500 Pounds and Desperate for Help!
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Jessica has come to The Doctors seeking help with her lifelong weight struggle, which she fears is going to kill her.
Growing up, she was constantly teased, taunted and ridiculed about her weight in school. She was even afraid to eat while at school because it was the time when she was teased the most. When Jessica was in the 4th grade, she was weighed by a nurse and she was 250 pounds, which caused her to emotionally break down. During college, she still experienced pain and ridicule. A professor told her she would have trouble finding a job due to her weight.
“That was my last effort to try anything,” a tearful Jessica says, explaining she gave up at that point. The 27-year-old has been told by a doctor that it is unlikely that she will make it to her 30th birthday. In addition to weight issues, she lives at home with her parents, does not have a job, and she does not drive.
“I feel like my life is worthless,” Jessica confesses, revealing she has thoughts of suicide.
To help her take the first step in changing her life, The Doctors and plus-size model Rosie Mercado sent Jessica to see Dr. Kai Nishi to evaluate her health. The last time she stepped on a scale, it was 482 pounds, and in Dr. Nishi’s office, she weighs 473 pounds. “It is really imperative for her to lose weight. Losing a few hundred pounds is difficult, but it is possible. It is better than the alternative,” Dr. Nishi explains.
Jessica joins ER physician Dr. Travis Stork, along with Dr. Nishi and Rosie, to find out the results of her tests and medical exam. The tests reveal that she has diabetes (which she was already aware of), her bloodwork also found she lacks vitamin D, has concerning liver enzymes counts, has elevated blood pressure along with an enlarged liver and fatty liver disease. “The good news is that most of those things can be reversed by losing a significant amount of weight,” Dr. Nishi explains.
“I’m just ready to change… I’m scared,” she tells The Doctors but vows that she’s “a 1000 percent” committed to making the necessary changes to transform her life and lose the weight.
Jessica’s weight and health issues are just part of her ongoing struggles. She also meets with psychotherapist Dr. Mike Dow, where she reveals she has self-harmed in the past and attempted suicide on multiple occasions, most recently in 2015. Jessica’s family, her parents Tricia and Jesse and grandmother Beatrice join the show, and in a twist The Doctors did not see coming, they come clean about how their struggles with mental illness and drug addiction have impacted Jessica. See the family's shocking reveal here.
Plus, Jessica and her family are given the opportunity to turn their lives around with the help of TJ Howard from Origins Behavioral Healthcare. Can the troubled family break the cycles they have been living in for so many years? Find out more in the video below.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction please call the confidential and free National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP. Additionally, If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.