Is it just me or does Demi Moore's hospitalization not really come as that big of a surprise? Hasn't everyone else seen just how emaciated and SICK the actress has been looking for the past few months? The latest info on the former Mrs. Kutcher's scary incident: She had a seizure Monday night and is being treated for anorexia, among other substance abuse issues, according to RadarOnline.com. Awful! But obviously, there's a lot more going on here behind-the-scenes, and I'm not just talking about the divorce ... There's also the mental and emotional toll of the divorce and whatever else is going on in Demi's life. Just look at what her rep said: "Because of the stresses in her life right now, Demi has chosen to seek professional assistance to treat her exhaustion and improve her overall health."
Why is it so hard for us to buy that exhaustion and stress play such a huge role in a breakdown like this?
Why did we automatically assume drugs or alcohol were the only bad guys, and figure she'll be a-okay after a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic?
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It really is a testament to what a workaholic, go-go-go society we are. We feel as though we have to power through life, even when it gets hard, or else ... we're just not good enough. Most women feel like they have to be Superwoman; I wouldn't be surprised if someone like Demi who is in the public eye -- especially for something as upsetting as a high-profile divorce -- feels even more pressure to seem perfect and as though she has all her ducks in a row. That kind of pressure goes hand-in-hand with a disorder like anorexia. But it can also be totally toxic to anyone's well-being.
Even when substance abuse is a piece of the puzzle, we shouldn't be underestimating the power of exhaustion and stress to contribute to that kind of behavior. Any good health practitioner will attest to the fact that extreme stress can manifest in many negative ways mentally and physiologically. It can trigger depression, tooth pain (ever grind your teeth in your sleep when you're terribly stressed?), scary weight loss (ahem, just LOOK at Demi!), weight gain, migraines, etc. Stress is an epidemic in this country, affecting women especially. And the more we refuse to deal with it, the worse it's going to get, and we're only going to see a rise in breakdowns like Demi's and Heather Locklear's.
Maybe we refuse to acknowledge it or continue to minimize it because there's no magic pill for stress. The "fix" is extremely individualized -- for me, it might be doing some yoga and meditation, while for you, it could be learning to say "No" more often. Hopefully, Demi figures out what her healthiest fix is and finds inner peace. She deserves it. We all do.
Do you think we tend to minimize the effects of stress? How has stress affected your own health?
Image via Jason Kempin/Getty