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Mother Kills Self, Three of Her Children; Women and Eating Disorders
Aired April 13, 2011 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: All right. Now, here we go.
Yet again, we`re hearing about a mother who has killed her own children. I want to know how does this happen, and why?
Then, teen star Demi Lovato admits to an eating disorder. What`s up with women and food? Candace Cameron Bure, D.J. from "Full House," is with us. She overcame bulimia.
Plus, we`ll talk with women who chase money, power and fame, why they love professional athletes.
And I`m answering your questions. I`ll be on call.
Let`s get started.
I want to say this as clearly as I can. It`s not as though mothers killing their children is some kind of a trend. It`s about mental illness, which we`re going to discuss after you watch this.
PINSKY (voice-over): Shocking news out of New York -- horror on the Hudson. A mother plunges her minivan into the river, killing herself and three of her children. It`s not the first time. We see tragic stories like this over and over -- Susan Smith, Andrea Yates, and more, all mothers who killed their kids.
Enough. I need you to understand how this happens. What can possibly make a mother kill her children?
PINSKY: I`m really hoping we have a conversation here that is of an order that you just aren`t going to get anywhere else on television, because people are asking, why, why, why? And nobody is really answering that question.
So, joining me are Dr. John Sharp -- he`s a psychiatrist on the faculty at Harvard Medical School -- and Stacy Kaiser. She is a psychotherapist and a mom, so she`s going to give us some insight.
CNN`s Deborah Fayerick is in Newburgh, New York, with the latest.
Deb, tell us, what`s going on there?
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Dr. Drew, we can tell you this was a 25-year-old mother of four children, the youngest being 5, 2, and 11 months old. We spoke to a number of neighbors. They say this was completely out of character, that she was very quiet, always very attentive and loving towards the children.
She was very polite, sort of kept to herself. Never sort of reached out to members of the community. But there had been a tragedy recently, a little girl across the street dying in a fire, and she donated money for a fundraiser. So, still very active, very aware of what was going on.
We`re getting some clues from the daycare center. Apparently, the mother had taken the father off the pickup list to get the children when they were done for the day. She said that she was filing some sort of court order against him.
We`re also learning, apparently, that yesterday, she picked her children up early from that daycare center, and the landlord who we spoke to said he had been called twice to change the locks on the apartment in the last six months. So, clearly, something was up.
Police were called to the home because of some sort of domestic dispute at about the same time that this tragedy was unfolding. When they got to the apartment, it was empty. But moments later, the 10-year-old boy showed up at a firehouse saying that his mom had driven the family`s minivan into the Hudson River with the three children. Somehow, he managed to get out of that car, swim to shore, and a passerby saw him, took him to that fire station.
PINSKY: Deb, thank you so, so much.
What a tragic story, and yet a story of survival and resilience.
This one young boy, 10 years old, finding his way out of a car under water, making his way to a fire station, getting the help of passersby. It`s just an unbelievable story.
But I want to focus on this mom. People can`t understand, can`t get their head around how it`s possible that this could happen.
Dr. Sharp, you`re a psychiatrist. This is mental illness, is it not?
JOHN SHARP, M.D., PSYCHIATRIST: Very much so. I mean, the fact that people can`t relate normally to what`s happening shows you that this is not a normal thing that`s happening. I mean, this is really psychosis, or severe drug abuse, something like that.
PINSKY: Well, let`s define for people what psychosis is. How would somebody know if somebody is psychotic, and what is a psychosis?
SHARP: Well, a psychosis is really when you snap and you`re out of touch with reality, where reason doesn`t normally apply. And in her case, maybe we were seeing some signs of that by her withdrawal.
She was under a lot of stress, apparently, and she didn`t seem normal. She wasn`t writing on the walls in blood, she wasn`t doing things that would make you cry out for help out instantly, but there were subtle signs. And I think when we see that, we have to take it very seriously.
PINSKY: And what are the conditions that can lead to psychosis? So it would be depression.
SHARP: Depression, whether it`s unipolar --
PINSKY: Or bipolar.
SHARP: -- or bipolar.
PINSKY: Postpartum depression or psychosis, right? Some of these stories we alluded to were women who were sort of postpartum in that first year and became psychotic and depressed and killed their children.
SHARP: Absolutely true. Postpartum psychosis, by the way, usually occurs in the first few weeks or months. It`s a psychiatric emergency. You think your kid is the devil or something, and you just go crazy.
In her case, it may have been an unfolding psychosis that developed as a result of maybe all the depression and stress that she was going through.
PINSKY: Here is a little video clip of what neighbors had to say about this tragedy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She didn`t really talk much. She was very quiet. But, I mean, she didn`t bother anybody.
She`d sit outside, and nothing that we would expect of this. I would never have expected her to do something like this, especially to her kids.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: And this is what we always hear when the neighbors are interviewed, when someone`s kid picks up an AK-47, or the mom goes and kills their kids.
Part of it is because when you`re in a normal state, Stacy, we can`t get our heads around this. You`re a mom. What do we do with this? How do we help people understand it? How do we get our heads around it?
STACY KAISER, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: You know, I think it`s very true that this is one of those unique situations very much like you`re both talking about. And what I always say across the board, whether there`s mental illness or not, is when a mother suffers, the children suffer.
