I love our NHS. The treatment *I* have received has been exemplary, kind, compassionate and free. What more could I ask? Sometimes I grumble, but hey, nobody's perfect.
But Mental Health - oh dear.
First a quick 101 on Bulimia and Death. Other medical dangers and complications can be found here:
"Bulimia can be a fatal disease. Mortality rates for eating disorders vary widely between studies, with sources listing anorexia nervosa deaths from .3% to 10%. One fairly new study compared the records of individuals who had been treated at specialized eating disorders clinics with the National Death Index. Their findings for crude mortality rates were: 4% for anorexia, 3.9% for bulimia
, and 5.2% for EDNOS (Crow, 2009).
The most common causes of sudden death in bulimia are cardiac or respiratory arrest
, the result of electrolyte imbalances from excessive purging. Electrolytes, which are minerals in the blood—like potassium, chloride and sodium—help maintain a regular heart rhythm, as well as the function of the muscles that enable the heart to pump and the lungs to breathe. When these chemicals are depleted due to purging—often made worse by weight loss and excessive water drinking—heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) can occur. Since this can lead to sudden death, it is important to have blood tests to monitor electrolytes, and medical treatment if they are amiss. This danger resolves when proper health and nutrition are restored.
Less common causes of death in bulimia include choking, rupture of the esophagus or stomach, and suicide. Kidney failure
is another possible life-threatening side-effect of prolonged low potassium (Mehler, 2010).
It is difficult, if not impossible, to know which bulimics are at greatest risk for developing any of these specific conditions. Certainly, the longer the bulimia continues, the greater the risk of cumulative damage. However, even someone who has only started to purge faces the possibility of serious physical consequences, even death
You could probably guess by the moniker by Urgent Help Services
are the emergency response team that swoop in like the SAS when there is a mental health crisis taking place. They TAKE CHARGE and help resolve the situation. How do I know?
It says so here:
So at what point, as a parent, do you lose faith in the system? Well, that would be about the time, over a year after a diagnosis of bulimia, no treatment except therapy, no guidelines, a lot of blame, a suicide attempt, severe self harm, binge and purge episodes up to 7 times a day, discussions about sectioning, a cocktail of drugs prescribed to a 14 year old and a panicked call to the UHS because the "family are in crisis", that the UHS turn up at your house and write you a care plan.
This care plan is for your 14 year old daughter, who has been bingeing and purging for over a year, has lost weight, is in trouble at school, has been suicidal, has self-harmed, has attacked her parents with a knife, who is SO obviously in serious mental distress and anguish and needs help and is at high risk of death from purgining:
So here it is
Two day menu agreed as N overwhelmed by A demands.
A and N to keep a diary of this.
A can vomit twice a day
A to consider what else she can binge on to help reduce the overall food bill.
Family unsure if they can do this even for one day.
Dr H to liaise with school re As tiredness and health.
Dr H to contact N in two days time to review meal plan.
UHS to discuss two week admission with Dr G with dietary guidance
Yes. You have read it right. The Urgent Help Service "prescribed" an underweight bulimic child 2 vomits a day and asked her to consider what food she could binge on to help reduce the overall food bill.
I am sorry if this is putting you off your breakfast but somethings are best out in the open. If you are in a mental health crisis, would you want this kind of care?