have a program for everyone from 5th graders to medical professionals and they use the arts to educate! Maybe you could bring one of their programs to your area. Check out: Normal-Life.org
The Rewrite Beautiful revolution started when Irvina Kanarek found herself with 3 very different jobs: a nanny, art teacher, and counselor in an eating disorder rehabilitation clinic. The girls she came into contact with had one thing in common; they were all jeopardizing their lives to make themselves “beautiful”. The art students were experimenting with eating disorders while the rehab patients were dying from them. Irvina worried that the little girl she nanny’d would one day grow up and be welcomed into this cycle. Irvina took action. She printed pictures of her friends from Facebook and created Street Art with them. She wrote about everything she found beautiful in them: their creativity, kindness and strength. She left the Street Art in public places for people to see. It caught on and people started making their own Rewrite Beautiful Street Art. Rewrite Beautiful is now a non-profit to prevent eating disorders through School Programs, Street Art Workshops and Campus Clubs. The hope is in the absence of obsessing over their bodies, girls would be able to see the talents they possess and use them to change their own communities. Rewrite Beautiful uses art and testimonies to talk about eating disorders.
You can get involved with Rewrite Beautiful in tons of ways! You can bring a Rewrite Beautiful School Program to your local school or college. Start a Beautiful Action Club on your campus, host a Street Art Party, an Art Show or attend a Street Art Workshop! Check out: RewriteBeautiful.org
Someday Melissa is an amazing documentary made by a mother who lost her daughter to bulimia. The is inspired by Melissa’s journal writings and designed to raise awareness of eating disorders. Throughout her life, even in her darkest moments, Melissa’s creativity shined through. It was always hard for her to express her feelings verbally so she used film making, writing, drawing and acting as means of self-expression.
You can get involved with Someday Melissa by hosting a screening in your area. Check out SomedayMelissa.com
I hope you found some great ways to Pay It Forward post eating disorder recovery! Are there any organizations you're passionate about that I have forgotten? Please let me know in the comment section!
Apr 03, 2012
One mother’s tragic loss of her daughter to bulimia inspires a documentary; that is now used to educate on eating disorders all around the country.
Eating disorders are the most deadly of all mental illnesses. Fear can be seen in the faces of the parents and families who bring their loved ones to The Victorian for eating disorder treatment. Many clients leave the Victorian and other treatment facilities and go on to live lives in recovery. Tragically, some do not. Melisa Avrin was not a client of The Victorian, but was one woman who struggled and died from bulimia on May 6, 2009 , she was 19 years old.
Throughout her life, even in the darkest moments of her addiction, Melissa’s creativity shined through. It was always hard for her to express her feelings verbally so she used filmmaking, writing, drawing and acting as means of self-expression. A gifted writer from a young age, her journals were filled with powerful messages of hope along with words of sadness and pain.
Inspired by her journal writings and her poems, Someday Melissa was born. Melissa’s mother, Judy Avrin embarked on a journey to tell Melissa’s story and to help break through the wall of secrecy and shame surrounding eating disorders, and bulimia in particular. Someday Melissa is a documentary inspired by Melissa Avrin's journal writings and designed to raise awareness of eating disorders and the importance of early treatment. The DVD can be ordered from the website as well as a listing of screenings in your area
Our thoughts and prayers are with Judy Avrin on her brave and courageous journey to tell Melissa’s story and prevent this disease from taking more lives.
Mar 26, 2012
The newest kid on the social media block, Pinterest has taken a stand against pro eating disorder media on their site.
The Victorian is a community of professional women who work very hard, day in and day out to nurture our clients back from their eating disorders. Many people are shocked to hear that there are communities of women all over the world trying to do the exact opposite. Widely known as communities that call themselves Pro-Ana, meaning Pro-Anorexic or Pro-Mia, meaning Pro-Bulimic. They have community sites called, “Pro Ana Blogs” and “Thinspiraton Websites.” These communities encourage starvation, purging and other eating disorder behaviors in order to obtain thin figures.
Due to the work of Social Media Watch Dogs, like the National Eating Disorder Association many of these community sites have been shut down. The groups that have spoken up on behalf of all women in eating disorder recovery have blasted against social media in news, magazines, twitter and more. They demand these social media enterprises be responsible for the content they allow on their sites. In the past they have been successful with cooperation from Facebook and Tumblr who have shut communities down.
