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TOPIC TITLE: Kosher Eating Disorders Programs
Created On 4/24/06 6:40 PM
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OyVey
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4/24/06 6:40 PM
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Dr. Price.
Please help. I have been Bulimic for over 9 years and have been hospitalized twice in the last two. Now my treatment team, consisting of a psychiatrist, nutritional therapist and clinical social worker all specializing in eating disorders want me to go into a residential treatment facility during the summer. During my past hospitalizations I relied on kulos and hetarim I was given regarding kashrus - plus the facility I was at accomodated me in whatever ways they could so that I could keep a relatively kosher meal plan (ish). However is thinking of doing residential treatment I can not tolerate the thought of relying on kulos or hetairim or Chas V'shalom eating non-kosher food for such an extemded period of time. THe psychological ramifications, I am sure you can understand, would make my eating even more difficult than it will already be. And so I was wondering what your thaughts are on this and if you know of any kosher eating disorder residential facilities. I know that this is of course an illness that our community does not like to deal with - but I am have been "caught" and now Ihave no choice.


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Hakol B'ydai Shamayim Chutz M'yiras Shamayim
 
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Dr. Price MD
Psychiatrist

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4/24/06 10:00 PM
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It is hard to believe that in this day and age with all those specialists working on you and with the overabundance of catered kosher food services available to deliver food literally around the world that no one can work out a special kosher meal plan for you. It would seem like a easy way out of the residential option to play the "kosher card." Honestly, kosher food aside, do you really want to attend the program or not? If not, just say so. Express your true feelings- very important in overcoming eating concerns. If yes, where there's a will, there's surely a jewish way today. Contact any major kosher caterer and have them coordinate a plan with your nutritionist who can liaison with the program.

Rabbi Price, M.D.
 
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Admin
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4/25/06 4:15 PM
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Hi,

You might want to look into www.kosher.com. Maybe Relief might have some suggestions, contact them at 718-431-9501.

Admin
 
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ernie55B
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4/26/06 7:19 AM
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Hello Rabbi Price,

Your answer to OyVey was exactly what went through my mind. Looking for a way out of treatment.
This resonates within me- being honest with myself, do I want to get better?
Right now, I cannot honestly say yes.
I see anorexia as a passive suicide (with a 5 to 20% mortality rate), and I don't want to give that up so easily.
I am working hard on my depression which is the source of the anorexia, because I hate feeling that being alive is so painful.
I have had a day here and there where I felt like life is worth living, but they have been so few and far between that it is hard to imagine ever living a normal life.
By normal I mean a life where at least 50% of it feels like it is worthwhile.
Right now I would put the numbers at 99% not worth it- 1% (possibly) worth it.

Ernie
 
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OyVey
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4/26/06 5:14 PM
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Rabbi Price,
I can appreciate you perspective and understand why you might think that I am trying to avoid residential treatment. Without knowing me personally, I would probably take your position as well given the fact that many patients with eating disorders look for any and all excuses to avoid treatment and seek every opportunity to sabotage their recovery. (I myself have been know to do the very same many times during this bumpy road I have been traveling). However, in my particular situation I have come to a crossroads where I feel like this might be my last chance, and if I don't find the correct treatment now, I just can't imagine when I will. I am looking for a place where I can find kosher food because using kulos and hetarim have MANY psychological ramifications, and yes, I can have food catered in I am sure, however that will further isolate me from my group surroundings and fellow patients and from the program itself which, I am sure you would also agree, is a large part of the therapeutic process. I feel very saddened by the fact that we as a frum community have yet to broach the entire issue of eating disorders within our own "homes". We have finally grown to a point where we can admit that a man who drinks too much is not merely a guy who “enjoys a little Kiddush” but is an alcoholic. Yet we still insist that a girl who is rail thin is just making sure that she is going to get a good shidduch. The fact that there is no place for frum girls like me to go where I will not have to be an outsider and will not have to “break the rules” in order to recover is a shandeh…especially since I know for a fact that I am not alone. I am sure that it is no coincidence that in a treatment facility of 14 beds my last roommate was a Shaineh Chasidesheh Maidel. Pretty weird odds wouldn’t you say? And so no Rabbi, I am not looking to avoid treatment, I looking for my best odds at finding treatment that will work.


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Hakol B'ydai Shamayim Chutz M'yiras Shamayim
 
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ernie55B
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4/26/06 6:42 PM
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OyVey,

I apologize for mixing in and implying that you are not being sincere.
I wish you a refuah shelaymah.

You are correct about the frum community not doing enough, but they ARE doing something. My kids go to a (very frum) Yeshiva,
where they recently had a speaker about the dangers of ED.

Ernie
 
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Dr. Price MD
Psychiatrist

Posts: 1946
Joined: Jan 2006

4/26/06 10:47 PM
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I appreciate your sincere desire to get well. As was mentioned, you can try contacting Relief (a frum referral agency) at (718) 431-9501. Also Nefesh (The international organization of frum mental health professionals) at (201) 862-0661. Inquire about kosher programs both in the U.S. and in Israel. Perhaps, you are correct, that no such program exists. But I wouldn't rule it out until checking with Relief and Nefesh. And if no such program exists, then when you recover, you and many others will join to together and start the first program. You are correct that this is a pervasive problem in the frum community and it should not be too difficult to start the first program. Let me know how you make out.

Rabbi Price, M.D.
 
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OyVey
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4/27/06 8:10 PM
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Thank you Rabbi, I have already contacted Nefesh, but I did not know about Relief. Hopefully I will hear back from them soon. If they do not have any information for me then I will certainly contact Relief. Thank you so much for this information. At the very least it is mighty clear that there is a great need for more Shomer Shabbos and Shomer Kashrus programs to treat Eating Disorders out there, and maybe I can use this to help me fight my own battle. Maybe you are right. Maybe that should be one of my own personal goals...to fight and win, so that I can start my own program that can help other frum girls fight and win as well. One minute at a time I guess.


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Hakol B'ydai Shamayim Chutz M'yiras Shamayim
 
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