A New Wave of Bullying
Bullying, which is different from simple conflict, is characterized by an intention to harm, repeated acts of harm and an imbalance of power between the bully and victim. Bullying has changed over the past 50 years. It’s no longer as simple as getting pushed around at the playground during recess. Access to social media like Facebook, smart phones, iPads, and other advanced technology extends the parameters of bullying into a cyber space that is not only poorly monitored, but has also proven difficult to police or censor. Teenagers are so technologically connected that one word, insult, or picture can be spread to hundreds of peers in moments.
“How are you? How was school? How was your date? How are you feeling?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Fine. I don’t know.”
This probably sounds familiar if you have a teenager. They learn, consciously or unconsciously, that if they “don’t know,” adults will leave them alone. This phrase not only becomes an escape from adults, but sometimes even an escape from themselves.
For teenagers with eating disorders, “knowing” can be painful and overwhelming. If she knows that she wants to go to a different restaurant than the guy she likes, he might not like her anymore. If he knows that he is disappointed Dad didn’t make it to his game, then it might mean Dad doesn’t love him. If she knows that what her friend said behind her back really hurt, she might lose her friend. In these situations, it can feel safer to “not know.”
All teens struggle at times with self-esteem and self-worth. For teens with eating disorders, particularly, experiencing disappointment, fear, loss, and rejection can be terrifying and personally devastating. Thus, the need to escape from what they “know” becomes part of the perpetuating cycle of the eating disorder. Many clients have said that their eating disorder helps to numb them to these experiences.
Part of our work at the Center for Discovery is to simultaneously draw out what they know (but have denied knowing) of their experiences, while also equipping them with skills and a community of peers and staff to help them cope with what comes up. They have learned to rely on their eating disorder to resolve or erase these experiences, but their self-esteem and self-worth is also lost in the process. We hope that, as they work out these experiences and the overwhelming emotions attached to them, they will experience being cared for, listened to, respected, encouraged and empowered.
Consider This Before Deciding on Residential Treatment
It can feel like one of the hardest choices you’ve ever made as a parent. You’ve consulted various doctors, practitioners, friends and family members. Quite possibly, you’ve shared with your child or teenager some of what you’ve been thinking and their response has introduced doubt into your mind all over again. Even the choices you made before deciding to travel, sometimes a very long distance, to bring your child to residential treatment can be questioned as you walk through our doors.
I’ve seen many families admit their children over my two years at Center for Discovery. It is not an easy process. Oftentimes, there is a rush of uncertainty, doubt, and fear. Yet, in the midst of all those, there exists a hope that, maybe, this could actually help where you may feel completely at a loss. That hope is what gives you the courage to entrust your child to a house full of strangers and make the long drive home without her.
Deciding on Residential Treatment is No Easy Job. We Can Help
As one of those strangers, I am always struck and honored by the trust you place in me, in us. We live life with your children and teenagers for the weeks they are in treatment. What I want to offer in this post, is that, as I live life with them, I truly care about them and struggle with them for their recovery. I believe this is also true of my co-workers, and what I have found so unique to the atmosphere that Center for Discovery seeks to create. You are not leaving your child in a cold, institutional-like facility, but a home filled with professionals who offer both their skills and their hearts to the work of recovery. Knowing this may not make the decision easier, or the process less painful, but maybe it will ease something in you as you walk through our doors.
Don’t Let Eating Disorders Call the Shots
Call Center For Discovery now at 800.760.3934. If you are struggling with your recovery, or need treatment, don’t hesitate to call Center For Discovery immediately with any questions. Call now and speak to one of our highly trained admission specialists today. Or fill out this form for a FREE assessment. All calls are completely FREE and strictly confidential.