This week they came to a healthy agreement with one other social media mogul Pinterest. Pinterest is the newest social media kid on the block; the website allows users to link images of their favorite images, crafts, recipes, articles, clothing and design inspiration from around the web. The unfortunate thing was many people from the Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia community were using the site to post images encouraging each other of their unhealthy and deadly pursuits. Thankfully Pinterest has sent out new terms of service prohibit posting content that "creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal.” In other words as of April 6th 2012 thinspiration boards will be banned.
Mar 20, 2012
If you think eating disorders are simply anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating you’re mistaken. Learn about a new eating disorders on the rise: Neophobia - Picky eaters.
As a leading eating disorder treatment facility, the Victorian prides itself in being at the front lines of the latest eating disorder research and treatments. The more we understand about eating disorders and the several ways they manifest, the better we can treat our clients. Eating disorders are not simply Anorexia, Bulimia and Compulsive Overeating, sometimes they manifest into Exercise Bulimia where a client exercises for hours at a time to purge calories. Another new discovery is Pregorexia where a woman develops Anorexia while being pregnant. She goes on to withhold food from herself and her unborn child. These conditions are new and still being researched, but we have built relationships with specialists who can assist our client. The latest eating disorder discovery is Neophobia, a disordered in which a person is overly selective of their food due to being picky of foods texture and smell. This selectivity limits their diet to only a few foods, limiting nutrients and calories dramatically.
This may sound similar to the picky eating of some young children who resist sauces, spice and certain textures. Although Neophobia has not yet been officially recognized as a mental disorder, the American Psychiatric Association is considering its inclusion in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the official compendium of emotional and mental disorders.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Duke University are studying the problem of extreme picking eating, Nancy Zucker of Duke University first became aware of the disorder when adult picky eaters came to Duke's Center for Eating Disorders seeking help. According to Zucker, this is a real disorder. "People who are picky aren't doing this to be stubborn." Adults with selective eating disorder experience food differently from other people. Instead of avoiding one or two foods, they have such a limited list of acceptable food that their eating interferes with functioning in daily life. This is indicative of a mental disorder, such that it plays out in harming friendships, families and careers. Most people with this eating disorder are very embarrassed by their behavior in relation to food and do everything they can to keep it hidden. In addition to the embarrassment caused by this disorder, doctors are concerned that a limited diet of foods that are low in nutrition can lead to long-term nutritional deficiencies and health problems that can include heart and bone problems similar to the reprecussions of anorexia and bulimia.
One theory for the causes of Selective Eating Disorder (SED)is that it may be linked to an extreme sensitivity to the smell or texture of food that is often associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or autism.
Bob Krause, 63, of Virginia runs an online support group called PickyEatingAdults.com. Started in 2003, the site has more than 10,000 members that include picky eaters as well as concerned loved ones of the picky eaters. Krause limits his own diet to milk, toast, crackers, popcorn, peanuts, French fries, grilled cheese sandwiches and plain milk chocolate bars. Since childhood, Krause has avoided visiting friends at mealtime to avoid being offered food that he has an aversion to. Krause attributes the failure of two marriages to his eating disorder and says that if he could snap his fingers and change, he would. The loss of relationships is often a repercussion of eating disorders.
Nancy Zucker and other scientists at Duke University are developing treatment plans that include slowly introducing people with selective eating disorders to new foods. Treatment also focuses on helping picky eaters overcome their embarrassment about their food preferences and not letting their disorder interfere with personal and business relationships.
Mar 13, 2012
Eating disorders have long been thought of as a disease for teenage girls. Young women may have the highest numbers of people active in their eating disorders, but the numbers are rising among men, children and most recently older women.
The first stage of treatment at the Victorian house is a closely monitored house of support and treatment. The home houses seven women in recovery at a time. When I was working there as Support Staff the demographic we usually had was four girls in their 20’s and two women in their late 40’s to early 60’s. Some people are surprised that women past their 20’s suffer from eating disorders. The women I worked with at this stage were some of our most tragic cases. Older women had so much more to lose. Many were on the brink of divorce, losing their jobs and separated from their children.
So how big of an epidemic is this?
