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Topic : 01/03 Shocking Trends of the New Year

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Created on : Monday, December 17, 2007, 10:08:40 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
Parents, listen up! It’s a new year, and the risky behavior of teens is ever-evolving into dangerous new trends propagated on the Internet. Is your teen involved in an activity that would shock you? First, Cody, Connor, Grayson and Garrett are teenage friends who film themselves doing daredevil stunts and then post them online for the public to view. The latest trend is called mattress surfing, where kids ride on top of a mattress being dragged behind a truck at top speed. The boys say they do it safely, but what do their parents think? The answer may shock you. When a family shares their tragic true story, will the boys see that mattress surfing isn’t just fun and games? Next, many people feel this practice is inhumane when it’s done to animals –- but now some teens are putting their health at risk to do it to each other. Then, Kaytee is a 15-year-old diabetic who says she’d rather risk dying than be fat. She engages in diabulimia, a deadly new practice of skipping insulin doses to lose weight. Wanda has been a diabulimic for 15 years and is lucky to be alive. Will these women stop their slow suicide? Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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January 9, 2008, 8:07 pm CST

01/03 Shocking Trends of the New Year

Quote From: andjan

I don't agree with promoting living in fear.  Then we stay in the house doing nothing and becoming fat and sedentary.  Live smart not fearful of a lawsuit. 

I don't agree with living stupid so live life and make smart choices and you wil enjoy life much more:>
January 10, 2008, 12:20 am CST

I am she-the Diabulimic

My name is Wanda and I was the 33 year old Diabulimic on the show. I want to thank those of you who have given motivational advice and not judged us based solely on the 5 minutes you saw of us on the show. I know there have been several diabulimics that have written in saying that you suffer from this even though you ha no idea that is actually had a term. I just came clean about this to my parents last July after having this disease for 15 years. I could have continued to do this probably for the rest of my life and my family would not have known until it was too late. I decided to tell my parents and husband 6 months ago on my own, I was not caught doing it, I wanted and needed help and that is why I cam clean. I immediately started researching this and that is when I first doing the term Diabulimia-I could not believe that there was a term given to what I had been doing to myself. I also discovered in my research that there are approximately half a million teens/young adults that are suffering from this as we speak. I thought I was the only person that had been crazy enough to manipulate my insulin in order to do this so I was shocked to fin this out. I automatically started thinking of how I could help other girls with this problem, how can I be most effective in getting this word Diabulimia out to the public. I wanted to give parents and friends and family the warning sign and the not so evident things to look for in their diabetic teens or children. I wanted the medical field to take notice and realize what is going on with this, I had fooled doctors and nurses for years and I wanted to come clean about all of those secrets. I also started trying to find an eating disorder facility that would treat me and to my surprise, most of the 31 ED facilities I contacted had never heard of Diabulimia. It is so unheard of that I think most people are scared of even trying to address this problem, that is where I want to come in and do whatever I can wherever I can to do something to put a stop to this addiction before even more people find out about it. I did start seeing a psychiatrist and began going to a LMFT once a week and they have truly opened my mind and my eyes about so many things. I want and need to make this very clear, this is not a trend and something that will just go away, this is an addiction, a serious addiction. I have even thought to myself I do not want to do this anymore, I want to stop but could not figure out why I could not. The Diabulimia is mainly a symptom of a different underlying problem, mine being a lack of self esteem. I have never looked at myself and been happy with what I saw, I have felt that I always have to be perfect and I never can reach perfection or even "good enough" to myself. There is a whole other story about my adoption would be a complete Dr Phil show in itself, but I still have problems with that and with myself. I was so hurt to read here on the message boards that I did not love my children and what kind of mother would do this to their children. I feel as if my children have saved my life. I have concluded that even if I do not do this for myself, I can do this for my kids and I am willing to go anywhere and stay for however long in order to improve the wife, mother, daughter and friend in me. I want to be better and I want help, I did when I flew to LA for the show and I did while I was sitting on the stage not understanding why I was dubbed as being not motivated.

Dr Phil and his staff told us that they were checking on resources in order to get us help. We are still waiting but I do choose to believe that something good and something positive will come out of this and then it will al be worth it. I hope to get help and I hope to give help, that is the motivation in my life right now. I ask that you please keep my family and myself in your thoughts and prayers as well as Katee and her mom and her family. Sometimes we just have to believe and that is what I am choosing for my family now. I also ask that you alll please contact Dr Phil and stress the importance of addressing Diabulimia and hopefully we can an entire show on Diabulimia-I believe it is needed so badly. There has to be awareness regarding this addiction and we have to start somewhere. Thanks for reading this and please continue to think about Katee and I. I sincerely and desperately hope that we both can receive the help that we need.

