There are more than eight million people in the U.S. diagnosed with one or more eating disorders, according to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. It should not come as a surprise that some of those that seek help at anorexia nervosa treatment centers are known as celebrities or who have employment “in the spotlight” of mainstream media. After all, an eating disorder is a medical problem and celebrities are just as much at risk of developing them as anyone else. They are also often under a great deal of stress about their bodies and weight which could enhance underlying issues, therefore requiring anorexia nervosa recovery.
Eating disorders are responsible for the highest mortality rate of any mental health condition. In fact, the number of people that die from anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than any other cause of death for young, adolescent women.
Historically speaking, society watches the famous to see how different things affect them. A look at celebrities who seek treatment for an eating disorder is another example that it can affect a range of individuals. The key is to find the right treatment, one that leads to long-term recovery.
The famous singer and actress has openly talked about her anorexia nervosa treatment in residential care programs for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In an interview with People magazine, Lovato states she understands she will struggle with these conditions always, but long-term recovery through treatment has offered her hope and a desire to live.
As is common with both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, Demi has a familial history with these conditions. Her mother and grandmother both had eating disorders. She was brought up going from beauty pageant to beauty pageant which added to her troubled self-image. “My body-image awareness started way before that, but I do attribute a little of my insecurities to being onstage and judged for my beauty.”
Her story is in line with some of the commonly known risk factors for eating disorders, which can include:
- Family history:Studies show eating disorders are more likely to occur when there is a close family member, either a parent or sibling, that has experienced disordered eating.
- Mental health disorders:The risk of an eating disorder grows when there is an underlying mental health problem such as low self-esteem, anxiety disorder or depression.
- Frequent attempts to manage weight:There is some indication that restricting calorie intake might trigger an eating disorder. Starvation changes the way the brain functions and that can make a person vulnerable to conditions like anorexia nervosa.
- Stress:It is something everyone deals with but, for some, it can lead to an eating disorder.
Lovato was especially concerned about the heredity factor of eating disorders. She feels her anorexia nervosa recovery will help her recognize conditions that might put her future children at risk. She also uses her celebrity status to promote awareness and the hope found in anorexia nervosa treatment centers.
Singer Kesha has been very open about her mental health concerns that include seeking treatment for anorexia nervosa disorder and other eating disorders. She states her condition led her to restrict her calorie intake and, eventually, to seek anorexia nervosa recovery programs.
“There was a lot of not eating and I started to think being hungry to the point of feeling almost faint was a positive thing.”
Seeking treatment at a center that takes a holistic approach to care offers young women like Kesha the best hope of long-term recovery. Treatment approaches for conditions like anorexia nervosa may include:
- Weekly individual therapy sessions with a therapist
- Weekly individual sessions with a treatment team that includes a dietitian, psychiatrist and family therapist
- Family therapy to build better relationships and a strong support system
- Daily group therapies to work on behavioral change with others going through similar situations
- Individualized treatment for co-occurring mental health problems
- Around half of the people that seek treatment for eating disorders have a comorbidanxiety condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or social anxiety disorder
- Individualized therapeutic assignments designed to meet the current level of treatment and increase awareness
- Supported exposure therapy that includes activities such as seeing a movie or bowling
- Experiencing positive life experiences canhelp pinpoint any challenges that may arise on the path to recovery
- Life skills development to practicepositive skills, such as learning to relax and participating in mindful movement
- Discharge and aftercare planning to provide effective support after leaving the residential treatment center
Kesha completed her anorexia nervosa treatment in 2014.
Anyone who is a fan of the X-men series knows this actress. She is the daughter of iconic singer Lenny Kravitz and actress Lisa Bonet from the Cosby Show. In other words, she grew up in the industry. As can be common, she developed anorexia in adolescence, but it continued into adulthood.
“I think part of it was being a woman…” Kravitz does fall into the category of individuals that most frequently experience anorexia nervosa disorders – young women. Studies show 1.5 percent of women living in the U.S. experience eating disorders like anorexia at some point in their lives. At times, bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa disorder can occur simultaneously.
Kravitz credits her parents for urging her to seek anorexia nervosa treatment. Now in recovery, she has found hope and the ability to extinguish self-doubt.
