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Topic : 06/11 Scary Skinny

Number of Replies: 391
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Created on : Friday, November 02, 2007, 11:53:05 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 11/16/07) We live in a culture that glamorizes svelte celebrities from Angelina Jolie to Paris Hilton. But some women put their lives in jeopardy for the sake of being skinny.  Twenty-three-year-old Jessica weighs 95 pounds and has battled anorexia for 10 years. She says she’s obsessed with exercising and counting calories, and only sees a fat woman when she looks in the mirror. Jessica’s younger sister, Theresa, fears for Jessica’s life but doesn’t know how to approach her. What’s at the root of Jessica’s disorder? Find out why the siblings say the answer lies in their childhood. Then, Jessica isn’t the only one in her family fighting anorexia. Her 12-year-old cousin, Nicole, was recently hospitalized because she lost 60 pounds in the last three months -- all in an effort to look like Nicole Richie. Don’t miss Dr. Phil’s strong message for the young women. Plus, Alita became bulimic at the age of 17 when she weighed 220 pounds. Now, at 24, she’s 95 pounds lighter but still wants to lose weight. Alita says she binges every day -- eating up to six plates of food at a time -- and then purges. She gives Dr. Phil camera crews a disturbing look at a day in her life. And, Alita’s father, Frank, worries that she’ll die if she doesn’t get help soon. Is Frank enabling her bulimia? Share your thoughts here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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November 16, 2007, 12:09 pm CST

Please get help

To any of you that have an eating disorder I beg you to get professional help. Even if this means putting your life on hold for a while. My daughter died from an eating disorder and she was warned and went to therapy and even a treatment center but only for 1 month. You need to be in there a lot longer and reprogram your brain to not do the behavior and learn to deal with life and its disappointments in a positive manner. I miss her so much and I know if you were gone your family would ache for you the way we do her each day. I beg you to reach out and get the help you need this is not something you can do on your own. The bravest thing you can do is ask for help.
November 16, 2007, 12:10 pm CST

Scarey Skinny

I think it's so sad for these this way must be torture.Ive read all the comments so far and I am understanding  there is smething else going on with these women to make them this way. Maybe this is the same as obese people also.? Eating or not eating is the outward sign of an inward problem. I do hope Dr Phil can help to-days guests and others who are watching this show.
November 16, 2007, 12:11 pm CST

11/16 Scary Skinny

Why do we continue to support designers and clothing stores who perpetuate this problem by filling the racks with clothes that no one over a size 7 can wear?  The designers send size 2 samples to the models who then have to starve to get into that outfit in order to keep their jobs.  My oldest daughter has been between a size 7 and 9 since she was about 14 yet when we go into a clothing store the L size is small on her.  It makes her feel like she is fat and she often ends up in tears.  We need to start voting with our wallets.  If those hollywood actresses and socialites would boycott the designers who continue to force models to starve themselves in order to work on the catwalk, they'd soon change the standard to a more acceptable and normal size.  It seems as though the people designing the clothes don't really want to see a woman's body as they keep reducing the size so that the women get thinner and thinner until they look like young boys. 
November 16, 2007, 12:14 pm CST

11/16 Scary Skinny

Quote From: cndrlla

You know....before I watched the show I felt the exact same way you do. Even while watching it I found myself wanting to throw something at the first young 23 year old woman who had a constant look of winced pain on her face.......("get over it and stop whining.....JUST EAT!!!" was my initial reaction)....and I got mad at the 12 year old who lost all that weight so quickly and wound up in the hospital....but I had to give the mom credit for jumping on the problem right away. I do wish she'd make the kid get that darn hair out of her face, though!! Lord that's irritating!! 


However, after seeing the 23 year old's cold...and listening to the sister say how their family has "never been one to say 'I love you' to each other........I kind of had to find a little more compassion.  I'm sure it's horrible to live with someone who has an eating disorder....but why not get that person help when it first starts instead of ignoring it until it's so far out of control? And, you don't turn your back on your child who has a problem.