And so what I`m seeing here is a lot of suffering. And because these neighbors didn`t know anything, and people around her don`t seem to know what`s going on, it makes me think that she isn`t reaching out to people, she doesn`t have a good support system. And whatever is going on is apparent. When something is going on in your life, you need to lean on your support system and get help.
PINSKY: Are there signs that people can look for -- I`m asking this of either of you -- that someone could know trouble is coming?
KAISER: Absolutely. What you`re looking for is a change in their normal behaviors. You`re looking for an adjustment in their activities. Here is a woman who suddenly started telling the school that their father couldn`t pick the child up, that -- a person who`s withdrawing, a person who isn`t communicating with people like they used to.
PINSKY: And yet, though, we couldn`t have gone from those kinds of clues to saying, oh, my gosh, be careful, she`s going to drive her minivan into the river.
SHARP: Right, but we could have asked her how she`s doing. We could have said, you know, we`re seeing some subtle signs in your behavior, tell me more about what`s going on.
You can try to sleuth out by asking very basic questions what someone`s mental status is. And if it`s not jiving with what you would expect it to be, then you can point them in the direction of help.
PINSKY: And I think that`s the next thing for people at home, which is, how do you know when it`s time to call a doctor? How do you know when it`s time to call the police? And this is sort of -- it probably applies to most mental health kinds of circumstances.
When do you call the doctor?
SHARP: You know, we give people so many rights in this country, you know, as a parent, as an individual, and we try to say, let them work out their own concerns. But I think as health care professionals, as friends and neighbors, we really have a responsibility to act on our feelings. So if you feel like something is just not right, ask someone or have them go for help, or if need be, call 911, have a protective call, a safety call, be made.
PINSKY: So people are very reluctant to do that. Stacy, they sort of stay out of other people`s businesses. They don`t want to tell people how they should parent or live their life.
KAISER: Absolutely. You know, in some ways we`re all looky-loos. Everybody`s willing to rubberneck when there`s an accident on the freeway. But when we really see something serious going on, we don`t want to get involved.
And what you can always encourage a person to do is talk to their doctor. A lot of times they feel safer, and the doctor is going to tell that person, you know what? You need to call the police, you need to go to a hospital.
PINSKY: I feel so crazed though when I`m on this program saying, well, ask your doctor, ask your doctor.
SHARP: They can call you.
PINSKY: Well, that`s what they end up doing, because the health care system here is so inadequate, that many people certainly don`t have primary care. They go to urgent care systems and they get milled through. There isn`t what we imagine to be good health care available for so many people in this country.
But let`s try to outline for people, when do they call the cops? I mean, when should just in a brief -- like three things that, absolutely, you should be calling the police for, Dr. Sharp?
SHARP: Danger to life is the most important thing.
PINSKY: So, I`m going to hurt myself.
SHARP: Absolutely, or I`m going to hurt somebody else.
PINSKY: But people go, oh, they`re just crying for help, they`re just acting out again. Don`t assume anything. Call the cops.
SHARP: I think that`s right.
SHARP: You can say, you know what? Based on what you told me, I have got no choice but to make sure that your safety is ensured.
PINSKY: Hurt somebody else?
SHARP: Hurt someone else, for sure. And the third thing would be if they really sound to be of touch with reality. So, if someone is saying crazy things in your estimation, that`s another reason.
PINSKY: So, I`m hearing voices, I`m going to hurt somebody.
SHARP: I`m seeing things. I`m getting messages from the TV. I feel like my child is the devil.
PINSKY: The FBI is looking after me. The government --
SHARP: I feel hopeless. I have got no choice at all but to die or to hurt somebody.
KAISER: And I just want to throw in here what a lot of us bystanders or support system people do, is we underestimate things. We second-guess ourselves. If it didn`t sound right, it may not be right, and it`s worth a phone call.
PINSKY: Ask for help.
PINSKY: When we come back -- thank you, guys. I appreciate it.
Actress Demi Lovato is in the news for an eating disorder. It`s not about the food.
And later, I`ll be taking your questions and calls.
We`ll be right back.
PINSKY (voice-over): Today, teen Disney star Demi Lovato reveals a secret. She admits she has been battling with a chronic illness and eating disorder. She`s had this her entire life, and it continues.
The 18-year-old actress went from being on top of the world, starring in her own Disney TV show and touring with the Jonas brothers, to shocking her fans by checking into treatment for "emotional and physical issues." There were rumors that Demi punched a backup dancer, was a teen cutter, and partying.
Lovato never discussed why she checked into treatment until now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEMI LOVATO, ACTRESS: The journey that I have been on has been very, very difficult over the past few months. I was dealing with issues that I know not only girls just my age but of all ages are dealing with. People that are probably watching this video right now are dealing with the issues that I had too.
And I hope to one day raise awareness of everything so that I can help people, too, just like you guys helped me through this rough time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Very, very good.
My guest today, Candace Cameron Bure, she can relate. She was a teen actress on the hit show "Full House." She recently revealed her struggles with bulimia in her new book, "Reshaping it All." There it is.
Also, HLN`s "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT" host Brooke Anderson joins us.
So, Brooke, let`s start with Demo. What is she saying tonight?
BROOKE ANDERSON, HOST, "SHOWBIZ TONIGHT": Well, she basically, like she said in the video, she wants to help other people. She completed a 90- day in-patient treatment program. She entered early November, stopped her international tour. She was going to be on a big tour with the Jonas brothers, and everybody was very concerned about her.
