Growing up. Driving. Dating. Peer pressure. College. Financial independence. Careers. These are just a few of the many challenges confronting adolescents and young adults in our society. Imagine facing the seemingly endless components of the transition from childhood to adulthood and dealing with an eating disorder to boot. It is truly daunting. Though the biology behind eating disorders is not well known, the psychological and physical effects of the disorder are. Perhaps one of the most significant byproducts of the illness is loneliness; however, once in the mindset for recovery, it is unimaginable and impossible to go at it alone.
Veritas Collaborative is at its very core a healing community. From the moment you walk in the door you feel welcomed and understood. You are not the only person facing this complex disorder, and you are not the only family confused, frustrated, and exhausted. Immediately upon entering Veritas Collaborative, you know you are a part of something bigger. You know that you have taken an important step in the journey to recovery – a step shared by many others.
The opportunity to interact with others who are trying to manage similar challenges and obstacles is invaluable. Recovery-mindedness can be contagious, and the support given and accepted by the members of the “Veritas Community” is a magical thing to watch. The community reaches well beyond the individual patient, embracing the entire family, as we know that parents and siblings also feel isolated in their eating disorder experiences. The time spent connecting with other families is both therapeutic and validating, allowing families to share and support one another. And, clearly, beyond The Veritas Collaborative Family Program, the family will be the “constant” in the eating disorder experience long after discharge.
As the Associate Medical Director for Veritas Collaborative, I have felt honored to be a part of this professional community for the past three months. With a multidisciplinary team of therapists, dietitians, physicians, teachers and many others, it is evident that they have the health and well being of our patients at heart. Being part of this vibrant team has been professionally stimulating and personally rewarding. I look forward to the opportunity to learn and grow from my colleagues as well as from our patients. Truly, this is a special place.
Written by Stuart Kaplan, MD, FAAP