I raised three kids...two daughters and one son....and watched them very carefully for anything like that.  Also, we had family dinners...TOGETHER..AT THE TABLE....there was no eating fast food or eating in front of the tv or skipping meals. We ate healthy but never FOCUSED on food or weight.  They are all a normal weight now and have always over or underweight. And, by the way, I raised them alone and worked two and three jobs at a time, so don't think it was easy to keep an eye on them or to find time to cook meals and sit down together...but you don't chose easy, you chose right!... and, thank God for the crock pot!

They had to follow rules; they had to be clean and hair hanging in their faces!!....but we never discussed weight.....and, no matter what, all of us told each other EVERY DAY that we loved each other. It helped us through the hard times.  Even to this day, whenever we talk on the phone, we always say "I love you" to each other, and we always hug whenever we see each other.  ( I lost my brother in a car accident on Christmas Eve in 1995 and the only thing that comforted me was that the last thing I said when I spoke to him on the phone was "I love you."  I mention this because I'm beginning to think that a lot of the reason for these eating disorders is a lack of love of self, and lack of self-respect,  which stems from a lack of love, support and respect from family!

Food for thought...


I feel sorry for you that you are so closed minded on this topic. If you do the research this is a brain disorder in most of the people and it gets harder to reverse the longer they do the act. They actually lose who they are. Heredity plays a huge role in this too. I am very glad you are not one of my friends people don't need friends like you.
November 16, 2007, 12:22 pm CST

scarry skinny

I am in the midst of watching this show right now and I can't believe how her story  is like mine.  I've also  come from a family where the words I love you were not spoken alot.  I constantly wondered if I was loved as a child and still do wonder sometimes if my parents love me.  Although I'm not anorexic I have struggled with bulima and using laxatives.  I understand the need to be in control of something in your life when everything seems so out of control.  I've lost 53 lbs by dieting and exercising which I continue but now I fear gaining the weight back.  Whenever I weigh myself and I've gone up even half a pound, I feel the need to take laxatives that day, exercise excessively and/or make myself vomit.  I still am about 7 lbs from my goal. 


Jessica, you can win this battle.  Dr. Phil is amazing and I know he'll help you. 

November 16, 2007, 12:48 pm CST

scary skinny

I was sitting on my couch watching jessica struggle to tell her story and my heart was breaking for her. I think it's a shame that her mother would'nt sit with her. If that were my daughter i would be beside her.

November 16, 2007, 12:57 pm CST

Scary Skinny

Quote From: jancyemcd

I feel bad about this but I'm going to say it .  I have no sympathy for these people because it is something they bring on themselves. I can't even stand to look at them, they are so disgusting looking. I know that I should feel bad for them but it is something that even if my best friend had the "disorder" I would walk away. They know what they are doing is going to kill them and yet they choose to continue doing it, competing with the next anorexic or bulimic to see who can be the skinniest and who can get the most attention.
The biggest thing I have against people who do this to themselves is looking at the pictures on TV of people who are starving to death in 3rd world countries. It is a mockery to them that they do this! They are the ones who have my sympathy and I would give my eye teeth to be able to feed them. How dare these selfish people who have everything they need and more deliberately starve themselves for attention and competition when millions in the world would love to have the food they refuse or vomit!!!!! And to those that would whine, "you don't understand", or "you are uncaring", I say I do understand and I do care. I understand your selfish motives and I care about those that are starving because they are dirt poor. We in this country are so blessed and to refuse the blessing is an affront to God.

I will not watch this show. I can't stand to even look at them and their crocodile tears.
Wow...just have to ask you this...

have you ever heard the saying that it is better to keep quiet & be thought a fool, then to speak & remove all doubt?

It is very apparent that you have NO clue

November 16, 2007, 12:57 pm CST

i am appalled at how mom acts with daughter

I am watching the show as we speak, and my heart just goes out to this young girl, jessica, I cannot believe her mother, this is not about her and her emotionless feelings, it is about her daughter!!!!!!!!!!