And now she`s saying that she`s not ashamed. She`s talking about having an eating disorder. She`s kind of risen above it now.
She is still battling it, of course, and still has challenges, but she wants to help other people. And she said that her parents staged an intervention.
Her manager helped stage an intervention and they said, listen, Demi, you have got to back away from all of this. This is too much. You`ve got to get yourself some help. Take a break.
And she said she really wanted to fight her inner demons, and that now she is at peace. And her new life motto, Dr. Drew, is "Do what makes you happy." And she`s a contributing editor for "Seventeen" magazine, and that`s where she has been very candid, just wants to be an advocate.
PINSKY: That`s fantastic, by the way. And I know a lot of people in recovery from various mental health issues find great, great solace and great meaning in being of service. Service is sometimes the way out.
But let me try to dissect a little bit what happened here, because people first said she was in rehab. That, by the way, is a term that no longer has any meaning. It originally meant chemical treatment, rehab. Clearly, not an addict. At least we don`t think she`s an addict.
ANDERSON: Right. They said not for drugs.
PINSKY: OK. All right. And she admits to an eating disorder and cutting. Is that correct?
ANDERSON: Well, she`s going to be doing an interview with ABC that will air soon where she addresses the cutting, yes.
PINSKY: She`ll get into it. OK.
Now, cutting and eating disorders go together very commonly. I sort of call them a primitive bid for emotional regulation. They are trying to feel better.
But she went to a 90-day program. Now, was that a psychiatric hospital? Was that a purely eating disorder program?
I mean, it sounds like it was a psychiatric hospital kind of treatment program. So she really had very severe psychiatric problems.
Even if it was, say, a residential eating disorder program, the fact that it was a 90-day program suggests that things were really, really rough. And you can see in that tape that she is so much better. It`s like a relief to see her. So, the good news is she seems to be responding.
Now, Candace, you have been through some of this stuff, right? You had an eating disorder. You talk about it in "Reshaping it All."
Can you tell us a little bit about your story?
CANDACE CAMERON BURE, ACTRESS: Sure. Well, probably like Demi, mine didn`t have anything to do with Hollywood --
PINSKY: The business.
BURE: -- the business, or Hollywood, you know, expectations of being pin-thin. Mine came from all emotional issues.
And when I was older, I was newly married, living in a new city, and had a very different life from what I had growing up being on television, and now found myself being a hockey wife and not having friends and family around. And so I started running to food for comfort, to just fill that void of loneliness at times when my husband was on the road, but not wanting to get fat, and feeling terrible about the amount of food I would consume just to make me feel better at that time. I started the cycle of binging and purging.
PINSKY: So bulimia was your condition. Bulimia.
PINSKY: There are a couple of important points you make. And I have heard this over and again from child stars throughout Hollywood who are adults now.
They always say to me, it really wasn`t being on TV that was the problem. It was what was going on at home. They didn`t have adequate whatever it was, or there was sometimes overt abuse, like Danny Bonaduce talks about. And it was those issues, not being on TV, that more than anything else, led to the issues.
BURE: Absolutely, 100 percent. I had a great experience on television.
PINSKY: And then you said another thing, which was it`s filling a void. Can you talk to people about that? Because when I say it`s a bid for emotional regulation, that sounds like a pretty fancy kind of term, right? And really, what I`m saying is that people just need to feel better.
And you were saying there was an emptiness you were trying to feel. Tell people about that.
BURE: Right. There was an emptiness, like I said, of not having the same life that I was used to, even though for me, it was good. I was excited about the new venture I was on, being married. But I just -- I was lonely a lot. And I just ran to food for comfort.
What changed my life was realizing that I needed to run to God for comfort.
PINSKY: So you found a spiritual solution.
PINSKY: Before we go to the solution, how bad did it get?
BURE: I mean, it got to the point where it was like a natural reflex. I wouldn`t even overeat, and then I would still want to go to the bathroom and --
PINSKY: Just the vomiting.
PINSKY: So you would regurgitate wherever you ate.
BURE: It sounds so disgusting.
PINSKY: I`m a doctor. It`s all right.
Listen, I have actually seen bulimics who would swallow belts and pull the belts out as a way of triggering. I`ve seen things. Your thing is not disturbing to me at all. It`s a very common thing. And really, we should talk about it very frankly.
And this is what happens. You start having spontaneous vomiting after every time you eat, because the reflex is triggered every time.
Brooke, do you come across people in the business with these sorts of eating disorders?
ANDERSON: Oh, yes. Absolutely.
And I see people often who are painfully thin, and you know that there`s something to be concerned about, and that that person has to be troubled in some way, shape or form. But, you know --
PINSKY: But it`s stressful. I mean, you`re in the public eye here all the time, too.
ANDERSON: Not to the same degree. It`s different, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: You don`t feel it?
ANDERSON: No, I don`t feel it. I like to be healthy. I don`t feel that sort of relentless pressure that maybe Demi Lovato felt, because, you know, she is only 18 years old. And being a child star, it can be wonderful. But for her, you know, it could also be brutal.
And Disney stars, we know they have to sing for their supper -- TV, movie, clothing line, record deal. They are expected to always shine. And I think at times, you know, people can break. I`m just glad that she took the time out and got the help that she needed.