Well, a 2006 study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that among a randomly selected nonclinical sample of 1,000 women, aged 60–70 years, more than 80 percent controlled their weight and more than 60 percent stated body dissatisfaction. Eighteen women met criteria for eating disorders and 21 reported single symptoms of an eating disorder.
Dr. Emmett Bishop, MD, FAED, CEDS, founding partner and medical director of adult services at Eating Recovery Center, says there are many myths among older women with eating disorders, "The biggest myth is that this group does not have eating disorders. Although this group has flown under the radar, we are seeing quite a few women in treatment in their 40s, 50s and 60s. We even recently treated an 80-year-old woman."
Does your loved one have an eating disorder?
Bishop says, “Signs and symptoms of an eating disorder in older women are very similar to what you would see in the younger group: weight loss, avoiding situations where food will be available, excessive exercise, obsessions with calories and weight, using the bathroom directly after a meal and becoming more secretive or withdrawn. The biggest problem I have seen with the older group is people "blowing off" symptoms because the individual displaying them has behaved that way for a long time. Oftentimes, friends and family will say "that's just they way she is" until they see their loved one begin to develop medical complications."
If you feel your loved one may have an eating disorder we encourage you to seek treatment as soon as possible. Anorexia and Bulimia are the most deadly of ALL mental illnesses. Please reach out, we would be happy to discuss treatment options with you: 888.268.9182
Mar 05, 2012
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2012 was a huge success! The masses partnered together to bring eating disorder awareness to all parts of the globe! Awareness was done via organizing walks, speaking engagements, workshops, writing articles, celebrity tweeting and even making street art. Check out some of the weeks high-lights!
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is a week when everyone in the eating disorder recovery community partners up to spread awareness. This year, an overwhelming about of awareness was spread by activists, those in recovery and even celebrity’s! Demi Lovatto, singer, actress and former Disney star who is in recovery for her eating disorder sent out the following tweets on Twitter last week to her 6 million followers:
"24 million Americans are affected by eating disorders. Everybody Knows Somebody. #NEDAwareness."
"Most models are thinner than 98% of Americans. Instead of trying to change our bodies, how about we try to change our culture? #NEDAwareness"
"Research funding per individual: Alzheimer’s $88, Schizophrenia $81, Autism $44. Eating disorders? $0.93. Insufficient. #NEDAwareness.”
Along the same Social Media bandwagon many bloggers took the time to spread awareness via posts on their blogs. One very popular Mommy Blog, Rage Against the Minivan posted an article about Preventing Eating Disorders in Children. As well as various posts by Pyschology Today and Psych Central.
Everyone’s favorite eating disorder prevention non-profit Rewrite Beautiful held a School Program with the Costa Mesa High School Cheerleaders and Ensigh Jr. High School. Founder, Irvina Kanarek and Board Member Robyn Baker spoke with the students. The students heard an eating disorder recovery story, the physical trauma of eating disorders, participated in a Q&A panel and the opportunity to Rewrite Beautiful about themselves.
Across the country people organized NEDA Walks. Walks were held across the country, from Portland, Oregon to New York, New York. At the walks different college sorority’s, community groups and activists pledged money and walked for eating disorder research and treatment.
Did you also hear that the Empire State building was lit up one night in honor of NEDAwareness Week?
The award for the edgiest of all awareness strategies goes to Rewrite Beautiful for creating street art to bring awareness to eating disorders. The non-profit group held a Street Art Workshop on Sunday with their supporters. They took old CD’s and CD cases and spray painted them. They assembled them to spell Rewrite Beautiful, spray painted them and then asked the participants to write what makes them Creative, Kind and Strong on the CD’s. The street art was placed in front of Newport Harbor High School with sharpie markers for other participants to also find their own beauty; creativity, kindness and strength.
If you missed out on NEDA Week, don’t worry! You can still spread the word! Awareness is always needed. If you read an interesting article about eating disorders or hear about prevention, share it with your twitter followers and facebook friends. People always need to be educated. The more awareness the more lives that will be saved from the horrific disease.
Mar 01, 2012
Many are campaigning to add new eating disorders into the DSM-V which would mean more research funding and treatment for many.
