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Eating Disorders: A broken heart in Canterbury’s dad says, “It’s like sitting there watching a child die.”

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Canterbury’s father talked about his family’s struggle against anorexia nervosa, which his daughter developed at the age of 15.Photo / 123RF stock

Canterbury’s father, who says he is virtually forced to watch over his daughter’s death from anorexia nervosa, calls for urgent government intervention, saying there isn’t enough help for New Zealand patients. ..

After the national blockade of Covid-19 last year, the number of adolescents diagnosed with eating disorders has skyrocketed nationwide. As a result, the only specialized treatment facility on the South Island is under pressure to increase referrals and longer waiting times.

Desperate parents need to pay hundreds of dollars a week to private professionals such as nutritionists, nutritionists, psychologists, or just sit and watch their children disappear while waiting for their turn in the public system. Say there is.

There is a growing nationwide call for more funding, more professional services and more inpatient care before the influx of patients becomes a series of preventable and unnecessary deaths.

Herald revealed last week that experts have seen a 25-50 percent increase in youth eating disorders since the end of last year’s Level 4 blockade.

Increased appetite, bulimia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and evasive / restrictive eating disorders include turbulence, routine and structural loss, and global epidemics and future anxiety.

This week, the Canterbury District Health Commission confirmed that South Island Eating Disorder Services experienced a “significant increase” in referrals. As a result, treatment wait times have increased in some cases.

The service is based in Christchurch’s Princess Margaret Hospital and offers the only specialized inpatient and outpatient treatments on the South Island.

There are about 8 beds available and are assigned to the most serious cases.

“The waiting time for outpatient treatment has increased following an increase in referrals to services following Covid-19 alert levels 3 and 4,” said Greg Hamilton, general manager of the Canterbury District Health Commission’s expert mental health services. Stated.

An increasing number of boys are suffering from eating disorders.Photo / 123RF stock
An increasing number of boys are suffering from eating disorders.Photo / 123RF stock

“But people who are medically ill are prioritized.

“People on the South Island who have had a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder and have failed to make progress from evidence-based outpatient treatment have access to inpatient beds.

“Most people with eating disorders can be treated outpatiently.”

Canterbury’s father told Herald about his daughter-six times so far considered an extreme case and admitted as an inpatient.

She has been fighting anorexia nervosa for about five years since then, and her family has sometimes been unable to do more than see her life almost pass by in front of them.

At the height of her illness, she weighed only 36 kg.

The man, who didn’t want to be named to protect his daughter’s privacy, said he knew “nothing” about anorexia nervosa and had a really hard time finding support outside of his parents’ group in the same situation.

When his daughter was hospitalized for the first time, she was hospitalized for 13 weeks and then said it was enough to go home.

She went out and told her parents, “I haven’t eaten,” and her spiral began again.

Each time it happened, she returned to the waiting list for treatment.

Recently, her mental health has undergone a fatal change, and she has repeatedly tried to kill her.

According to experts, the blockade contributes to the increase in eating disorders in adolescence.Photo / 123RF stock
According to experts, the blockade contributes to the increase in eating disorders in adolescence.Photo / 123RF stock

“That’s scary,” her father said.

“She’s completely self-destructive … These voices in her head tell her,” If you eat food, you’re a piece “or” You ate that food, so you yourself Need to be killed. “

“She will sometimes go for five days without eating anything, she will lose 2 kg a week … it’s relentless and it’s constant.”

Teens were eating “at the moment” after attempting serious self-harm.

“She had a turning point … we’re eating and gaining weight. She’s getting better now, she’s being treated-but you can change it with your heartbeat. You have to realize that there is, “he said.

“I know that eating disorders will soon return as soon as she quits, misses, or sags.

“My greatest fear? Isn’t she dying?

“Every time the phone rings and it’s her mother, I think,” This is this … this is the phone. ” “

The frustrated father said he spent years studying private care, overseas models and services, and which treatments were the most successful.

He felt that New Zealand needed longer inpatient treatment and more outpatient support after the patient was in remission.

The man said his daughter’s treatment costs were previously said to be about $ 2 million. She said it could easily double as she tackled the illness.

“The only thing they do is stick a plaster and send her home,” he said.

“I think 90% of patients with eating disorders need more … when they go out and stop eating, you go back to the beginning and go back to the beginning to wait for your turn. I will.

“It’s like you’re sitting there and watching your child die.”

Experts, patients and parents fear that more people will die of eating disorders without urgent government intervention. Photo / 123RF
Experts, patients and parents fear that more people will die of eating disorders without urgent government intervention. Photo / 123RF

The man said eating disorders were “curable and curable” and unacceptable without further support.

He firmly supported the petition filed by Christchurch’s mother, Rebecca Toms, with the government. His daughter Georgia is in the midst of an eating disorder and is being treated with private funding.

Toms told Herald last week about her petition for an urgent expert. Care and grant assistance for young people with eating disorders.

“New Zealand doesn’t have enough resources and specialists to provide professional care to people suffering from eating disorders,” Toms said.

“Public and private systems are full and waiting lists are so long that vulnerable people are lost in the system, and there is no subsidy to help families cover their costs.

“Eating disorders are life-threatening, and if not detected early, they become more established, harder to overcome, and some can die.”

Both Toms and his worried father agreed that they needed to discuss, educate and accept more about eating disorders (serious mental illness) in New Zealand.

Hamilton agreed.

“Eating disorders are a serious mental illness,” he said.

“Surveys show that’stigma and shame’are identified as the most frequent barriers to seeking help.

“This is in line with the general perception that eating disorders are a lifestyle choice rather than an illness.

“Research-based education is important in providing people and healthcare providers with tools to recognize symptoms and facilitate early intervention.”

Eating Disorders-Information and Help

Size, age and body shape do not matter. Everyone can suffer from an eating disorder, and everyone’s experience with an eating disorder is unique.

Eating disorders are mental health problems, including:

• Always think about eating or not eating.

• Feeling out of control around food.

• Use food to meet non-hunger needs.

• Obsessed with food, weight and body shape.

There is no clear cause for eating disorders. For people at risk of eating disorders, many things can complement them, including life threats, the death of a loved one, family changes, moving to home or school, bullying, breaking relationships, and changing jobs. There are school problems, personal failures.

There are many symptoms of eating disorders. These are not relevant to everyone and may not even notice the signs.

Signs of an eating disorder include:

• Extreme concern about being overweight and always thinking about food and diet.

• Strengthen isolation from others.

• Secret diet and purge (vomiting or taking laxatives).

• Foods that disappear from home, especially high-calorie foods.

• Spend a long time in the bathroom, especially immediately after a meal, sometimes with a long faucet movement.

• Shoplifting food.

• A strenuous exercise routine that exercises even when you are injured or ill.

• Severe weight changes.

• Sudden mood swings, irritability, depression, sadness, anger, difficulty expressing emotions.

• Loss of concentration and abnormal malaise.

• A constant pursuit of thinness.

Some of these signs may be related to a variety of problems rather than eating disorders, but if some of these signs are together, it could mean an eating disorder. There is.

If you need help, contact your GP or your local mental health provider.

Or if you need to talk to someone else:

• EDANZ, New Zealand Eating Disorders Association 0800 2 EDANZ
•• life line: 0800543354 or 095222 999 in Auckland (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
•• Youth line: 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected] Or Online chat.
•• Need to talk? Free call or text message 1737 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
•• Kids line: 0800 543 754 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
•• What’s wrong: 0800 942 8787 (1 pm to 11 pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757
•• Samaritan – 0800 726666.

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