PINSKY: Candace, do you think these teen stars today, younger, more expected? Is there more on them?
BURE: Oh, absolutely. Definitely from when I was on of television.
I was talking about it. You know, when I used to go on a TV appearance, I would go with my mom at 13 years old, and we`d go to Macy`s and I`d go shop for a new outfit. And I look at the stars now that, they are pressured to not only be able to act and sing and have these other outlets of their line, but they have to look great all the time and have these stylists.
The pressure that the media puts on with your public image and the way your makeup is done and the designer labels that you wear, is just nothing I knew anything about when I was a teenager.
PINSKY: We have a minute left, Candace. I want you to tell us about the solution. Spiritual solution for you?
BURE: Spiritual solution.
PINSKY: And service. How about service as well just like Demi? Do you help other people?
BURE: Well, absolutely. And that`s why I shared it in the book.
My book is not a tell-all memoir, but I had to reveal that to then make the solution understandable to the reader. And for me, it was very spiritual.
It was having my connection with God and realizing that, you know, I`m beautiful inside and out. And I have to know that I`m accountable to him at the end of the day, and find my value and my worth in his eyes, and not everyone else`s.
PINSKY: I want to point out that very often, when it comes to change, spiritual solutions are very, very helpful. They usually are not the whole story.
There are many other things you have to do also in terms of consulting with doctors and following direction, and building a supportive network, which I`m sure you done. But spirituality is very, very important.
Now, later, athletes and the women who love them. A self-proclaimed jersey chaser is here.
And when we come back, Candace is going to stay with me, and she and I will answer your questions about eating disorders. Reach out to us now at CNN.com/DrDrew.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LOVATO: The journey that I have been on has been very, very difficult over the past few months. I was dealing with issues that I know not only girls just my age, but of all ages are dealing with. People that are probably watching this video right now are dealing with the issues that I had to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "FULL HOUSE")
BURE: I`m going to Kimmy`s for dinner.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t believe her, dad.
BURE: Steph, you pinky swore.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t care. I don`t want you to get sick.
I know why D.J. is acting so cranky and why she got dizzy today. She hasn`t eaten anything in three days.
(END VIDEO CLIP, "FULL HOUSE")
PINSKY: Candace Cameron Bure`s character on "Full House" struggled with food issues, and so did she. And she`s going to help me address your questions.
Having to deal Saget was probably enough to give anybody issues as it were.
We`re going to start out with a Twitter question. Let`s see. I`ve got my fancy toy here. You see it behind me. And there is Twitter coming up.
This is Christine. And she asks, "How do you deal with the challenge of eating healthy at each meal?" And then the card I`ve got here, she said in parenthesis, "Not giving into the disorder."
Your book addresses it, does it not?
BURE: My book addresses it a lot. There are definitely very practical tips and advice in there, as well as recipes. But you have to learn how to eat properly and eat healthy, so that might have to come from a nutritionist or a trainer that is knowledgeable about that.
But when you get on the right track and you start learning what foods your body responds well to, and you start feeling healthy, you`ll want to start eating those foods. You couldn`t pay me to eat fast food, because I know how it makes me feel.
PINSKY: Right. And I would say -- did you work with somebody when you first recovered, a nutritionist or a dietician?
BURE: No. I had had proper training in my teen years. I knew how to eat properly. I just got back on track.
PINSKY: I want to tell people out there, if they have access to a dietician, I almost always refer eating disorders to a dietician, because they can be -- sometimes that`s all you need to do, is get a good coach in there who knows what they`re doing. That sometimes is enough.
PINSKY: OK. We`ve got a call now from Judy in Missouri.
Judy, how are you doing there? What`s up?
JUDY, MISSOURI: I`m good. Hi, Candace and Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hey there.
JUDY: I have used food as a coping mechanism my entire life for every emotion, including boredness. Food is my drug of choice.
Do you really believe in your heart of hearts there is a cure for eating disorders?
PINSKY: Oh, that`s a good -- that question had multiple layers. I`ll leave it to you first.
BURE: I absolutely do, because I was the queen of emotional eating. And some of the tricks I used to -- it`s to decide, why am I eating at this moment? Am I angry? Am I cranky? Am I tired?
And you ask yourself those questions. And then you have to find different resources to go to instead of turning to the food. And one helpful thing is to not have that food in your house.
PINSKY: It`s like keeping a safe home if you`re an addict. No alcohol in the house.
PINSKY: Yes. Very smart.
BURE: So don`t keep those types of things, but have other activities. Maybe you need to go for a walk. Maybe you can pick up a book.
PINSKY: So, exercise, reading, self-nourishing.
PINSKY: Other people having good relationships is a key, key, key thing. I emphasize this on the show all the time, having people you feel deeply connected to, who you know have your back.
BURE: Absolutely. I am an accountability partner with one of my girlfriends that struggles. My husband is my accountability partner. So I know when, you know, things come up, if I`m having a bad day, I go to him, and he just -- he helps me motivate me and stay on the right track.
PINSKY: And to just to finish, can eating disorders be cured, I think we`re talking about two different things. One is an eating disorder, which is a chronic illness, needs chronic management, and food issues, which so many -- I know I have this, too, and I think that`s what Candace is addressing, when you use food as an emotional regulator. There are solutions.
