A Counselor's Reflections After Watching Rachel Farrokh's Plea

image: transparent background on sad woman in black and white with title of the blog on top: A Counselor's Reflections After Watching Rachel Farrokh's Plea

image: transparent background on sad woman in black and white with title of the blog on top: A Counselor's Reflections After Watching Rachel Farrokh's Plea

Have you seen the video going around about Rachel, the woman with Anorexia Nervosa who is desperate to get to a treatment center? That’s why I do what I do. I help women and teens with eating disorders, because it breaks my heart to see how much this disease can infiltrate a person and rip apart someone's whole world.

From what I have read, Rachel was a vivacious, happy and talented woman. The eating disorder has completely taken over, though, and any remnants of that Rachel are gone.

I am going to put the link in here to her video and GoFundMe page, because I think it’s right to do it if I’m using her story as the basis for this post. However, only you know your triggers and what you are capable of handling, so click only if you are prepared for it. You can see her video here.

There are a lot of eating disorder specialists and treatment centers in the United States, but if you watch her video, you will learn that there is only one treatment center that will take her because she is a liability in her current condition. No one thinks it will get that bad. Everyone thinks they have it under control. Guess what? I bet Rachel did too.

When caught early, an eating disorder is very treatable. If left untreated, however, these complex conditions are potentially life threatening.

20% of people with chronic Anorexia will die as a result of the disorder

An eating disorder doesn’t start out completely debilitating, and there is no sign to identify which people will become consumed by it like Rachel did. This is why I treat every woman who walks into my office, regardless of her present condition, exactly the same.

As a recovered Anorexic, I can tell you that it was so difficult to watch Rachel and think about my own journey. After 15 years in recovery, I can still hear many of the horrible things my eating disorder used to say to me, and I remember quite clearly the grip that it had on me.

The goal of an eating disorder is to take and take and take, until there is nothing left. Only then is it satisfied.

I don’t think ill of Rachel or condemn her like so many ignorant people on the internet, because I know I could have been her. The path between where I was when I climbed out and where she is now is not a long one. I do this work because I want to help women avoid this path. I want to stop it before it takes over and consumes your life.

Please seek out a specialist immediately when you see the first signs of an eating disorder.

Starting work early on the underlying issues that are perpetuating the eating disorder, and working on coping skills to deal with the urges, thoughts and emotions is extremely important. Doing it with someone who specializes in eating disorders will increase your chances of recovering exponentially. You can get more information about the signs of an eating disorder here <insert link>.

I feel honored when women come into my office and look to me for help in dealing with issues ranging from struggles with body image to diagnosable eating disorders. It is a privilege to be a part of their recovery journey.

If you or someone you love are struggling with an eating disorder, or you are experiencing some of the signs and would like to work with me at Get Centered Counseling in Vancouver, WA., you can send me a message here. I will get back to you within 24 hours to set up a free 15-minute phone consultation.

 

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Tamara Duarte

Tamara Duarte is a counselor, author, speaker, and activist. Her private practice, Get Centered Counseling in Vancouver WA, helps women with food and body issues learn to love themselves, their body, their life, and their relationships. Her life’s work is steeped in personal experience, having fifteen years in recovery for anorexia, in addition to being a breast cancer survivor. An up and coming force in the counseling community, Tamara has been published in a textbook called Treatment Strategies for Substance and Process Addictions, and has sat on a panel at the American Counseling Association Conference, where she spoke to her peers on strategies and tools to use with clients struggling with eating disorders. Having a deep, personal understanding of what it takes to recover from this condition, she seeks to be an example to those she treats, to let them know that recovery is possible. Currently developing a podcast which addresses the cultural issues that promote body shame, self-esteem issues and eating disorders, Tamara lives in Vancouver, Washington, with her husband and best friend, Adam, enjoying life to the fullest with their two beautiful children, Jacob and Chloe.