2009 Shows

An estimated eight million Americans suffer from an eating disorder, and the condition has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Family members suffer the consequences as well. Cheryl wrote Dr. Phil because her family is in crisis. Her talented and beautiful 23-year-old daughter, Sherri, has struggled with anorexia and bulimia for 10 years and  she fears  she may die without an intervention. Shannon, Sherri's identical twin, is so worried about her sister, she checks on her throughout the night to make sure she's breathing. Shaun, Sherri's fiancé, has called off their wedding until Sherri gets her behavior in check. Sherri has been in and out of treatment but always relapses. How did her behavior start? Are there early warning signs you should watch out for in your child? Are family members contributing to Sherri's relapses? What does Sherri say her mother, sister and spouse-to-be can do to help her conquer her disease? Dr. Cynthia Bulik, an eating disorder specialist, sheds light on this pervasive disease and offers Sherri and her family coping strategies. Learn about her Crave-ology profile, and how it helps you take charge of your appetite and your urges. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: grandfather38 on May 25, 2009, 8:30PM - In reply to loribellent1
I did not mean to imply that their father neglected them or that they were sterotypes. I hope they and their mother receive grief and family counseling for the loss of their father and parenting relationship. 
Scanning the rest of the comments revealed a lack of the use of Overeaters Anyonymous 12 step programs in most responses? 
Lifelong Behavior Modification needs more than rehabilitation and counseling where only the tools for recovery can be learned. The main reasons for 12 step program failure and relapse is impatience and denial of the need to be honest with a sponser and to sponser others honestly for a very long time. Impatience is failure to schedule necessary time to continue the program long enough to accept a higher power and to sponser others, which also helps the sponser. Acceptance and working the program, or relapse, is a very selfish choice.
I do not know anyone who controls an eating disorder without  continuing sponsership of others.
Replied By: allourmight on May 22, 2009, 7:57AM
Replied By: tiredtofu on May 19, 2009, 2:37PM
you need to rethink what you have written. i happen to know sherri. i met her in treatment. she looks much healthier physically than she was the last time i saw her, but she also just left treatment again. you should know that sherri has been in and out of the hospital many times and her life has been and still is in danger. it is unreasonable for you to say that because someone looks bigger or heavier than you that they are in recovery or don't have an eating disorder. you and i are the same size. and i am NOT in recovery. i'm actually really struggling. for you to say that being that size is okay is uncalled for. just because your or your treatment team think it's an okay size for you does not mean that it is a stable weight for other people. it's actually still underweight. just because someone has gained weight does not mean they are in recovery. a person can be 300 lb and not in recovery. it doesn't always have to do with your size. also, as someone with an eating disorder you should know that (a) just because someone doesn't look underweight doesn't mean that they aren't (b) that you can gain weight or even be at a healthy weight and not be in recovery and (c) that saying things like this are rude and harmful to other people with eating disorders.
Replied By: almost_famous on May 17, 2009, 10:25PM
i mean this in a nice way because i think this girl is beautiful and i can relate a lot to her, i'm a cheerleader, gymnast, have been in pageants and suffered from anorexia as well. but i don't understand why she was on the show because she seems to have recovered and they were acting like she was getting ready to die. she says she weighs 95 pounds? i weigh 102 at 5'5" and i'm in full recovery, perfectly healthy at this point. i'm 17 now and actually spent an entire year (when i was 14) in a facility, got down to 63 pounds. so 102 is a perfectly healthy weight for me and surely she must be short because she looks much heavier than i do. i mean that in a good way though cuz the girl is gorgeous! i just think the show portrayed eating disorders as a glamorous thing cuz here they have a healthy, beautiful, athletic looking girl who just appears to be naturally thin. when in reality, eating disorders make your skin look nasty, hair & teeth fall out, you look SICKENINGLY thin, like a cancer patient and you can definitely not be an athlete while suffering from a serious disorder! you have no strength or energy! this gives young girls the wrong idea and they may develop disorders thinking they will look like that girl rather than someone really suffering. i'm not saying she doesnt have an eating disorder, she's just obviously in recovery!
Replied By: somehearts on May 17, 2009, 9:08PM
When I heard about this news, I was heartbroken.  I've had the privilege to see you ladies perform a couple times at my church.  You have a great ministry and have touched alot of people.  Now going forth with your story, you're touching alot of other people.  Sherri, you can get through this.  Just remember you have a family who loves you and a finace' who loves you too.  But, more importantly, Jesus loves you. My prayers are with you during this time.  I pray Jesus will help you through the healing process.  Remember Jesus is much stronger and powerful than anything we may go through.  Take care ladies and Shaun, may you all feel Jesus' love during this time and in all your days to come. God bless.
Replied By: loribellent1 on May 17, 2009, 3:42PM - In reply to grandfather38
As someone that went to high school with these girls, you shouldn't assume the father wants nothing to do with them.  In fact he past away from cancer when the girls were young, and it was hard for them to deal with.  Most people that know these girls would tell you how sweet and kind they are, even though they were on the cheer squad, they were sweet to everyone and not by any means the stereotype one would think of.
Replied By: misteedawn on May 16, 2009, 8:44PM
This show helped so much bring out what eats literally at any of us who have problems such as with eating disorders. I myself have been through a little bit if there is such a thing with a eating problem. I'm very selfconcious of weight. When I was growing up my mother was always talking about weight. When I was 10 or 11  years old she would say things like don't eat that you will get fat. When I became a teen if I gained anything she was the first to point it out and say you have gained some weight lets do something about it. My mother was never heavy and she made sure I was never going to be.  After having children I literally starved myself to get back to the weight I had been. I have gained some over the years now and I am now 45 but most consider me skinny, but I don't think so.

