EDs, Trauma & the Desperate Need for Services
There needs to be not only different levels of treatment available, intensive outpatient or day programs, residential programs, and relapse prevention programs, but also ones that treat co-existing conditions such as trauma based disorders, etc. That was something that I struggled with because I had childhood trauma. When the eating disorder developed, it also became a way to numb more of the trauma symptoms I was experiencing. But because the trauma symptoms were so severe when I sought treatment in an outpatient program, I was not able to stay in it and had to leave. I was also deemed too sick with the eating disorder to get counseling at a place that had free trauma counselors because I could not find (or afford) a private therapist who was specialized in trauma. I also did not meet criteria for a higher level of care in BC (a residential program) because I was not able to eat the necessary amount I needed and wasn’t able to gain the weight they wanted me to be at to access it which was WHY I needed to have that level of care to begin with. I was also not medically or psychiatrically sick enough for inpatient treatment despite at times being suicidal, so I was left with little to no adequate help for a few years besides medical checks and a psychiatrist, case workers, etc. In early 2007, I planned to end my life because I ran out of options and had nowhere left to go for help. No one could help me despite me telling them what I needed. I used all the resources I had available. There was nothing left. But then something amazing happened. I had started making video blogs online months earlier about my struggles and lack of access to help. When I was going to end my life, someone who had watched my videos and talked with me a few times happened to be online and stopped me. They offered to help me. Because of that, I was able to access treatment in the US. It saved my life, and I am almost nine years in recovery now.
~ Ashley Polson