The “Pretty Little Liars” actor, Troian Bellisario, recently opened up about her eating disorder and mental illness in a column written for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter. In her letter dated July 18, Bellisario divulged details about her past struggle with an eating disorder and psychological problems.
Eating disorder is a major psychological issue plaguing millions of people across the world. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), defines eating disorder as “serious and often-fatal illnesses that cause severe disturbances to a person’s eating behaviors.”
According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life. This includes anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.
Bellisario dealt with the disorder every minute of her life. In the letter, she wrote about a particular incident while swimming in freezing cold water – her body asked her to be removed from the icy cold water but her brain kept telling her not to be weak. She compared the struggle to the one she had with an eating disorder. “There is a part of my brain that defies logic. Once, it completely convinced me I should live off 300 calories a day, and at some point, it told me even that was too much,” she said.
It was that part of her brain that had complete hold over her life and was something which almost killed her. “I have lived in recovery for 10 years now, it still finds loads of fun, insidious ways to thwart me to this day.”
Family stood like the Rock of Gibraltar
She was fortunate to have a loving and caring family that help her tide over her mental problems. She admitted that it was a path strewn with hardships. She attributed her revival to hard introspection, intense medical and mental care, supportive family and friends, and a caring and loving partner.
Her latest work “Feed” helped her in fighting her mental illness. She wrote and starred in it. It is the story of a teenager who lost her twin brother and subsequently developed an eating disorder because of her inability to deal with the situation. Like her, the character loses control over her life. The story had glimpses of her own personal battle with the eating disorder.
Treatment for eating disorders
Usually, eating disorders can be addressed with medication and psychotherapies. There is also nutritional counseling for patients. The problem can frequently appear during teenage or young adulthood but may also develop during childhood or at a later stage in life. An eating disorder is a disease, which one should not take lightly. It calls for immediate attention and seeking advice from experts. It is unlikely that the disease can be cured at home.
Dealing with psychological problems
Mental problems are best treated at behavioral health treatment centers. Depending on the requirement of the patient, these rehabs devise tailor-made programs for long-term recovery. If you have a loved one dealing with any mental problem, approach a treatment rehab for advice.
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