Gracie Gold in treatment for eating disorder, depression

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jenniferlyon

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http://olympics.nbcsports.com/2017/10/13/gracie-gold-figure-skating-withdraw/

“It saddens me deeply to sit out this Grand Prix Series, but I know it is for the best,” Gold said in a statement. “I am currently in treatment for depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. I will not have adequate training time to prepare and compete at the level that I want to. I would like to thank U.S. Figure Skating, my fans and my sponsors for their ongoing support. I also want to thank [coaches] Marina [Zoueva] and Oleg [Epstein] for standing beside me through this journey and most of all my family for their unconditional love.”
 

Cleo1782

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I love Gracie so much. Her and Yulia were my two favorite skaters and for both of them to struggle with Eating disorders is awful, but seeing Gracie looking so sad and having her skating decline so dramatically was awful to watch. I hope she gets the help and support she needs and knows she has many fans rooting for her to come out of this stronger.

I think she is a tough girl and while I selfishly hope she skates again she has so much to be proud of and I will never forget the first time I saw her as a Junior and her two amazing Nationals wins. Wishing her the best in the future.
 

Cleo1782

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Sometimes being tough and strong willed can be a challenge in treating both depression and EDs. It can take a lot of work to refocus that determination in positive & healthy ways. Good for Gracie for her honesty, and all the best to her in her healing.

Agreed. I know for a fact that ED's are rampant in figure skating-ranging from extremely bad to just unhealthy relationships with food. There is such a focus on being thin in this sport. I am no psychologist, but being a former figure skater I still struggle with what I eat and gaining weight and I am years out of the sport and I know many former skaters that feel the same way. It was something that was ingrained in you at an early age when you began the sport-be thin!

In some ways it reminds of Lisa Ervin, who tried everything to keep her weight down to the point she left the sport. She ended up doing quite well for herself outside of skating and is probably a lot happier.

I hope the same for Gracie. I applaud her for being honest and I hope others see her as a role model in coming forward and being proactive in getting help.
 

Jammers

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I think when we look back we will be amazed that Gracie did as well she did in the past if she had these problems for years. :( I do hope she retires because i get the feeling winning Worlds and the Olympics was her life but she never really enjoyed skating and didn't have anything outside of skating.
 
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BittyBug

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I am sorry that Gracie is suffering in this way, but EDs thrive in secrecy, so her willingness to speak openly about her challenges is very encouraging.

I hope Gracie is able to slay her demons and rekindle the joy that we have seen her exude, whether on the ice or off. I wish her all the best for a full recovery and applaud her ability to address such a difficult situation with such apparent maturity and courage.
 

MacMadame

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I was just reading an article about anxiety in teens and that it's much more prevalent than it used to be. For a lot of these kids, they put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect. Sometimes this is because of outside pressure but sometimes it's because of something they've internalized. They come to believe that if they don't get into Harvard (or similar), they are worthless.

If you are doing a sport at an elite level, this has to be magnified 1000x because everyone is after the same brass ring and there are only so many World and Olympic Champions. I think sometimes it's better to be someone no one expects to get that far so that just getting to Nationals is seen as an achievement.
 

PDilemma

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I was just reading an article about anxiety in teens and that it's much more prevalent than it used to be. For a lot of these kids, they put so much pressure on themselves to be perfect. Sometimes this is because of outside pressure but sometimes it's because of something they've internalized. They come to believe that if they don't get into Harvard (or similar), they are worthless.

If you are doing a sport at an elite level, this has to be magnified 1000x because everyone is after the same brass ring and there are only so many World and Olympic Champions. I think sometimes it's better to be someone no one expects to get that far so that just getting to Nationals is seen as an achievement.

I'm not sure that the cause and effect is in the order you are putting it in. The kids who make it to the level where Harvard is a possibility or who are competitive in elite sports and such are the kids who are already perfectionists and I think that is how they get there in the first place. So the personality trait of high achieving/perfectionism may come first, rather than the achieving or pressure to achieve making them perfectionists. The worst perfectionists I taught had parents who were doing their damnedest to not pressure them and were at a loss as to how to get them to let go a little bit.

I think it is also important to note that eating disorders often have more to do with perfectionism and looking for control than weight. Anxiety often has to do with feeling like you are not in control as well. I have long wondered if Gracie skated because she wanted to or because her family and others were invested in Gracie skating. If it is the latter, then it is possible that she is looking for a way to control a life she doesn't feel in control of and eating disorders come with that.
 

Barbara Manatee

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All the best to Gracie, she has a hard road ahead. Good on her family and coaches for giving her the support she needed to not only get treatment but speak of it without shame. If the USFS and her sponsors have really had her back, they'll go way up in my estimation, too.

Be well, Gracie.
 

lmarie086

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I'm glad that Gracie was able to recognize that this was the correct path to take at this point in time (because it can be really tough to even admit that to yourself, and even harder to be proactive about it), and I do hope she has a strong support system that is with her throughout her recovery. As someone who has had an eating disorder, it is not easy to come back from at all, and I can only imagine the pressure she's been under as an elite athlete. Best wishes to Gracie and I hope that if she wants to come back to skating in the future, I hope it makes her happy.
 
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Cleo1782

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Big hugs to Gracie and Godspeed. I'm a big fan. Skating is not the same for me without her. Eating disorders are one of the dark sides of figure skating. I hope USFS can include help and prevention of this awful affliction in its elite skater support program.

There should be more awareness of it. I hope times have changed, but I trained with a very well known Olympic level coach (not Frank) and I was told I was too fat on almost a daily basis. I didn't think it was wrong or mean at the time. I literally agreed with that notion and looking back I was in no way big at all. But I was a taller girl and did everything to make myself thinner. Sadly, if I would have been more healthy I probably would have been more successful.
So I hope Gracie's situation brings a spotlight on the fact that coaches, peers, media, etc exacerbate this situation. It is better to be healthy than extremely thin.
And I hate to play arm chair psychiatrist, but the inability to lose weight or feel your best can cause a cycle of depression and anxiety. Not trying to compare myself to this wonderful athlete, but I was 5'7 and weighed 97 lbs and still saw fat on me. It's a terrible disease.
 

Vash01

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(((Gracie)))

I am not her fan but that's irrelevant. This is a tough time her and I feel sympathy toward her. I am glad that she is getting the help she needs. She is young and she can have a very good future. IIRC Akiko Suzuki went through eating disorder and came out stronger. Best wishes to Gracie.
 
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