One of my biggest frustrations is when I say ‘eating disorder,’ most people think anorexia or bulimia. But there are lots of different types of disordered eating—binge eating, compulsive night eating, obsessively health-conscious eating, diabulimia, pregorexia—and psychiatrists may officially recognize several ‘new’ eating disorders in the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistic manual (DSM.) The DSM guides the way psychiatrists diagnose and treat mental health patients, how insurance companies cover treatment, what researchers get grants for studying and the drugs pharmaceutical companies develop. We keep a couple of copies in the Victorian office for staff to reference.
Dr. Janet Taylor, a clinical psychiatry instructor at Columbia University’s Harlem Hospital, says, “Changes to the DSM are extremely critical that clinicians and patients have the ‘right’ diagnosis. Making a diagnosis is multi-faceted and involves an involved clinical history, knowledge of social conditions and evidence based criteria, standards and definitions that can be used worldwide.”
My own excitement in the DSM is due to the effects it will have on insurance coverage. Today, many go untreated suffering from their eating disorders because insurance company’s don’t recognize it as a deadly illness (which they are. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses.) The changes in the DSM will not only make way for more people to get coverage, but more research can be done for eating disorders. Helping the treatment and prevention side of this awful disease.
Feb 20, 2012
The forces of news broadcasting, social media, women’s advocacy groups and non-profits have worked tirelessly trying to spread eating disorder awareness. These causes have gathered the attention of a mass audience, but has anything been changed? The answer just might shock you, yes.
As Social Networking has boomed in past years so has the campaigning and advocacy for social justice causes, such as eating disorders. The work of many activists has been best seen this past week at New York Fashion Week where the treatment of models has changed drastically.
Steven Kolb, the chief executive of the fashion council, noted that designers have met behind the scenes with agents, casting directors and models to promote healthy behavior and prevent eating disorders. Guidelines include educating the industry to recognize the early signs of eating disorders, supplying healthy snacks backstage and not allowing models under the age of 18 to work past midnight at fittings or photo shoots. Nevertheless, when asked to grade the modeling industry’s performance, he replied, “I’m going to give us a ‘B.’ ” Noted fashion leader Diane Von Furstenberg had another statement about the changes “If we haven’t done anything else we certainly have created awareness.”
Some nutritionists and eating-disorder specialists disagree saying the fashion councils decision to promote guidelines are an ineffectual response to a dire problem. However, five years after the industry first took that position, even some of the most vocal critics of the council now acknowledge that American designers, through their outreach, have perhaps played a greater role in combating eating disorders among models than the weight rules in Europe have. Madrid, where rules are strictly enforced, plays a small role in international fashion. In Milan, there is very little evidence that rules, which many designers have found confusing, have been followed at all. On Monday, the National Eating Disorders Association released a statement thanking the C.F.D.A. for updating its guidelines to include clearer language on education and for checking models’ identification. The Victorian is also thankful for the work done by the fashion council. We hope it doesn’t stop here, but continues to improve and protect the women and men who represent them.
Feb 06, 2012
Every year The Victorian sets aside one week to prevent the most deadly of all mental illnesses, eating disorders. Read more on how to participate in National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2012 in big and small ways!
The Victorian sees the damage and pain eating disorders cause everyday which is why we anticipate the one week in February when when we get to prevent them! Joining forces with the National Eating Disorder Association, non-profits and activists around the world we all do our part in spreading eating disorder awareness through outreach, social networking and speaking engagements. We call this week NEDAwareness Week, February 26th – March 3rd 2012. This years theme is Everybody Knows Somebody. Meaning we all know someone who is struggling from an eating disorder. One in three women suffers from either anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating. As well, two million men in the USA alone are suffering from eating disorders.
Help fight eating disorders during NEDAwareness Week by spreading the word!
1st – Register for NEDAwareness Week
Visit the NEDAwareness Week homepage here http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/programs-events/nedawareness-week.php to register and learn how you can do just one thing to help raise awareness and become part of the solution.
