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Eating Disorders, Addictions Tough to Treat in Teens
Date:7/1/2010

ting disorders and addiction.

"As a young girl, she was treated like anybody who showed similar symptoms -- meaning adults," Oleson recalled. "In the rehab center, her roommates were 35 or 40 years old. She was placed with hardened heroin addicts who had been in prison. They're not bad people. But they are very deep into their addiction and their stories to a young, impressionable girl from a very different background who has not lived that life, it's all pretty exciting stuff."

After several inpatient treatment programs failed, Oleson tackled her daughter's problems with her own brand of at-home family and cognitive behavioral therapy.

"What seems to work with young people, and what ultimately we did with our daughter, was go back and say my daughter is not at the point where she is able to logically process what's happening to her," Oleson said. "We had to go back and teach her some of life's basic lessons."

Olseon put together spread sheets outlining the choices her daughter might face with particular situations, such as a party, asking her what has happened at parties in the past and what decisions she could make now.

"My goals in writing the book were to help other families avoid some of the dangerous traps we fell into in trying to help our daughter -- to open the public's and the profession's eyes to the urgent need for new treatment methods for the young person 24 years and under," she said.

Today, Oleson said, her daughter is on the dean's list at college and "building healthy relationships with others and, little by little, with herself."

"She continues to be challenged, especially when stressed, by urges to fall back on old behaviors," Oleson added. "But she now understands what is driving that tension, has developed new healthy rewards, and has found goals in life that are greater than her desire for the addictions."

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