It’s estimated that over a million people across the UK are living with an eating disorder, yet many remain undiagnosed. Whilst many of these people with eating disorders will not have taken steps to seek treatment, others have visited GPs, only to be told that they aren’t thin enough to warrant a diagnosis.
Having been hospitalised and on the brink of death from anorexia myself once before, when I relapsed in 2016 I was terrified of ending up in hospital again. Getting to that point where I would lose control. That relentless anorexic voice nagging at me day in and day out.
After four months of battling with that voice in my head I decided it was time I reached out for help.
I referred myself and got an appointment at an Eating Disorder Unit in London only to be told that I wasn’t thin enough for support.
There are clear NICE Guidelines for access to treatment but they are not being implemented correctly. Sadly, there is a lack of understanding around eating disorders and diagnosis and a lack of funding being put in the right place to get individuals the support they need.
This issue is costing lives, heartbreak, and anguish for people with eating disorders and their families, and ultimately costing the NHS more due to increased need when someone hits crisis.
The solution to tackle this is simple and achievable.
I’m trying to change this with my Dump the Scales campaign.
The Dump the Scales initiative calls for adequate GP training around eating disorders, full implementation of the NICE guidelines through communications and a commitment to bring in a standard to measure and report on this.
Eating Disorder Awareness week kicks off on Monday 25 February and it is essential that we use this week to raise awareness and make long term action happen.