She needs to be on the stage with her arms wrapped around this poor girl, to feel the love

no one is watching her, they are concerned for her daughter..  she just sits there and says  "I dont know" when Dr. Phil asks what she feels about this problem.  what????????  wrong answer,  she needs help as well



Why cant she see this, this girl is so hurting emotionally , I can see it , why cant mom see it!!!!!!!!!!!!

she just wants to be loved, I tell my kids I love them everyday, and they tell me too, none of them live with me as they are grown now, They are 27, 24 & 23.  We talk alot over the phone and internet, and love is part of the pitcher 


I grew up in a home with 5 siblings and parents that divorced while we were young, and we never heard "I love you".  I cant tell you how this has effected my life all these years, but one thing for sure is I made sure to tell my children every day, its that important to me as well as for them.


Please mom, show your daughter some love

November 16, 2007, 1:08 pm CST

I'm the bulimic Poster Person

I watched today's show, "Scary Skinny," and I tried to get myself heard by you or your staff but was unsuccessful.  I was hoping I could let everyone on the show today know MY story:


I've been suffering with bulimia and anorexia for over 33 years (I'm 44 now).  I'm one of the "old" ED sufferers which I think most people don't think or even realize exist!  I'm beyond help, but wanted to let you know where I'm going and where I've come from:


1.  I vomit 10+ times a day, every day.

2.  I've been through many treatment facilities but still can't seem to get a grip.

3.  My lowest weight was 79lbs.  I now fluctuate between 80 and 90 lbs.  I'm 5' 5" tall.

4.  My greatest accomplishment was being the survivor of four heart attacks due to low potassium.

5.  I have very few teeth left and the ones that I do have hurt like hell.

6.  Hair?  What hair?  I have less hair than my dead grandmother.

7.  I no longer can hold a job and collect SS DB.  I spend at least two months out of every year in the hospital for medical reasons due to my ED.

8.  I'm on more meds and I have no memory ability whatsoever ~ long or short term.

9.  Nobody understands that even though I'm fat, I have to shop for cloths in the children's section of the stores I go to.

10.  Now that I'm 44 years old, I want to die and it's not happening fast enough.  However, I have made an arsenal of ammunition for myself to complete a suicide without any doubt of failure.


I could go on and on.  I've got 33 years of experience I could talk about.  But I think I covered the important stuff ~ that being ED's also destroy us older people.

November 16, 2007, 1:12 pm CST

Whats wrong with me?

I was so confused watching Dr Phil today. I'm not sure what my situation is exactly...


I have somewhat of an eating issue, but don't know if it's something I should be concerned about.


I can go all day, sometimes longer without eating, only sustaining myself with coffee. I used to work a 9-5 job and rarely would take a lunch break, and if I did eat, it was probably something unhealthy, like a chocolate bar or a bag of chips. I don't feel like I am overweight, I weigh 117lbs and am 5"6.5. I hate looking at myself in the mirror, not usually because of my weight, but my face is ugly and by body is gross looking to me. I rarely have a day where I feel really good about myself.


I don't not eat because I am scared to get fat, I know I have a high metabolism to begin with. I have suffered from severe stomach problems, resulting in a few prescriptions of Zantac, Nexium and most recently Pariet , which my doctor prescribed and told me after the first pack of pills I shouldnt need the second pack for a year. I have ONE pill left of that second package.


I also deal with dry heaves daily, and sore throats. I have a gag reflex and feel like I'm going to be physically sick after I eat sometimes. But I don't get sick. The pains I suffered from with the acid reflux make me feel like my stomach is being burned from the inside out.  I get shortness of breath for weeks at a time, and have trouble sleeping at night.


My body hurts, I have serious lack of concentration and can change my moods from happy to serious unhappy and crying in only a few seconds.


Does anorexia and bulemia only occur when the person feels like they are too fat?

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