When Paulina Pinsky finally told her mother about the eating disorder she'd struggled with for seven years, it was by accident. In a touching piece she penned for The Huffington Post, the college junior explained that the confession tumbled from her in response to her mother's comments on an acquaintance's eating habits. In what could have been another uneventful car ride, she ended revealing that she'd sought help at an eating disorder treatment center after years of alternately throwing up and starving herself.
So how had Pinsky concealed her condition for so many years?
"[My mother] needed me to be perfect, something that neither I nor anyone else can be," wrote Pinsky. "I was the pretty blonde girl who was a cheerleader and an ice skater. I got good grades, had a boyfriend and was thin: I was living the life everyone had always told me I should want for myself."
Often, our ideas of who someone is and what they should be can impact how we perceive them. For this reason, family members can be oblivious to certain destructive behaviors even if they see someone every day. That's why educating yourself about eating disorders, how to identify them and where to seek help are all essential parts of this fight. In honor of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and its theme, "Everybody Knows Somebody," we'll be featuring pieces on eating disorders and common misconceptions.
At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we understand that eating disorders can affect the whole family, which is why our treatment program includes family therapy sessions as well. Our Eating Disorder Medical Director Dr. Pauline Powers is a world-renowned researcher and educator, and has been given a lifetime achievement award by the National Eating Disorders Association for her contributions to eating disorder research and treatment over the last 40 years. Contact us today to learn more about our program.