When we come back, were going to have a guest who is struggling with bulimia in a very public way.
And later, women who are attracted to professional athletes. What is up with that?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAMILLE RANKIN, BATTLING BULIMIA: I feel like if I don`t get the help that I need, and if I don`t change now, then I might end up doing something really stupid. To just not exist in the world anymore.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: That was from the Oprah Winfrey Network. And I am back with Candace Cameron Bure. We are talking about eating disorders. And joining us as well, Camille Rankin, who you just saw. Her issues with food are being documented on TV in a show called "Addicted to Food" on OWN. Camille, welcome to the show. We don`t know you yet, so I`m going to get your story all out here. How old were you when you first started having issues with food?
RANKIN: Well, I can remember as far back as nine years old, I had a baby sitting job, and I remember, at that point, I was still struggling with body image. And I remember going to a grocery store and getting some ipecac at that point and thinking, and for some reason, I got the idea that that might help facilitate some weight loss. And then, surprisingly, I was kind of unaware for several years, and it didn`t really come back up until my early 20s.
PINSKY: How bad did it get?
RANKIN: It got pretty bad. It got pretty bad. I -- you know, during the show, they asked me to look at if I might be anorexic. And at the time, it really wasn`t something that I was willing to look at. And I definitely have anorexic tendencies for sure, but it was at the point where I really felt like if I didn`t get help at this point in my life, that the eating disorder just compounds my depression, and it goes in this vicious cycle, and I got to the point where I was just really pretty suicidal.
PINSKY: I think people have a concept of eating disorders that they`re either one or the other. It`s either bulimia, which is binging and then purging or anorexia, where people starve themselves, but they tend to go kind of together. And they tend to also be associated with trauma. Did you have trauma growing up?
RANKIN: I did. yes. I had a lot of trauma growing up. I mean, I definitely came from a very dysfunctional household and had a separate family of choice that I would go to, to help me feel safe. And, I mean, I think that a lot of people reveal during the show that they can pinpoint it back to something that`s happened in their lives that was really difficult.
PINSKY: Candace, did you have trauma in your childhood?
CANDACE CAMERON BURE, AUTHOR, "RESHAPING IT ALL": I didn`t have trauma. I was thinking about it. I didn`t even know what bulimia was until I was about 17 or 18, and it was because I saw someone talking about it. And I thought, well, what is that? And that first time, I got so stuffed and full, I went, hey, I could try that. And that`s what prompted it.
PINSKY: Which is interesting, as though, it`s a contagious sort of, which just like cutting and eating disorders, there is a contagion to this stuff. How many medical problems or what sort of medical problems did you get into, Camille?
RANKIN: Well, mostly, for me, I had huge issues with laxative abuse, and that`s my form of purging, and that`s how I was classified and qualified as a bulimic. And just abused a massive amount for a really long time, and then, I also would get prescription strength diet pills and go long periods of time without eating. So, it really ate away a lot of my muscle mass, and towards the end, I was pretty emaciated, low energy, and just having the really sluggish colon and being uncomfortable and not being able to go to the bathroom.
And just having a dependency on the laxatives to even function normally was just something that I didn`t think of at the time. It was just my disorder getting in the way.
PINSKY: If people want to any how bad it can get, because again, as a physician, I get to see these things. So, anyone contemplating or currently using laxatives. Two things I have seen. Well, three things, really. One, it puts a tremendous stress on your kidneys. And when you stop, you swell up like a balloon, right? Camille, did you ever go through that? You swelled up your body. Your legs swelled up. Of course, it happens.
The other thing is your colon stops functioning. I`ve had patients where we actually had to remove their colon. It was so damaged, so dysfunctional by the chronic laxative abuse. And it affects your electrolytes. Any of these eating disorders can affect your heart. There can be sudden death, bone thinning called osteoporosis, premature ovarian failure. So, if you`re interested in fertility, you can lose that capacity.
There are many myriad of medical complications that are severe. So, I just want to point out, people out there, this is not a minor league issue. Now, let`s talk about solution. Candace, you found it in a spiritual solution, and you had a moment of change. And this is something I`m terribly, terribly interested in, which is that most people that have a behavior that they lose control over, when they finally are able to change can usually point at a moment and go, point there was a moment there when I changed direction, and often, it`s a very spiritual moment.
BURE: Well, I kind of had two moments. I was in this eating disorder for about two years until I got caught red-handed, and it was the most humiliating experience of my life. And so, by my own self-will, I decided to stop.
PINSKY: That was one bottom.
BURE: That was one bottom. For four to five years. And then, all of a sudden, one day, I did it again, and it -- it was like I got on this train that I couldn`t get off that was going a thousand miles an hour. And I went, what am I doing? What is happening here? And my husband was on the road. And I was at church. And I listened to the pastor`s sermon.
I don`t know what it was about, but whatever struck my heart in the deepest way because of the lie and the shame and the guilt that I`d been carrying around, hiding from my family for so long that I just broke. I absolutely broke. And I went --
PINSKY: Deeply emotional moment for you.
PINSKY: I can see, it still affects you even now. Yes.
BURE: It does, because I don`t talk about it very often.
PINSKY: Yes, it`s good.