2nd – Post a Video
Post the following video to your Facebook page to let others know about NEDAwareness Week! video: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nedawarenessweek/6637023569/
3rd – Get Creative
This year NEDAwareness Week is having a Calendar Art contest: NEDA is hosting a contest for art submissions of all kinds for their 2013 NEDA Calendar of hope and recovery, to be sold in the NEDA store. Download the contest flyer for details to send to a friend! Click here for the online submission form. Submission deadline: April 15th, 2012
4th – Attend a Webinar for Volunteer Speakers and Dad’s
Some of the most passionate for eating disorder prevention are survivors and their fathers. Attend a free webinar where you can learn how to be the best eating disorder awareness speaker you can be: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/programs-events/nedawareness-materials-online-use.php#Webinar_Links
5th – Join the Twitter Campaign
This year we are working on a new Twitter Campaign during NEDAwareness Week to start a “trend” on twitter and get some major attention. We are developing some twitter posts about key messages that we are asking all our Partners, Sponsors, Volunteers and Activists to tweet each day of the week. We would love to have you join in with tweets about eating disorder statistics, your own experiences and links to articles.
If you are a teen and want to get involved you are definitely not left out!
Teen Activist Guide
If you are a teen who is passionate about changing what you see in the media or speaking out about eating disorders this guide gives you step-by-step instructions and suggestions on how to get involved. Register for NEDAwareness Week and Check "Proud2Bme" on your registration and NEDA will send you a FREE teen activist guide!
Teen Blogging Guide: Check out the brand new teen blogging guide with tips on how to start a blog, stats on eating disorders, how to share your story responsibly and setting boundaries for yourself. Register for NEDAwareness Week to download this free guide!
To find out more about NEDAwareness Week visit the webpage: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/programs-events/nedawareness-week.php
Please let me know how your campaign to spread awareness during NEDAwareness Week goes! If I can be of any help or support to anyone please leave a comment below and I will be sure to respond. Thank you all for your support and don’t forget Everyone Knows Somebody! You’re helping a ton of people! Thank you!
Jan 30, 2012
The schedule at The Victorian varies as every woman has a personalized treatment program. The groups, classes and activities have been selected for their effectiveness in producing lasting recovery.
Structure is the most essential ingredient a rehabilitation center can offer. I have discussed this with clients, support staff at other treatment facilities and have read research in many addiction studies. All agree that structure is an essential base for recovery. Structure is the opposite of addictive behavior. Addictive behavior is triggered by impulses and irrational urges. The more willing clients become to adhere to a healthy routine, the less amount of time they have to indulge in harmful behaviors.
Enticing clients to engage in structure can be challenging. The addict brain repels any sign of recovery and complains that a routine is too rigid or too lax. Nevertheless we have seen Victorian alumni continue to embrace structure after they leave our facility. They keep a calendar in their phone, a day planner, set alarms and show responsibility and ownerships for their scheduled day. The effectiveness in our schedule can not be better displayed than a client taking accountability for her life. To see the Victorian Schedule please click HERE.
Jan 23, 2012
Since her eating disorder recovery Demi Lovato has become an inspirational, authentic, relatable starlet. Check out how her eating disorder recovery is paying off.
Demil Lovato’s battles with depression, eating disorders and cutting ultimately landed her in rehabilitation last year. The Disney singer and actress took the leap into recovery and came out a strong eating disorder prevention advocate for recovery. Today, I don’t know anyone who isn’t a fan of Demi Lovato! Her authenticity is inspiring and magnetic! She was just named, Favorite Pop Artist at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards. In February 2012 she is due to appear on the cover of Seventeen magazine. Lovato gave the magazine an exclusive interview talking about her dark walk with mental illness. Here is an excerpt of her interview with Seventeen:
“Although I have been on the cover before, I feel like this time it is even more special to me because I am more confident and comfortable in my own skin. I can now be honest in interviews and show my true self to the readers. This cover is like a fresh start for me. It's a presentation of who I am right now and how I'm working on myself and continue to grow as a person.”
I think I can speak on behalf of everyone in eating disorder recovery when I say that we are so proud of Demi Lovato and the woman she has become and is still becoming. Thank goodness for recovery!
Jan 16, 2012
Support groups are a foundational part of recovery for many women with eating disorders. However the nature of an eating disorder behaviors including, shame, dishonesty and control can make it difficult for both the Sponsor and the Sponsee. Today we outline some tips and boundaries for a healthy Sponsor /Sponsee relationships in the eating disorder recovery process.
When someone asks you to Sponsor them it means they see something in your recovery that they want themselves. Therefore I always consider it an honor when a woman asks me to Sponsor her in her eating disorder recovery. Sponsoring requires a commitment of giving time and energy. Over the years I have made some mistakes as a Sponsor. Learning from my mistakes I have learned that setting up the proper foundation and boundaries is pivotal to both my own and my Sponsee’s recovery. Today I’d like to share how I approach the Sponsor/Sponsee relationship.
