Struggling With Depression and An Eating DisorderElisabeth developed anorexia at 15, and it completely took over her life as she was constantly anxious about food and exercise. She also struggled with depression, leaving little space to think about other things apart from her disorders. Elisabeth isolated due to her eating disorder and didn’t go anywhere with her friends. She even stopped going to team dinners for sports. All the relationships in her life suffered, and she wasn’t sure how to repair them. According to Elisabeth, “It’s so hard to have a healthy relationship with anyone when the only relationship that tells you it matters is your eating disorder.” Eventually, Elisabeth went to therapy, and during her first session, they concluded that she needed treatment.
Healing and Learning How to Nourish Her BodyFor Elisabeth, the admissions process was helpful as she was supported throughout every step with compassion and transparency. She was scared at first, but she was immediately relieved upon meeting the Magnolia Creek staff and the group of women she was in treatment with. The nurses not only addressed her medical concerns, but they also treated her like family. Throughout treatment, the nurses and clinical team let her know she was loved, guiding her through every good day, bad day, and everything in between. According to Elisabeth, her individual therapist “always made me feel safe and taught me so much about myself and the eating disorder, providing me with the insight I needed to understand why I used an eating disorder to cope.”
Not only was Elisabeth’s individual therapist extremely helpful, but her family therapist also helped her heal. During treatment, she felt like her family therapist understood her and made her feel safe from the very first session, encouraging her to do hard things and challenging her. With her family therapist, she learned about family dynamics and how eating disorders can play a role within families.
Another part of Elisabeth’s recovery process involved learning about nutrition and the body. She learned how to properly nourish her body and give it the fuel it needs to function, as well as how to reframe her thoughts and beliefs around food and exercise. And Elisabeth’s peers in treatment became like a family to her. She was able to find joy and connection with others in everyday activities like sitting at the dinner table, cooking, and playing outside without worrying about her eating disorder.