BURE: And I went right up to my pastor and I just said, I need help, and I need to talk to someone about this. And exposing it for the first time and just admitting the lie to him was the best thing I could have done.
PINSKY: Let those feelings fill you. They`re OK. Don`t be scared of it. You run away from your feelings. That`s when the eating disorder kicks in.
BURE: Oh, I don`t runaway from my feelings. I`ll cry all day long.
PINSKY: Camille, did you have any sort of moment like that?
RANKIN: Oh, you know, so, I was just listening to Candace`s story, and I just have to commend you for, you know, for your bravery and just making this disease more aware, and it definitely made me very emotional. I`ve really struggled. And I`ve really struggled with maintaining a relationship with my higher power, even having a belief that there is a higher power. And I really, really feel that it is a spiritual solution.
And for me, it`s just every day, waking up, opening up my heart, starting my day, filled with gratitude and recovery. And, of course, there are several other steps as well, but just feeling like I don`t have to do it alone and trusting that there is something outside of myself that can stop the suffering, because you don`t have to suffer. It`s needless.
PINSKY: Now, Camille, you`re using the language of 12-step. Is that the solution for you?
RANKIN: It is for me, yes.
PINSKY: Yes. And so, for many people with eating disorders on a daily basis, can you talk to people -- and I don`t -- you know, again, there`s a tradition around not discussing this too explicitly in media, and we want to honor that. But I wonder if people could -- if you could share with people what it`s like to have a sponsor, and what that relationship is like.
RANKIN: Well, having a sponsor is someone that you can go to that will love you and accept and embrace you unconditionally. It`s also someone like Candace was talking earlier, just having someone to be accountable to. And so, for her, that`s going to her husband. And so for me, it`s calling my sponsor every day, calling in my food plan. That`s my plan of action that I`m working towards, towards my recovery.
That`s how I can take an active part in my recovery. And it`s a relationship unlike any other, because a sponsor is someone that is in recovery themselves, that has had a difficult time, and that has back-to- back abstinence in their own recovery. So, they have the personal background for it. But the knowledge, because they have enough foundation and time rooted in the big book or the 12 steps.
PINSKY: It`s a deeply intimate relationship.
BURE: Can I add that while having an accountability partner is essential, I believe. The biggest accountability partner I have is God alone.
PINSKY: Your higher power. Yes.
BURE: And the word of God.
PINSKY: I understand. And for each person, that higher power concept is a very personal concept. It may be something very simple, it maybe something elaborate, but there seems to be something important in it. But, I would like to say also that, again, it`s the interpersonal experience, that ability to connect with somebody who`s been where you`ve been, not feel shame, feel deeply attuned and understood, that is a tremendously powerful and transformative experience.
And I would say that`s what fills some of the void and probably restores some of your perception of your body image. Camille, we have just a few seconds. Is that true? You feel better about how you look now?
RANKIN: Yes, absolutely. It is just an overall peace and an uplifting. And you couldn`t have said it more beautifully, just with the connecting with another human spirit that helps fill that void so you`re not alone. And it is --
PINSKY: It`s important.
RANKIN: I`m leading a blessed life.
PINSKY: Well, Camille, thank you and thank you for sharing your story. Very courageous. And Candace, this has been really a pleasure. Don`t forget her book, "Reshaping It All." Go get it. Lots of useful pragmatic information in there. And Candace`s new movie, "Truth Be Told" premieres Saturday at 8:00 on Fox.
When we come back, Candace`s co-star on "Make It or Break It" will be here. She`s going to help us figure this out. Why do guys who can hit a baseball or catch a touchdown pass, why are those guys so damn attractive to women? Stay tuned.
PINSKY: Making headlines tonight, an angry ex is slamming her former NFL husband in a new book. It is called "Jock Itch." Author, Rosa Blasi, starred in "CSI: Miami" and "Strong Medicine." I spoke to her about her addiction to dating sports stars earlier. And "Basketball Wives" star, Jennifer Williams, she joined in our conversation. Jennifer is going through a divorce from a former NBA star, Eric Williams. I started out by asking Rosa what happened in her relationship that made her write this book.
ROSA BLASI, AUTHOR, "JOCK ITCH": This, though, was a very eye-opening experience. I thought somehow me having my own career as an actress, and in some cases, making, you know, twice as much money, I was different than other girls. I wasn`t after, you know, the sperm lotto. I was -- I had my own independence.
So, it was a different thing for me that I thought put me in a different playing field. That wasn`t the case. It didn`t matter, you know, in whatever the sport was. And these were long-term relationships. These weren`t, you know, this isn`t --
PINSKY: What were the sports?
BLASI: They were -- well, I was married to a football player, and I was with him for about six years.
PINSKY: He cheated?
BLASI: Ahm, yes.
PINSKY: Like right away, right?
BLASI: Well, I didn`t know he cheated until after we were separated.
PINSKY: But he cheated right away?
BLASI: Well, when I found out he cheated, I found out he won the Olympics of cheating. He cheated on our wedding night.
BLASI: On Valentine`s Day with one of my best friends.
PINSKY: Oh! Oh!
BLASI: I win.
PINSKY: Wow. You do win. And you`re not angry? How is that possible?
BLASI: Because you know what, when you find out something so ridiculous --we`re lack of a very word -- happens, you lose all sense of responsibility. It`s like --
PINSKY: It`s like too much.
