Anyway, this won't be a rant about that. Too tired, not in the mood. What stuck out to me in this article was the statistic that almost a full 80% of adolescents with a diagnosable mental illness go without treatment. There were a lot of reasons given: poverty, no access to transportation, no qualified local clinicians, lack of parental support, lack of insurance coverage, etc. etc. but really, there are probably a million reasons. And even if a kid leads a totally privileged life and has every opportunity imaginable, that doesn't ensure he'll get treatment.
Like me: I hated my body from the minute I started puberty and by the time I was thirteen, I was full-on restricting and running excessively. My weight dropped XX pounds in 2 months. My mom went on a work trip for two weeks, and came home to find me positively skeletal. And what happened then? I got a few lectures at the dinner table, a quick trip to the pediatrician for labs and an EKG, and that was about it. Over the next year, I fumbled through "refeeding" myself, gained back up to a healthy weight, and promptly dropped into one of the lowest depressions I've ever experienced.
I've gone back over that year a million times in my head. What if I'd piped up during one of those lectures at dinner and said "I HEAR WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, MOM, BUT IT'S NOT WORKING AND I'M NOT OKAY." What if someone had admitted that it was gotten out of my hands, out of my parents' hands, and that we needed help? What if I'd gone to inpatient and gained weight on a proper, structured meal plan rather than the weird, chaotic, completely disordered way I did it myself? What if I'd addressed the issues for real back then, rather than muddling through the next six years in a fog of subclinical disordered eating patterns, ritualized overexercise, and intense weight-centric self-loathing? What if I'd actually been treated for the anorexia and depression, rather than being left to believe that there was something fundamentally, horribly wrong with me? What if?
I'm not blaming anyone, and I'm not bitter. I'm just sad. Sometimes I want to go back and do it all over—do it right this time. To let my body develop the way it was supposed to, rather than manipulating and abusing it until the poor thing didn't know which was up. I wonder what I'd be like, whether I'd be healthy and happy and normal. I wonder how much I'd weigh. Just kidding! Mostly I just want to go back and give my old self a hug.