To the Bone is a Netflix movie about a young girl who is struggling with an eating disorder. This movie depicts a couple of treatment programs the main character goes through and her struggles with her family. Without giving away details of the movie, if you are interested into the struggle of an eating disorder and difficulties of treatment this movie will help provide some insight into what that world is like.
Treatment for an eating disorder can be extremely difficult. Unlike treatment with an addiction where someone can avoid the substance they abuse; someone with an eating disorder has to learn an entirely new relationship with food. We are surrounded by food and food advertisements all of the time, so relearning that relationship can take a very long time.
I also appreciate in this movie, even though it is not the focus, that it makes mention of other forms of an eating disorder; such as binge eating. A common thought regarding eating disorders is that it is not a problem because the person is not “too skinny.” According to the DSM, which is how the mental health field categorizes disorders, it states that “…eating disorders are characterized by a persistent disturbance of eating or eating-related behavior that results in the altered consumption or absorption of food and that significantly impairs physical health or psychosocial functioning (p.329).” Depending on the diagnosis there can criteria for weight limits, however most eating disorders are not categorized by below average weight.
Eating disorders take form in one or multiple of the following ways:
- Restricting- reducing the amount of food intake
- Binging- eating an amount of food in large portions than typically seen
- Purging- throwing ingested food back up
The important thing to remember if you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder is seeking help in a variety of ways. Therapy, whether in group or individual, is very helpful to process through the underlying feelings of the behaviors. It is not as simple as just eating. Effective treatment includes other disciplines as well such as a dietitian, doctor, and psychiatrist. Like stated previously, treatment is very difficult and for some it takes an eye-opening or scary incident for true change to occur; which this movie also shows.