Today I am sad. Today I am angry. This week two girls from my eating disorders unit passed away. Only a couple of months ago a good friend from my acute died. They were all failed.
In mental health, recovery is long and slow and hard. There are ups and there are downs, you improve then you crash. With help I believe everyone can get there, can be able to live their lives. But too often services give up. They are underfunded with huge waiting lists and not enough resources to give the help needed.
I’m lucky, I’m still alive but I nearly wasn’t. I was left for a year on the eating disorders waiting list, by the time I was finally seen I was seriously unwell. And although I spent ten months on the unit, I left still very underweight, still unable to handle my purging. My first acute unit gave up on me, I attempted suicide and it nearly worked, so I was discharged for none compliance. My second acute didn’t know what to do with me other than drug me and fry my brain with electricity. But then I got lucky, instead of being given up on, I was moved to a specialist personality disorder clinic. They never for a minute gave up. And now, over 2 years since this admission started, I’m on the home straight.
And that’s why I’m angry. That wonderful women didn’t get the help they needed. Services so underfunded they label you chronic. They give up. I remember watching another girls treatment at my EDU and wondering why they weren’t pushing her towards recovery like the rest of us. No matter how many times you’re admitted, how ill you are, you should continue to be treated and to be given a chance of recovery. Another girl was discharged from a specialist unit and committed suicide. There was no community support and she was left alone. You would never leave an asthma suffer mid asthma attack in A&E and tell them they’re chronic so they can only have two puffs of their blue inhaler instead of the full treatment needed. You would never leave someone in the community without some form of treatment- you wouldn’t tell them that they can’t have any treatment because they’re chronic. It’s wrong and it makes me so angry.
Everyone has the ability to recover. They need help and support and time but I truly believe you can get better. But services give up and people die. And it’s a disgrace.