1st – Email – I give the Sponsee my email address and ask them to email me what they would like from a sponsor .
2nd – Coffee – At coffee we discuss the list they have made. I let them know what I can and can not do. For instance, I let them know, “Yes, I can call you back within 48 hours.” I also let them know, no I can not help them with their meal plan.
3rd – Sponsorship – Once we are on the same page and lay out what we each need and want Sponsorship begins.
Below I have laid out what I require of my Sponsee’s and what I’am willing to give as a Sponsor. I have found these guidelines to be very helpful in the Sponsoring process.
Your Job as a Sponsee
· WRITE - down what you want in a Sponsor
· PICK A DATE- and stick to it (*We both establish a date)
· PICK AN ABSTINENCE- and stick to it (*We both establish an abstinence)
· WORK- the steps
My Job as a Sponsor
· I HELP YOU apply the steps to your life
· MEETING UP- I do not set up regular times to meet with Sponsee’s. When you have worked a step/tradition you call me and we set up a time to meet and work the step/tradition
· PHONE CALLS – You may want to call in at a certain time and that's fine. If you need me to call you back then you need to say in your message, “I need you to call me back.” Long voice mails should not be necessary each day.
If you are going to call me and leave me a message I need you to include:
1.) Whatever it is you’re struggling with
2.) Tell me how you are feeling (the emotion)
3.) Three things you’re grateful for
4.) What you are doing for someone elses recovery today
· MY RULES:
1.) Must go to meetings
2.) Must work steps
3.) Must take meds as prescribed
Jan 09, 2012
The experience of being pregnant is joyful and challenging for many women. At times it is more triggering for women who struggle with eating disorders. What support can a woman with an eating disorder find to protect herself and her child if she becomes pregnant?
A few years ago The Victorian, Eating Disorder Treatment had the pleasure of working with one exceptionally talented counseling intern, Maggie Baumann. The Victorian clients adored Baumann for her authenticity, insight and strength both in individual counseling and leading group sessions. Years later Baumann has gone on to establish her own counseling practice treating those with eating disorders, dual addictions and trauma therapy. She is also in the process of getting trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trauma therapy. As well, she has brought light to the eating disorder Pregorexia; the eating disorder which causes a pregnant mother to limit the calories she is giving to herself and her unborn child.
The overwhelming response from those suffering from Pregorexia has led Bauman’s establish a Free Eating Disorder Support Group for women with Pregorexia in Southern California.
MOMS with EATING DISORDERS & PREGNANT WOMEN with EATING DISORDERS
Beginning: February 9, 2012
Groups meets weekly: Thursdays • 6:30-7:30 pm
Location: 180 Newport Center Dr., Ste. 270, Newport Beach, CA
Facilitator: Maggie Baumann, MFT
RSVP or for more info: call (949) 439-2607
or email at Maggie-Baumann@cox.net
Topic of discussion focuses on the impact of eating disorders on pregnant women (and their babies in the womb) and how moms with eating disorders who already have children work towards eating disorder recovery and achieving healthy family relationships.
If you have more questions please feel free to reach out to Maggie Bauman directly.
Maggie Baumann, MA, MFT
180 Newport Center Dr., Ste. 270
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Tel: (949) 439.2607
Jan 02, 2012
It is not uncommon for people suffering with addictions like eating disorders to go in and out of rehabs multiple times. This isn’t the fault of the addict or the rehab, it is simply the unique manifestation the addiction takes in each person. Still, we beg the question, when does an eating disorder get better?
During the time I worked as Support Staff at the Victorian I met hundreds of different clients. Each were different ages, demographics with different stories and back grounds but, all of them had one thing in common, powerful addictions. Many of the women in their 50’s had been in several treatment facilities. I met women as young as 18 who had been given treatment at 9 different rehabs since the age of 9. For myself, as a staff member it was incredibly discouraging. I can only imagine that as a parent or a loved one with an addiction, this news is devastating.
The only hope I can offer, is that though I have seen many women suffer with an eating disorder for years, I have also seen those same women accumulate years of abstinence. Some of those same women have worked at The Victorian and are able to offer support and hope for those in similar situations.