BLASI: No amount of therapy -- I mean, even you, even you moving in with us couldn`t have saved that.
PINSKY: No kidding. I`m going to ask Jennifer to tell us her story first, but I want you to think about whether you think low self-esteem is motivating some of that jock-a-holicism. Jennifer, what`s your story?
JENNIFER WILLIAMS, STAR, VH1`S "BASKETBALL WIVES": My story is pretty much I married my husband, soon-to-be ex, about four years ago, and I had no idea what it was like to be with an athlete. It was not something that I pursued. I knew nothing about it. None of my friends had dated an athlete. So, when I started dating him, I was like, oh, OK, this is what this is all about.
It`s definitely, you know, a lot of glitz and glamour, but there are a lot of low times. There are a lot of moments where you`re by yourself. You`re lonely. I was married to a basketball player, so I`m not sure how it works in football, but they have 82 games, 41 on the road. And when they`re on the road, there`s a lot of time for them to interact with groupies and a lot of time for them to get in trouble.
So, my marriage sort of took a downward spiral, and we`re going through a divorce now. So, that`s pretty much my story.
PINSKY: Do you -- when did you discover that he was cheating? I assume that`s what you mean by the downward spiral.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: You know what? I knew early on that there was a lot of cheating. We were together for almost 10 years, and we didn`t get married right away. So, I went through a lot of the cheating, but we weren`t married. Right before we got married, there was an incident where I found out he was cheating. We went to counseling, and I thought, OK, we go to counseling. We`re getting married. He`s going to definitely change for the better. And that just wasn`t the case.
PINSKY: OK. So, let`s just point out that the husbands and boyfriends aren`t here to defend themselves. This is your guys` point of view, and they`re certainly welcome to join me and to defend themselves and their stories, but, let`s just say that, you know, it`s not a stretch to consider that there are some groupies and some potential for acting out amongst professional athletes.
I have treated a lot of them myself. And some of them are reticent about it. Some are like, hey, this is why I do this. What are you supposed to do? This is one of the sort of perks of being in this business. But, who are the women that are running after these guys? You say it`s low self-esteem.
BLASI: Well, I say -- it`d be easy for me to say all these guys were bad. No. I was making the choices. It`s up to me to take responsibility for somewhere along there. I was making questionable choices. I`m guessing due to low self-esteem, but I`m also going to say something that surprises a lot of people. They think I`m here to bash men and bash sports, I`m not. And here`s why. It`s almost not their fault.
There`s a sense of entitlement that started when they were -- you know, when they`re having a heck of a T-ball game, and that fury just, you know, that passion and that attention just ignites as they become --
PINSKY: Rose, I have tons and tons of passion. I still manage to keep myself faithful to my wife. I worry about my family. I would never do that them.
BLASI: I understand.
PINSKY: I would not do that. Jennifer --
BLASI: But I don`t know a lot of pro-athletes who can say the same thing.
PINSKY: Well, let me just tell you, Jennifer, I`m going to speak to basketball a second because I had a conversation with Dennis Rodman where he said to me -- I was treating him. He was another "Celebrity Rehab" boy (ph). I love Dennis, actually. And he was a difficult patient, mind you, but he said, doctor, you got to get used to something. Here`s how the world works. There`s God, and then there`s professional athletes. And I thought, wow. This is going to be a long ride. So --
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: He puts himself on a high pedestal.
BLASI: Yes. Narcissistic is not just a flower.
PINSKY: Well, but should we be giving these guys a pass, Jennifer, for taking, you know, plucking the low-hanging fruits, so to speak.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: No, definitely not. I don`t feel like because you put a ball in the basket that you get a pass. A lot of times, these guys, their egos are just out of this world. And they have been put on a pedestal by their families, by people that they work with. So, they do feel a sensitive entitlement, and they sort of feel invincible like they can do anything.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: But that is definitely not the case. But I think, just from the people that they work around and from being around people that are always praising them, that causes a lot of problems.
PINSKY: And also a lot of athletes don`t come from the healthiest homes. Sometimes, athletics is their way out. It`s their way of sort of dealing with coming from a not so great home environment, and it`s their salvation. And so, they may not know how to have real relationships.
BLASI: Yes, but you don`t find that problem on like the East Berlin Diving team or the, you know, Bolshoi Ballet.
PINSKY: Is that where you`re going next?
PINSKY: It was just chasing over there.
BLASI: I`m hitting on you.
PINSKY: Jennifer, what`s that?
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: I think a lot of times these guys come from broken homes. I definitely see that a lot. And basketball -- and they don`t have a good example of what a family unit is supposed to be like. A lot of times they come from single-parent homes, and they don`t see what it`s like to -- what a good marriage is really like, so they don`t have a good example. So, I think that plays a huge part in it, as well.
PINSKY: And then some of them flip into bona fide sex addiction. I`ve treated a number of them. They do. Whoa, Jennifer. What`s the matter? You cringed. Why?
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: No. I mean, I just feel like that is definitely very prevalent in basketball. Again, I`m just speaking for basketball because I don`t know what it`s like for football and baseball. But I`ve been on the road with some of these guys, and I see chicks come to the hotel. And I`m just like, but your wife is at home. You have a really good woman. Why are you doing this? So, it has to be some sort of addiction. And it`s really just eye opening.
BLASI: You know that.
