Untreated eating disorders

Now that I have gone through treatment for my eating disorder and met many other people receiving treatment for eating disorders, I notice more people in my daily life who have untreated eating disorders and/or disordered eating. Maybe they are receiving/have received treatment and are not as open about it, statistics say that as many as 9 out of 10 eating disorder sufferers do not receive treatment. That makes me sad. Eating disorders can be fatal; they have the highest mortality rate (up to 20%) of any mental illness. Physical illnesses like asthma attacks and cardiac arrest can be fatal too. However, unlike for eating disorders, if people suffer from a physical ailment, they are more likely to seek treatment. I am not sure how, but I hope we can someday get a closer to 100% treatment rate for people with eating disorders.

There are ample examples in the media of people with untreated eating disorders/disordered eating. I do not know whether she ever received treatment, but Tori Spelling, who recently admitted to starving herself to lose her pregnancy weight rather than losing weight with a healthier method of safe dieting and exercise, definitely has eating disorder behaviors. Her arms are very often eating disorder skinny and it is frustrating that she and her publicist initially thought it was a good idea to market her unhealthy body as attainable through healthy self-care. I understand they have more than the average pressure to be thin, but many other actresses are flaunting untreated eating disorders? How many young, impressionable boys and girls accept and internalize those messages and develop their own eating disorders?

I used to want bony, eating disorder arms. Now, when I see skinny arms like that, I see the pain that the person with those arms is suffering. I wish I could convince them that treatment makes life so much better, that they can be more than a fragile body. And then I remember that I had to make my own decision to enter treatment. I did not see myself as too thin or realize that I needed help. I still wish I could do more to help people with untreated eating disorders and eating disorder behavior.

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3 Responses to Untreated eating disorders

  1. pjadallah says:

    great article this is an interview i did i hope it brings awareness and hope i love your blog

    This is an interview I did with Bryan Bixler. Behind the Mask: Eating Disorders Unveiled. He currently works with individuals and families suffering from eating disorders. He facilitates interventions, attends speaking engagements at treatment centers and universities, and has been invited for multiple appearances on the Dr Oz Show. He is passionate in the cause for education and public outreach for families and victims of eating disorders. Bryan will add to the discussion with Priscilla by sharing his twenty-year battle with chronic anorexia, including multiple treatment denials, which led to his psychological, physical and emotional deterioration. Now in recovery, he will share his insights on topics related to eating disorders.


  2. forevergoingforward says:

    I remember when I went to Rogers at age 13 for eating disorder treatment and was probably the worst patient ever. I am stubborn and that did not help me one bit. I think if I were to go into to treatment now, things would be different but that is mostly because I really want to get my eating disorder out of my life. I think the only way to recover from an eating disorder is if the individual longs for recovery. If they don’t want it, then I believe it is extremely difficult if not impossible to recover.

    • Csilla says:

      I totally agree. I definitely would not have been very receptive to treatment if I had not decided for myself that I wanted to get help. It’s too bad eating disorders can result in significant health consequences before some people decide to seek help.

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