People do not think before they open their mouths. I had a hysterectomy about 5 months ago and I know I gained at least 9 lbs or so, I was not back to myself for a while and could not exercise and wanted to get my health back on track so I did gain a little. I am now low carbing and trying to get rid of the extra bit there. When about two weeks ago I ran into this lady that I haven't seen in sometime and she says, oh girl, you look good did you gain a little weight? I thought I would die, this woman had no idea that what she said has now sent my head spinning and now I have jumped on a  wagon of exercising and watching everything I put into my mouth. Panic ran through my body and still is there. Get rid of any extra fat. So when people judge like some of the messages I have read. Its heart breaking.

  Unless you have been through this, you do not know. I use to take laxatives like eating candy. I was obsessed and apparently still am. One word from anyone like what this lady said has sent my world into a tail  spin. I have lost about 4 lbs this week and I am not giving up til everything fits loose. I can not control what I feel. So I do understand how like Dr. Phil said that Sherri just wants to be alone with her illness. I just want to be alone also with this. I'm trying to do this a healthy way and not go into some sort of crazy dieting of not eating. I'm too old to ruin my  heart now. I probably have done damage before and just did not know it. It amazes me when someone says just eat. Or she just wants attention.  I don't think she wants attention, just the opposite. I hope her fiancee will be able to understand better about her situation.  She does need help. But, for the rest of her life she will be horrified of gaining too much. And for others who like to inform anyone they know that hey you gained a little weight. Shut up already. Don't they understand that we get dressed daily and we know when clothes are tighter or looser.

Educated intellectual, but no common sense people. Get the idea and figure this out without some other normal person to have to tell you to shut up. I want to say that I thought the twins were both beautiful women, and that Dr. Phil as always handles things so beautifully. I love his straight forth talk and how he does tell it like it is. You go Dr. Phil. I wish Sherri and Shannon the best. Keep the faith and things will work out. Its tough I know and I have not had the major issue as bad. I am not tall either, and I was down to 95 before but still its too small for my body frame. I weigh more now but am not fat. But , I want to be skinnier. Good luck to you all.
Replied By: omaggiemae on May 14, 2009, 9:02PM - In reply to dfig01
I'm also 40, have also struggled since the age of about 8 or 9. I've recently discovered the miracle combination of Wellbutrin and Topamax to bring some healing and peace into my life. When/if you first mention these drugs (especially Topamax) to your Dr., he may be reluctant or look at you strangely. It's designed to treat migraines. Anyways, I hope you are curious enough to look into this and possibly try it for yourself. There are many uses for Topamax that the FDA has not acknowleged, but you can still get a prescription for it. It's changed my life. I hope it can do the same for  you. I wish you well.
Replied By: omaggiemae on May 14, 2009, 8:54PM
I'm a 40 year old mother of 2 who struggled with an eating disorder for over 25 years. Once I educated myself by reading just about every book I could on the topic, I came to the conclusion that, yes, I have most likely re-wired my brain to the point where I cannot conquer this disease without medication. My miracle concoction has been a combination of Wellbutrin and Topamax. Ever since the age of 9 I have criticized my body and had low self-esteem. I never weighed more than 130lbs and I'm 5'7". These medications have allowed me to get my mind off of myself, to stop worrying about every bit of food I put into my mouth, have completely taken away the desire to binge and purge and I have an incredible sense of peace about my weight that I never dreamed possible. I thought I would just live this way forever. Nothing else worked. I would either die from it or just suffer from it until I died. But I've been released from it's awful clutches.

My point is that when one starts at such a young age when the brain is still developing, doesn't it make sense that this kind of behavior, these kinds of constant thoughts about ourselves are going to change our brains? This area of eating disorders has GOT to go beyond therapy and counseling and support and accountability. It is possible that it is a physiological problem now and should be treated accordingly. Topamax was originally created to treat migraines but, as many grateful people are discovering, it offers solutions to many other problems as well. Eating disorders is one of them, but NOBODY seems to know about it! It has absolutely changed my life. I now have hope that my children will never know that their mommy had an eating disorder because they never saw me purging or being paranoid around food. I also don't hound them about what they eat anymore either.

Happy, Healthy Mommy
Replied By: katerly719 on May 14, 2009, 7:12PM
It's really sad to sit and read how insensitive some people are about this. It's even harder having grown up with Shannon and Sherri and watching the family suffer all these years. One of the main reasons I started gymnastics was because I saw Shan and Sher in the gym and wanted to be like them. I know many other girls who have always admired the two. They are both incredibly talented gymnasts, cheerleaders, pianists, and singers, along with being some of the sweetest girls I've ever known. But they've always been "Shannon and Sherri" or the twins. Everyone has always been aware of the competition between the two to be better. When I went away to gymnastics camp, I really got to know the girls individually and saw how diffrerent they were. I can also remember telling my mom over the phone that Sherri wasn't eating. That was 8 years ago. And it continued.
Hearing Sherri talk about the pressures of being thin for gymnastics and cheerleading hit so close to home. When she talks about high school cheerleading, I was on that squad with her. She was my flyer. It's so crazy to see her finally reach out and open up about it because it's been such a long road. I can remember her opening up to be about it a bit 6 years ago, when it was already bad.
Sher, you are so strong and couragous. You've been fighting this for so long, I just know you'll overcome it. You're ready, which is the biggest step. I've looked up to you for as long as I can remember and I continue to do so as you stand up and face this disease openly. We all love you so much, you know that. Keep your head up girl! Hopefully next time I stop by the gym, you're there and we can have an impropmtu stunt session!! Love you!
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