PINSKY: Well, it can be.
BLASI: No, is it? What is the line between addiction -- when I think of sex addiction, I think of people spending like 12 hours on the internet.
PINSKY: Yes. Then, it`s obvious.
BLASI: But it`s like, is it sex addiction or is it just there`s a special wing for people who got caught?
PINSKY: Well, getting caught with any substance or behavior that leads to treatment, people then go, well, it`s not really an addiction, but whether you`re a cocaine addict or a sex addict, it`s often the family or the law or some consequence that brings people to treatment, I`ll remind. I want to also remind people that we reached out to both Rosa`s ex-husband and Jennifer`s estranged husbands and received no response from either.
So, when we come back, Rosa says she thinks sex addiction is a huge reason why athletes cheat. And I`ll tell you what I think about that, next.
JOY BEHAR, HOST: Hi, Drew. Tonight, I`m going to talk with Toni Braxton about her bankruptcy, surgeries, illnesses. She`s had a lot of trouble, so make sure you watch.
PINSKY: We are talking with actress and author Rosa Blasi, author of "Jock Itch." Jennifer Williams is also joining us. She just announced this week she is separated from former NBA star, Eric Williams. Both Eric and Jennifer starred in the reality TV series "Basketball Wives."
ERIC WILLIAMS, FORMER NBA STAR: Sometimes, you make mistakes. I`m not perfect. You know, nobody is.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: No, you certainly aren`t.
ERIC WILLIAMS: You`re right. I can mention my faults, yes. I messed up, you know? I did some things in the past that I`m not proud of.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Jennifer, how did it feel to go through that on camera?
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: It was definitely difficult to go through that on camera, because I was going through such a real situation. And for it to be filmed and for me to have to watch it months later, it was very difficult. But, somehow, I got through it, and I`m in a happy place right now. So, I`m living with no regrets.
PINSKY: Good. Let me pick up what I was going to say about sex addiction. Sex addiction, when it`s obvious, is when they lose control. When a behavior that is supposed to give them joy and satisfaction suddenly starts causing misery and shame, and they can`t stop. It`s the can`t -- one wishing to stop and not being able to stop.
Now, before they get to the point that they lose control, they start having consequences. Like any addiction, people go, oh, if they hadn`t gotten caught, Rosa you said, what it is about getting caught? Well, that`s true of any addiction. Who brings people to treatment for cocaine addiction or marijuana addiction or alcoholism?
Their family, the law, the court, people that are craved (ph) in the consequences for these chemical addictions. The same is true for sex addiction. And the sex addict doesn`t want to identify it. They`re supported for it. They like it.
They`re reinforced. And they really have to lose control before they`re willing to come to treatment, usually. So, it`s a construct. It`s a way of thinking about this thing that can help people who want to change. The problem is these guys don`t want to change.
BLASI: And I say show me any man with sick amounts of money and power, and I`ll show you a man playing musical vaginas.
PINSKY: Let me ask the question again. If it`s musical vaginas, why have a marriage?
BLASI: That is the greatest question -- that`s the million dollar question. I don`t know --
PINSKY: I don`t know that about these guys. What did your husband say?
BLASI: I think it`s entitlement goggles. I think entitlement goggles are far more dangerous than any beer goggles.
PINSKY: So, they`re entitled to a stable intimacy and a marriage and the --
BLASI: Yes, they think they are because they`re like --
BLASI: Like you were describing Dennis Rodman described God, them.
PINSKY: Jennifer, you agree with this?
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: I think so. I think they just want to have their cake and eat it too, to know that they have that girl there that`s going to be their wife, that`s down with them for whatever, but then, they can just run and play around. So, I think they just want to have their cake and eat it too.
PINSKY: It sounds like spoiled little boys.
BLASI: Sounds a little bit like a -- sociopath --
PINSKY: No, no. Let`s not do that. Let`s not go all the way down the rabbit hole with this.
BLASI: He`s like, look, I`m the doctor.
PINSKY: No, no, I understand what you`re talking about, but let`s not go all the way down the rabbit hole.
BLASI: Yes, yes.
PINSKY: And say, look, we`ve established earlier this conversation that these guys did not have models for stable intimacy. They may not understand what they`re getting into to try to establish a family. They know they have an instinct to do it, they just don`t know how.
BLASI: But some guys do. I mean, in football -- I don`t know.
PINSKY: So, some guys do it?
BLASI: Yes. My ex-husband`s parents are still married so are my parents.
PINSKY: Oh! So, he has no excuse, we`re saying.
BLASI: Well, you said it. Not me, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Well, OK, and I`m not looking for excuses. I`m sort of -- I`m trying to understand things and have an explanation that helps us help people.
BLASI: I don`t know why they get married. I don`t think he should.
PINSKY: Would you get married again one day?
BLASI: I don`t know.
PINSKY: If you do, is it going to be an athlete?
BLASI: Are you insane? I would never. Not anybody who`s ever had a name --
PINSKY: Jennifer, do you feel the same way?
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: I definitely will get married one day.
PINSKY: Just not an athlete?
JENNIFER WILLIAMS: I don`t think --
PINSKY: Again, a reminder that we reached out to both Rosa`s ex- husband and Jennifer`s estranged husband, and so far, no response.
So, thank you again for joining us tonight. We`ll see you next time.