Portrait of Doug T

Doug T.: Overcoming My Most Vulnerable Days

Childhood bullying, my parents' divorce, depression, anxiety and striving tirelessly to be an "A" student at Oklahoma State University – I hated feeling like I had no control over how my life played out. So I turned to the one thing I could have total control over: my food intake.

Slowly but surely, over a two-year period, I began to eat less and less every day. It became my obsession. Studying labels, lamenting over what I had eaten that day and planning out what my meals would consist of the following day. I'd say when I was admitted to the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders and Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health, I was thinking about food about 50 percent of the time during a typical day.

ACUTE saw me at my most vulnerable. When I arrived, I was angry, confused and scared. I didn't understand my situation or have any clue what was so wrong with me, or how I had arrived at the point of needing immediate medical attention.

The staff was always friendly, understanding and compassionate. It's because of the doctors and my psychiatrist that I came to understand my illness and start my road to recovery. Without the high level of care I received, there's no telling what would have become of me or my mental illness.

I'll never forget my month-long stay at ACUTE; it's where I first learned about my anorexia and got myself set on the right path for a healthy future. I'll never say I enjoyed my time living at a hospital for a month, but the ACUTE facility and staff were top-notch.

As I write this, I am in the best mental state I've ever been in. I have a great first full-time job in Southeast Georgia and am nearly fully independent. I feel like myself and I am encouraged with where I am in life.

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

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