Last year, my husband, RIAA Certified Platinum Producer F.R.E.A.K, Composed the score for the Documentary “Someday Melissa” Produced by Judy Avrin and Jeffrey Cobelli. The documentary is about a teenager Melissa Avrin, who had a lifelong battle with Bulimia. For those of you that don’t know, Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent binge eating, followed by compensatory behavior. An article about this documentary was published yesterday in the New York Times “A Mother’s Loss, A Daughter’s Story” by Robin Pogrebin and a feature story this morning on the Today Show.
In the United States, as many as 10million females and 1million males are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. For females between the ages of 15-24 years old who suffers from either of these diseases, the mortality rate is 12 times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death. This is a serious mental illness that affects our society and needs to be addressed!
The story of “Someday Melissa” is about a family that lost their 19 year old daughter and sister to bulimia. I’m sure there are a lot of deaths to this disease that go unrecognized, but if the New York Times Article, “A Mother’s Loss, A Daughter’s Story” by Robin Pogrebin, the “Someday Melissa” Documentary Film by Judy Avrin and Jeffrey Cobelli, the feature on the Today Show and this posting can help other families, then it is up to us, especially parents to educate their kids and/or get them help! Many will say that the Media and Social Pressure is the reason for cases like this, with them both being a strong factor, people must understand that these “Eating Disorders” are still classified as a part of “Mental Illness” there is a lot going on in the minds of these young girls and boys who are affected by the disease, and we as a whole need to stop overlooking it and act now.
Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for if you suspect your child or someone you know may be suffering from an eating disorder:
- Dieting despite being thin
- Pretending to or lying about eating
- Preoccupation with food
- Strange or secretive food rituals
- Fixation on Body Image
- Using diet pills, laxatives or diuretics
- Throwing up after eating
- Compulsive exercising
- Dramatic Weight Loss
Encouraging a friend with an eating disorder to seek help is the most caring and supportive thing anyone can do. However, because of the defensiveness and denial of these disorders, one must tread lightly. Understand that most people with “eating disorders” are so emotionally damaged that they feel a need “to be in control” and for most of them, this is their way of doing it. The best approach is to gently express your concerns is to let the person know that you are available to listen. If your loved one is willing to talk, listen without judgment, no matter how out of touch they seem. You can always seek help from a medical professional even if your friend doesn’t. For more information on Eating Disorders or ways you can help eradicate these diseases from a loved one’s life check out the National Eating Disorders Association at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org . It is our duty, especially in the world of entertainment, to convey positive, uplifting and beautiful images of Women No Matter the Shape or Size! Image is an Important Part of Society, but let’s Make it Healthy… Let’s Fight Eating Disorders Now!
NY Times Article "A Mother's Loss, A Daughter's Story"
Today Show Feature Story Bulimia: A Mother's Loss
Also, please checkout the "Someday Melissa" Website