One last thing I want to mention about Katee, please remember that she is only 16. She does feel invincible just as I did at that age and her mom truly is trying so har to do what she can to help her daughter. The sickness of the disease and the manipulative characteristics keep her mom from controlling Katee’s diabetes and by that I mean this...she can give the shots to Katee but Katee can go to school or go to the store and eat candy or a candy bar and by eating those things she could then make fer glucose skyrocket which means that the insulin that was forcefully given to her by her mom would then be doing no good whatsoever. It is impossible for anyone, not control and the fact that this is one of the only parts of her life (and was/is mine as well)that she does control herself, the persistence and what she sees as nagging by her mom makes her want to take her insulin even less. The more my mom pushed, the less insulin I would take and she never knew it. Katee’s mom has taken a lot of flack for this when she should be commended for always being there for Katee and taking her to all of her appointments and trying to do something that she knows nothing about-this is indeed a battle for her that she has tried to fight with all she has. I have talked with her on the phone several times since the show, twice today and she needs support just as Katee and I, not the mean comments being left about her insinuating she lacks concern. I just felt as if I needed to say that.

Now, if anyone has any questions about diabulimia or wants to email me, you can do so at and I will answer your questions based on my experience and offer any advice I can. If you have mean comments, please keep them to yourself or post them on Dr Phil’s message board, do not email to me. This is for people that know what I am going through, may wonder if someone they know is going through this or anything else about diabulimia.

Thanks to you all and together maybe we can convince Dr Phil to do a show on this disease while we get the word Diabulimia known!!!



January 10, 2008, 12:28 am CST

For your FYI

Quote From: topcat49


Since the girls with diabulimia are convinced that they are going to die from this they should be made to plan their own funerals so their families won't have to.  It could be a wake up call for them.

Have a doctor tell them what it will be like as their organs fail, then have the girls pick out the casket, what they will be buried in, write the obituary and pick out the burial plot.   


Their families shouldn't have to do all of this for them.

You would not tell an alcoholic to plan their funeral or a drug addict to plan their funeral-this is a serious addiction-a word that was never used for some reason on the show.   Professional help is greatly needed hence the appearance on the show and FYI, one of the "girs" you mentioned is 33, a woman and trust me, the dr's have told them what will happen if they do not stop but as I said before, it is an addiction NOT a TREND nor a choice!!!
January 10, 2008, 8:19 pm CST

01/03 Shocking Trends of the New Year

i found the article of diabulimia very concerning. i've been a type I for 21 yrs... the last poster mentioned it was a lot like alcoholism. SSSSOOOO true. MANY diabetes support sites and groups will tell you you must go through the "12 steps" the same as any other disease or addiction in order to accept your diabetes and live a healthy life. i am lucky to have done this already, but like any other addicition or disease there is not set time line, so i cant blame others for "not getting there yet."


i can tell them this though. IT DOESNT WORK!  the idea stems from control. i can understand this desire. i grew up with a very protective father. i needed control over SOME aspect of my life. weight is one of them. obviously this disorder has nothing to do with body image (as some victims might lead you to beleive). it can not, because if you see a serious diabulimic (and i've had the privledge), they are literally starving themselves. the distended belly and the appearence of bloating (and "fatness") are much more prevelant in the diabulimic due to swelling. its really quite bad looking. another myth is a diabetic cannot lose weight. this simply isnt true. it IS true that i work harder then a lot of my girlfriends and keep a stricter diet, but i am able to maintain a size 4 figure through eating a MINIMUM of 1300 calories a day and excercising 3-4 times a week for 1-2 hrs.


what i learned the hard way is you CANNOT have control if you are dead. death = loss of control, ESPECIALLY when you are dieing. do you think you have control when hospice is hovering? what about dialysis? no control there? who will control things when you are blind? even though i still have the desire to control, instead of using dangerous techniques a lot of teenagers, myself included, use to take back control their lives, i know focus it on controling as balanced diet and controling my muscles and my accomplishments. it took me 14 yrs as a diabetic to assert this positive control, and it only happend 3 to 4 yrs ago that i realized that i can have a future. my diabetologist explained one great thing about the body is most teenage bodies recover from the strains of diabetes rebellion. i am lucky that i have recovered. i even had the onsets of early retinopothy, but thanks to the pump and stepping upy my excercise it has actually gone away! though i still monitor it.


