Celebrities Eating Disorders and how that impacts the public. Call Today (888) 360-1333
Many celebrities have struggled with eating disorders and have come forward to tell their stories to help others. Here are some of their stories and how they found help.
Lady Gaga recently opened up that she has battled anorexia and bulimia since she was 15 years old. She recently gained 25 healthy pounds and, after flack from the media, posted a picture of herself, proudly sporting her beautiful curves, on a Twitter blog. She now encourages others to proudly post their own photos. In 2011, Lady Gaga founded the Born this Way Foundation to encourage an accepting society that celebrates differences and individuality.
Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Alanis Morissette revealed in 2011 that she struggled with anorexia and bulimia in her teens and 20s, triggered greatly by her public exposure and media pressure. She said she put a lot of effort into numbing feelings of pain, sadness and disappointment through starvation. She began recovering at 18 with help from therapy and support from friends. As she studied women’s issues and met others who struggled, she realized she wasn’t alone and didn’t have to suffer. She wrestled with eating issues through her 20s and admits recovery took time. But Alanis is healthy now, a mother and a success in her career.
United States Olympian Amanda Beard struggled for 12 years with eating disorders and self-mutilation. Her struggle peaked during following a growth spurt in puberty, gaining 25 pounds and 8 inches, affecting her performance in competitions. She resorted to extreme dieting and suffered with bouts of severe depression. With the support of her husband, Amanda got therapeutic help and she has gained a healthy perspective and more satisfying tools for life.
In 2006, Model Ana Carolina Reston died at age 21 from kidney disease due to anorexia nervosa and bulimia. At 5 feet 8 inches, she weighed only 88 pounds. Her family reports that Ana Carolina felt pressure from those in the media world to be thin for her modeling work. Celebrities eating disorders can be pushed to meet the demands of work. At the same time there are choices and those that choose to resist the pressure and still achieve their expertise in entertainment.
In 2004, after much media pressure, child actress and fashion designer Mary-Kate Olson admitted to an eating disorder treatment center just before her 18th birthday. Friends, family and fans had been concerned for many months as she lost weight and struggled with her health. Mary-Kate went to treatment after loved ones conducted an intervention. She knows now the importance of reaching out for help and being honest.
When talking about bulimia facts or any other eating disorder, there is a common misconception that such conditions are exclusive to women. While the majority of people with bulimia are female, there are a significant number of suffering men as well. It is estimated that 10% of people who suffer from bulimia are men. The condition is far from gender specific. The bad news is that while men are less likely to develop bulimic behaviors than women, it is also much less likely for them to get diagnosed and seek help. This can pose dangerous threats to their health without anyone noticing.
Russell Brand also started binge-eating and vomiting at the very early age of 11. Sharon Osbourne blamed her low self-esteem for the fact that she had failed to stop bulimic behaviors even after 35 years of living with the disorder.
Some other celebrities eating disorders champions with their stories are:
Paula Abdul – In an interview in 1995 Paula Abdul discussed fighting bulimia for 17 years. She also talked about receiving extensive therapy for her eating disorder. Paula has extended herself publicly to drive awareness to eating disorders and recovery. Her celebrity eating disorder experience has been used to help others. Paula continues to be a champion for eating disorder recovery and as a highly accomplished entertainer, singer and dancer she continues to succeed in her own recovery.
Demi Lovato – Love is Louder Than the Pressure to be Perfect is a campaign Demi Lovato refers to in her “Seventeen” article were she discusses her Celebrity Eating Disorder. It is noted in this article that her eating disorder started in childhood and progressed into adulthood. Her courage not only to seek help, but also to discuss her eating disorder publicly helps so many to continue to reach for the potential for their own recovery.
Portia de Rossi
The risk of bulimia is higher among certain professional groups, such as models, dancers, and other performers. The condition can affect anyone, including some of our favorite celebrities. Many people falsely think that while bulimia can cause serious health consequences, it is not fatal. However, many fatal cases of bulimia have been recorded. The mortality rate of bulimia is 3.9%. Although this percentage might not seem all that high initially, it is quite startling for a condition that can develop from social influence and expectations. The cause of death among people with bulimia can be starvation, suicide, and substance abuse. It is also estimated that as many as 20% of affected individuals would die without treatment. Crow and colleagues found that crude mortality rates were 4.0% for anorexia nervosa, 3.9% for bulimia nervosa, and 5.2% for eating disorder not otherwise specified. They also found a high suicide rate in bulimia nervosa. In research by Florida State University, survey results show that the highest rates of suicide risk were among bulimics, followed by anorexia sufferers, and then individuals with other eating disorders.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), only 1 out of 10 people who have eating disorders seek treatment. Very few people can successfully be treated within a year, and this is also true of many other eating disorders. However, it is estimated that up to 80% of females who suffer from eating disorders, including bulimia, are discharged too soon from treatment programs. One of the rare pieces of good news relating to bulimia facts is that this condition is fully treatable. People who are diagnosed with bulimia can receive counseling, medication, and nutrition education. Recent research at the University Of Chicago Medical Center shows that family-based therapy is also a very effective method of treating bulimia. With family-based treatment, 40% of adolescents were able to successfully quit binge-eating and purging.