Candace Cameron Bure
You may know her as D.J. Tanner from the hit 1990s sitcom Full House. She also currently plays in the remake of the series, Fuller House. Cameron Bure states that she developed an eating disorder like anorexia after the show ended and that it was related to stress, as she moved to an unfamiliar city to be with her husband and felt isolated. “I sat lonely for many nights not knowing what to do with myself.”
She turned to food to fill that void and it led to a pattern of binging and purging, the core symptom of bulimia nervosa. Those who seek treatment for bulimia nervosa tend to eat a lot of food in a short time (binge) and then force themselves to vomit (purge) out of guilt or the desire to avoid the calories. The combination of binging and purging can put a person at risk for serious health problems, such as:
- Hemorrhage and rupture of the esophagus
- Dental erosion and gum disease
- Damage to the pharynx and larynx
- Electrolyte imbalance
- Heart damage
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Intestinal problems, such asIBS
Candace’s condition continued for many years but she is now in recovery.
Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson began to severely restrict her calorie intake to the point that she developed anorexia in adolescence. She would go days without eating carbohydrates and limit her calories to just 700 per day, which is well below the safe minimum for women. “I felt like people always wanted me to be thinner and lighter and leaner.”
Eating disorders like anorexia are common among professional athletes like Johnson, who trained hard as a gymnast most of her life. Some sports tend to emphasize appearance and weight requirements, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. When combined with other risk factors such as low self-esteem, family history of eating disorders and chronic weight management, athletes can become trapped in the cycle and develop maladaptive and compensatory behaviors, in the form of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Johnson claims her sport and heavy training schedule made her feel obsessive about her weight.
Sports Illustrated model and actress Molly Sims began exercising excessively each day to maintain the figure she felt she must have to stay on top of her career. Most people associate eating disorders with food intake but excessive exercise can be a symptom of all three of the most common conditions:
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bulimia nervosa
- Binge-eating disorder
Sims states she would also go days without eating while maintaining a strict exercise regime.
Developing a positive relationship with mindful movement is an important part of the care plan in anorexia treatment centers. A component of many anorexia treatment centers includes integrating mindful movement in a balanced way.
Portia De Rossi
Actress Portia De Rossi began her career on the catwalk.
“I’m up on this catwalk, and I’m a little kid and posing and trying to be sexy and strutting around and all the other models are making fun of my bushy eyebrows.”
In her book Unbearable Lightness, De Rossi chronicles her years of living with eating disorders before asking, “Where can I find anorexia treatment centers near me?” What began in her childhood followed her through her teen years and into adulthood until she found a meaningful path to recovery.
Pussycat Doll and television personality Nicole Scherzinger sought care at bulimia nervosa treatment centers for what she calls a “horrific and paralyzing disease.” After eight years of binging and purging, she was able to get a proper diagnosis and start a holistic treatment program and is now in recovery. She states in an interview with the Cosmopolitan UK that her illness left her feeling ashamed, which can be a common feeling for anyone struggling with an eating disorder, including bulimia nervosa. It starts with overeating. The guilt then leads to purging as a way to try to undo what was done. It’s a cycle that Scherzinger refers to as vicious.
Eating orders don’t discriminate by race or economic bracket. Celebrities that seek treatment at bulimia or anorexia nervosa treatment centers help raise awareness of eating disorders and the negative effects that can have on lives and families.
Parents who ask “Where are anorexia treatment centers near me?” are starting on the path to providing their love one long-lasting recovery. The professional staff members at eating disorder treatment programs understand the challenges underlying the development of an eating disorder. These treatment professionals work as a team to create holistic and individualized care plans to help clients find hope and recovery.
“Making the decision to enter a treatment program is a difficult step. Many factors have to be considered by you and those concerned with your welfare.”
— Carolyn Costin, founder of Monte Nido treatment facilities.
Residential care is one treatment options one will find when searching for “anorexia treatment centers near me.” The goal of treatment is to teach clients to live in a world where food, weight and movement are mindful and balanced. Additionally, the treatment team works with the family to create a safe environment outside of the care center, for when the client returns home. Treatment provides clients and their families coping mechanisms and real-world experiences that support them on the path to recovery.