bottom line is, yeah, i didnt take care of my self when i was young. i would eat things, feel guilty and then not cover it. i guess in some ways it did give me a high. but the way i feel now is SUPERIOR. i wouldnt change it, and neither would my 1 yo daughter who wants to grow up to know her mom. yes, i was an out of control teen diabetic who was able to have a daughter and have no residual effects bc i decided to take control of my life, rather then sacrifice that life control for weight control. as for weight control my body looks better then i even did when i was a diabulimic. you honestly cant work out when you are. the only way you can look good is by controling yourself so you can get nutrients and muscle tone.

January 10, 2008, 9:40 pm CST

I went through it

I watched the show ans seen what those two girls are doinf and I have to say "polease stop while you still have a chance". I was 14 when I found out I was diabetic and only after 2 years of being diabetic I ignored my sugars and didn't watch what and how much I ate. I was 17 when I wieghed 136 pounds and I felt that I was too skinny and that I needed to gain weight, so I started eating a full bag of chips every night  hoping to gain weight, not paying attention that each bag equaled over 200 carbohydrates. I am also epileptic  and  was not aware that  one of the effects of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia were seizures, i had more seizures and thought they were caused by my epilepsy. I never could gain weight and I just stopped trying to gain it. Like the doctor on the show said "effects of not taking care of your sugars can take effect at any time" and after 10 years of trying to gain that weight I got a call from my doctor and he said for me to go right to his office that it was important. When I got there he told me that my kidneys were failing and I would have to go on dialysis. At this time I have a fistula on my  right arm and have to be hooked up to a dialyser for 4 hours straight. Not only that I can not travel for more than 2 days cause I have to go for my dialysis every monday, wednesday and friday afternoon. I do not want to see anyone make the same mistake I made so please take your meds and try to keep your sugars in range for the goodness of your own health and my prayers are with you both.

January 12, 2008, 5:39 pm CST

I am Kaytee's mother

Quote From: hiddentears

I wished I had seen this show but have read the details and several of the posts.  I am a mother of a 22 year old who has been in treatment for the past 18 months for an eating disorder.  Before that it was cutting and suicidality.  She is a beautiful young lady but faces a long road ahead if she doesn't get to the bottom of her issues.  Oh, did I mention she was diabetic too?  She knows what she is doing to herself when she restricts her insulin and when she decides she doesn't want to starve her body of insulin she takes her shots and restricts her food.  What needs to be said here and maybe I missed it in the many posts is that it is about a body image but even more its about having control.  The individuals who suffer from this mental illness do not think rationally as we do.  People with eating disorders (even those who are incredibly skinny) do not see themselves the way others do.  Its like looking in a circus mirror.  My daughter does not feel like she has control over her emotions.  She does have control over her food intake and her insulin intake.  Good news, she seems to be getting better but its a battle that I believe she will always have to fight.


As for the 15 year old's mom, I believe she is doing what she can.  Unless you have walked a mile in her shoes don't for a minute criticize her.  I know, because with my daughter I am damned if I do and damned if I don't.  I love her, I support her, and will and still do anything for her if it means she will get well.  I have gone into debt to get her the therapy needed but bottom line is its not easy. 


Finally, an appeal to any professionals out there who deal with diabetes and/or eating disorders.  There are no facilities that I am aware of  and no professionals that I have heard of that deal specifically with diabulemia.  It seems to be common and really should be treated by individuals well versed in both specialties.  We need more people dedicated to diabetics with eating disorders.

I just wanted to thank you for your suppot.  You are exactly right about looking into the circus mirror, that is how she sees herself, distorted.  There are few facilities out there that deal with all aspects....diabetes, eating disorders and depression.  I am waiting to see what Dr. Phil's show comes up with.  I tried to explain on the show, but it was edited out, that I don't believe that therapist/residential facilities are ready for this because they do not understand it.   Most have never even heard of it, so how do you deal with something you know nothing about!!!
January 12, 2008, 5:46 pm CST

I am Kaytee's mom

Quote From: btrflybeetle

If you are a parent yourself, this is one of those cases where you have to understand and it all comes down can not watch what your child does 24 hours a day/7 days a week...the parents can not control anything...especially with a 15 year old girl and even if they tried, it would make it worse. At 13, my parents put padlocks on the fridge and locked up food in their closets...and I have juvenile seemed it made things worse. But once they are 15 and having their lives and going out, you cant monitor the insulin doses in school...the child unfortunatley has to take respsonsibility and grow up really has nothing to do with the parents letting their child die or kill is not their choice...

