Hayley Miller, who is a regular Self-help contributor to the Beutiful Magazine newsletter but also a close friend of mine, was the one who told me about the documentary “THIN.” I was finally able to check the documentary out today and I found it to be very eye-opening. The film, available on YouTube, is comprised of 11 different parts, each about 10 minutes long. The film takes place in Renfrew Center, which is an anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorder treatment center (the first one opened up in Philadelphia but now has locations in several other cities). Although the documentary focuses more on anorexia, there is a bit about bulimia and compulsive eating. Throughout the film, a few of the girls in treatment are followed and we are shown what they have to endure during treatment (such as room searches, group sessions, everyday weigh-ins and health monitoring and careful meal planning) as well as what it’s like to have and live with an eating disorder. Many of the girls have other problems accompanying the eating disorder, such as depression and addictions to prescription drugs. You’ll see the conflict, suffering and vulnerability that the girls feel as they are trying to recover. One part of the film that frustrated me was when the girls’ treatment was compromised by their insurance plans. More than one girl had to be either discharged or turn to their parents to pay for treatment because their insurance plans would no longer cover it. Another part that was irritating was when one of the girls got a visit from her mother, who also has an eating disorder. It’s easy to recognize that it was affecting her treatment and would be a difficult and unhealthy environment for her to go home to. Unfortunately, she was the girl who had to leave because her insurance ran out. I think “THIN” brings reality to eating disorders and puts into perspective that eating disorders are more than just not eating or throwing up. It is a very emotional and gripping disease that is hard to control. At the end of the film, the main girls are released from the center and sadly, all of them shortly relapsed (and one died). Although it’s sad and parts of the film may be difficult to watch (there is some vomiting and a procedure where a tube is taken out of a girl’s stomach), it’s very educational and well-done. It’s definitely worth watching if you want to get an honest view of what goes on in treatment centers and what living with an eating disorder is like.