Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Category Archives: Advocacy

Lipstick Lesbian:  A Coming Out Story, Written by C.W., Castlewood Alumna

I grew up with a fiscally conservative father and a die-hard liberal mother. I wasn’t too afraid of coming out, more so just embarrassed. My family didn’t do feelings. Maybe if I instead hollered “HEY, I’M A LESBIAN” from upstairs as my parents got home from dinner that night, it would have felt less awkward. Once it was out there, it was out there. My father would parade down the hall into my room at least twice a week from then on, looking for a heart to heart, craving the reassurance he needs to feel like his baby girl wasn’t going to…

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The “Golden Boy”

Written by Castlewood Alumnus Paul Beuttenmuller One year ago, I completed the total transformation of my life after having finally confronted the nightmare that controlled it for the previous six years. I pressed the pause button on everything, including my job at which I had just received a promotion, and focused on my mental health for the first time in my life. I was struggling with an eating disorder and reached the point where it controlled my daily life. In reality, it controlled my total being and sanity. While it took me a while to admit that, I had come…

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Get Involved with National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Though it’s sobering even to consider, eating disorders will impact some 30 million Americans at some point in their lifetime. Conditions such as anorexia, bulimia, and Binge Eating Disorder—among others—are all too common, and yet we talk about them far too infrequently. There remains much stigma surrounding the topic of eating disorders, and much discomfort in even broaching the subject. The consequences of this stigma? Many people struggle with an eating disorder and never realize that they can get help; they never know that treatment works, and that recovery is possible. Meanwhile, many loved ones, friends, and family members remain…

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Loving Past Stigma

You don’t necessarily have to understand someone completely in order to love them whole-heartedly—but you do have to accept them for who they are. Sometimes that can be challenging, especially when that person engages in self-destructive behavior as the result of an eating disorder or a mental illness. You may find yourself struggling to come to terms with their actions; in these cases, of course, it is critical to remind yourself that it’s not them, it’s the illness. One of the hurdles that you may face in loving someone with an eating disorder is stigma. For as many people as…

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Speaking Words of Compassion to Those in Recovery

When you know someone who is in eating disorder recovery, it’s only natural that you’d want to be an encouragement to them—to say something that boosts their spirits, rallies their confidence, or simply reminds them that they are not alone. The difficulty is in knowing exactly what you should say. Even well-intentioned comments can sometimes be hurtful, and when you’ve never dealt with an eating disorder yourself, it can simply be difficult to know how best to broach the issue. It is vital to be careful and judicious in what you say—striving always to speak words of empathy and compassion,…

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When is it safe to exercise once you are close to your maintenance weight?

Great question, but not an easy answer. Bottom line: only your treatment team can answer that question for you specifically, based on your personal history, the eating disorder behaviors that you used most frequently, your weight patterns before, during and after eating disorder behaviors, and your recovery journey itself. But let’s talk about why… Physical activity has many positive benefits for both physical and mental well-being, all supported by research; however, the negative consequences that occur when physical activity becomes dysfunctional are also many, and supported by research. (Calogero, R and Pedrotty-Stump, K (2010). Incorporating exercise into eating disorder treatment…

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One Choice. One Life.

Written by S.H., Castlewood Alumna Do I want to live a life worth living, or do I want to live a life with my eating disorder — one that won’t last very long? This was a question I faced a little over a year ago… a question that I didn’t know the answer to at the time. I had struggled with my eating disorder for many years and had gone to treatment various times, and yet I kept relapsing with little hope and a diminishing desire to get better. I doubted that recovery was possible for me even though my…

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Experiencing Life, Love and Recovery

Written by L. M. Castlewood Alumnus  Falling in love makes you vulnerable, it is probably the most vulnerable thing you will ever do in your life to love someone and to allow them to love you in return, the real you, the good and bad and everything that falls in between. Eating disorders are incredibly isolating, I know mine was, I did not think anyone could understand the pain I felt or the sadness I had and I did not think anyone but my eating disorder could help me. That is a convenient story we tell ourselves to keep us…

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If Not Now… When? by Paul Beuttenmuller Castlewood Alumnus

“Somewhere in the archives of crudest instinct is recorded the truth that it is better to be endangered and free than captive and comfortable” – Tom Robbins For the longest time, I thought I was comfortable with where I was in life. I gave off the impression that I was happy and satisfied. But after some time, I came to realize that I was really just settling because I did not believe (and I was too afraid) that life could get any better. I was too set in my beliefs and my comfort zone to really open up and admit…

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Eating Disorders and the LGBT Community

For the month of June, Castlewood is focusing our #ColorfulRecovery Campaign on the issue of eating disorders within the LGBT community. The entire purpose of this campaign is to educate, inform, make aware, and ultimately make a difference—changing minds, one life at a time, and trusting that this will have a ripple effect throughout our world. There is much reason for us to raise awareness for eating disorders among LGBT individuals, as the problem is both rampant and all too often misunderstood. Understanding Eating Disorders in the LGBT Community The common misconception about eating disorders is that they only impact young,…

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