Btrflybeetle cannot explain it better!!  I do watch Kaytee, however, she is not a 2 year old and I cannot be with her everywhere she goes, and they develop an art of deception that is unbelievable.  I have grounded her, I have yelled, screamed, cried, I have bribed her, but the fact is, I cannot just jump on top of her and force the insulin in her!  Even if I did, it would not make her do it herself when I am not there.  I have reasoned with her, I have had diet plans, I have made her breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, but if she refuses to eat or refuses your help, there is not a lot that I can do. 

January 12, 2008, 5:53 pm CST

I am Kaytee's mom

Quote From: btrflybeetle

If she is losing weight, it is your first indicator that something is wrong. The second would be mood swings. I dealt with not taking my insulin when I was 18 and my "temper tantrums" and mood problems had  a TON to do with high blood a sense, it almost caused bi-polar disorder. Be careful about controntation with her, though...we are touchy about people trying to control our disease...and if she has those high blood sugars, she is very likely to be irrational with you or anyone...unfortnatley, this is something she needs to deal with. Is she living with you and family? At 17, my mom had to kick me out because my mood problems and uncontrolled diabetes was affecting the's not easy...
I am so sorry that you have to deal with this issue.  It is not easy, believe me.  The last time Kaytee was in the hospital they tried to commit her, but since she is not suicidal, there was nothing that they could do.  Your daughter needs to get into some kind of therapy to try and help her deal with this disorder.  Again, btrflybeetle is correct, if your daughter used to let you participate in her process, checking her sugars, meal planning, taking her insulin, but now tells you she already took the insulin, and is more secretive, and also the mood swings, Kaytee is normally quite, but she would go from crying one minute into angry and cursing the next, when that was so out of her character.  She lost weight, she was tired, urinating, had yeast infections, had thrush, very weak, sunken, heavy/labored breathing, no energy, urinates a lot, binges--after I would go to bed or when she would get home from school to keep her sugars up.  I don't know what to tell you other than to seek some type of professional help.  Any thing is better than nothing.  But be prepared that most do not even know what this is.  Matter of fact, many people do not even know that there are two types of diabetes, and that with type 1 it does not matter what you do, you will always have it and you will always need insulin unless there is some type of cure.
January 12, 2008, 6:20 pm CST

Mother of Kaytee

Quote From: classybecca

I didn't even know diabulimia existed.

That's why I went on the show.  Most people have never heard of diabulimia, even though it has been going on for many years.  It's out there, and it is a very complicated situation.
January 12, 2008, 6:25 pm CST

Mother of Kaytee

Quote From: faithegood

I seriously don't want to pass judgment because I don't walk in the shoes of either the mother or teenage girl that was on the show.  I do have to ask though why the mother is allowing this child to kill herself.  It the child was suicidal through other means than I feel certain the mother would do whatever it takes to prevent the act from occurring.  Therefore, can someone please help me understand why this woman doesn't control the child's insulin shots herself?  We have a parent and we have a child, yes a child.  It seems to me that since the child can't make responsible decisions, than the medical condition needs to be controlled by the parents.   How hard would it be to administer the shots to the girl? 


There are millions of diabetics walking around that control their diet, take their insulin and who aren't overweight.   


Dr. Phil said early on that he wanted to bring common sense back this year - immediate intervention seems to be of common sense here - control the freakin' shots yourself parents.  On-going intervention comes after you get the girl stabilized. 


On another note, I cannot imagine what it must be like to be the parent of a child that openly admits they would rather be dead than be fat.  That kind of thinking is directly in line with her youth; lack of experience, knowledge and maturity.  She (the child) needs to imagine her parents standing over her grave; better yet, let the child help plan her own funeral - that might be a shocking enough experience to draw some reality into this young girl's mind. 


It is not easy to control the shots yourself!  Kaytee is not 2, I cannot be with her every second of the day or force her to take the shots.  If she refuses to eat, I cannot force feed, her, if she binges when I am sleeping, I cannot prevent that.  I do the best that I can.  We talk and she understands the consequences, but this is like an addiction.  She cannot just stop.  We have had many fights with trying to get her to take her insulin, it is not like we are idley standing by letting her die.  Once we figured out what she was doing, we have been very proactive in trying to get her help. 
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