So the question is, “What is the magic combination that makes someone with an addiction ‘get it’? What makes recovery stick?” The only thing I have seen help women maintain abstinence from an eating disorder is DAILY working on their recovery. The best method I have seen for doing that is the 12 Steps of Overeaters Anonymous. The 12 Step program requires women to incorporate recovery as a part of their lives. As it is said in the Overeaters Anonymous literature. “The addiction to food and/or absence is it is a spiritual, mental and physical disease which needs to be treated accordingly.” Therefore, being a part of Overeaters Anonymous requires:
· Attending Meeting weekly
· Working with a Sponsor
· Serving others
· Being authentic and accountable to a group of women who are also in recovery
· Working on yourself through the 12 Steps
Time and time again I have seen women who thought they “had it this time” and didn’t need any more counseling or 12 step meetings and then lose their recovery due to stress in their life. Recovery is a way of life, I encourage anyone who is searching for the solution to this disease to check out the rooms of Overeaters Anonymous. They also have specific meeting available for Anorexics and Bulimics as well which we take our Victorian client too.
Dec 30, 2011
Holiday season 2011 is almost over with New Year’s Eve on the horizon the Victorian Recovery blog has some tips to keep you abstinent when bringing in the New Year!
The mixture of Holiday food, family members and nostalgia can brew a strong cocktail that is hard to swallow for anyone, but especially those struggling with an eating disorder. New Year’s Eve is just a couple days away and most of us have big expectations on how to bring in the New Year. For the majority of women it includes a sparkly new dress, a champagne toast, being surrounded by our closest friends and a hot New Year’s kiss! However this pictures is easier staged with a stylist and paid models than with demanding real life friends and places elicit the joy that we expect.
It’s kind of like the perfect Christmas picture where the family sits around the fire, laughing at each others jokes and drinking hot cocoas. This Christmas picture is one we are all familiar with, but very few have actually been in it. Therefore in eating disorder recovery we learn to adjust our picture. We change what we deem, “Picture Perfect” in life and on Christmas and that takes away a lot of the stress off the Holiday and our loved ones.
I suggest we do the same for New Year’s. Forget the New Year’s picture some stylist from Macy’s created years ago in order to sell more dresses and crystal and create your own traditions! Some of the following alternatives are some of my favorite, that I have done the past couple of years.
Game Night + Fire Works – Gather a bunch of friends together and hold a kick-back game night at someone’s house. Watch the countdown to New Year’s on TV in New York and when New Year’s hits go outside and light some sparklers or fire works to celebrate the New Year!
Sober Party’s - Many of our women are also struggling with alcoholism. Thus a New Year’s surrounded by alcohol isn’t ideal. However, Alcoholics Anonymous holds great sober party’s for young people and older groups that I have been told are a ton of fun.
New Year’s Day Hiking – My personal favorite is to gather a bunch of friends and go on a New Year’s Day hike! Southern California has the most amazing frontier and we never lack in amazing new trails to enjoy!
New Year’s Open House – Some of my friend’s host this every year and I love it! They open up their house to all of their friends from 11 am to 11pm. They have movies going on their TV’s, old records to listen to, puzzles, games and even some concoctions for those with hangovers to nurse themselves. Everyone enjoys just staying in their PJ’s all day and hanging with the friends they love. Good times!
I hope that this post helped you to think outside the box on the way you celebrate New Year’s this year. Whatever you do, I hope that just like eating disorder recovery that you practice listening to your inner compass and that it leads you into a beautiful and healthy 2012!
Dec 20, 2011
Our very own Program Director, Michlle Smith LVN will be speaking about eating disorders on the Trinity Broadcasting Network!
Our beloved Program Director, Michelle Smith LVN recently taped a show for Public Affairs – Joy in Our Town on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The topic was eating disorder treatment and prevention. Michelle was joined by the non-profit Rewrite Beautiful and Robyn Baker, an eating disorder survivor. The women spoke about what causes eating disorders, treatment, prevention and the responsibility of the media. It was an amazing, informative and dynamic show that we’re all very proud of it! The show runs for a half hour. Be sure to check it out!
Public Affairs – Joy in Our Town
January 13th at 10 am
January 16th at 8:30 am
January 19th at 3 am