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E.D. Contact goes On-Line!

E.D. Contact is a new and positive Information Resource created by and for Families and Individuals living with Eating Distress in Ireland.





As  a child I was a loner and very sensitive. While in primary school I was the class clown but this was a cover up  for all my insecurities at the time. I was always conscious about my weight. By the age of twelve I had tried many diets to complete starvation. When I entered  secondary school I became very withdrawn and was bullied for the five years in secondary school.

I suppose the landmark for my road to hell was in 1992.This was the year I sat my leaving certificate. I studied extremely hard but I didnít get into college. I was divested. Rather then sitting at home I decided to do a secretarial course, I hated it. It was from here that I really started to hate myself and my body. I stopped eating , drinking and in January of 2000 I took a overdose of paracetemol. I was admitted into a General Hospital  for a week. I was put on a drip for being so dehydrated.

While I was in hospital, I was visited by a consultant from a psychiatric Hospital. She informed me that both herself and her team would be able to help me. I was admitted into this psychiatric hospital. On admission I was 7 stone. I was put on bed rest and my meals were supervised. I was in the general ward for the first few months but then I was put into a lock-up room. While here my room was locked each night at 10:30pm. Everything was taken from me even my toothbrush. My family were not allowed to visit me either, this nearly killed me. My mum used to ring twice a day but I was never informed of this. I thought my parents had forgotten about me. I had supervised baths and lavatory visits also.

Because I was still loosing weight I was put on the nose gastric tube. This was extremely painful and I pleaded with them to take it out as it was so uncomfortable. After been in hospital for 6 months I was really getting lonely and irritated having no contact with my family or even with the other patients. One night I sneaked out of the lock-up room and got a pen and a paper from another patient and wrote home begging my parents to come to get me. That same night my parents were discussing me at home and when they got my letter they were over in the hospital next morning and took me out against medical advise. I was under five stone at this stage. My mum had to carry me out because I was too week to walk after being in bed for so long.

My mum heard of a local G.P. of whom helped another girl who was suffering from an eating distress. I went to this G.P. and she didnít want to take me at first because of my history but then she saw how determined  I was and she helped me. I went to Dublin to study for three years and worked in Dublin also for a number of years however, it was a constant struggle for me as I never got over my eating distress.

However, in March  of 2001 I had awful trouble in work and I found it extremely stressful. I reverted back to my old way again and began to loose quite a lot of weight.

I was put in touch with a psychologist. Both he and my G.P. decided to put me on anti-depressants called Cypramil. This psychologist transferred me to another one. In January 2002 I took an overdose and my G.P. encouraged me to visit a consultant in the psychiatric hospital, where I have been before. She assured me it has changed since I was last there.

I went to visit the consultant and he said I needed to change my medication and he only could do that if I came in as an in-patient for a week or so. I thought a week would be okay but I was in hospital for approximately four months. I was put into the high observation ward and on bed rest. Here my anti-depressants were changed to Effexor 225mg, Zanax 3 mg, Largatal 200mg and Zopulone 15 mg. All this medication did nothing for me as it did not help me sleep, get on with my every day life and it didnít take away the voices laughing at me for eating.

I continued to struggle with my weight and food intake. I tried to tell them I had an eating distress but they just wouldnít listen to me. I was told that I had depression, social phobia and a personality disorder and Iíd eat once these were resolved.

I tried countless times to take my own life. I was constantly self-harming and just didnít want to live as I was lead to believe I had nothing to live for. Once home from hospital I locked myself into my room, exercised excessively, wouldnít talk to my family, lost contact with my friends, wouldnít go out anywhere, went  around like a zombie and had no concentration at all for anything. I suppose looking back, the one thing I can really remember when my niece was christened and everyone met for a meal up in my sisters house but I sat on the kitchen floor in the corner with my head on my knees terrified to move. I was so frightened of people around me because I was convinced I had a social phobia.

I was admitted to the Community Mental Health Centre, where I went on a daily basis from 10:30 am Ė 3:30 pm Monday to Friday. Here, nothing was done with me. I sat looking at the four walls or watched television until it was time to go home. Although,  I did see a psychologist on a Wednesday morning for an hour each week.

My family had countless meetings with my consultant and his team explaining to them that I needed help for my eating distress but they constantly refused to accept that I had a problem with eating, they continued to say that they were qualified in this area and if I needed help they would get it.

Again in January 2003 I was readmitted into the old psychiatric hospital. I was so suicidal, I used the sheets from the bed and my shoe laces to try to hang myself, I tried to smoother myself with plastic bags and pillows, and overdosed on medication. I was put on another tablet called Risperidone and the anti-depressant was changed to Prozac, so then I was on Risperidone 3mg, Prozac 40mg, Zanax  3mg, Largatal 200mg, and Zopulone 15mg.

While in hospital my consultant went on holidays and a locum lady consultant took over his patients. She dealt with children 16 years and under. She had various interviews with me and she also called my parents into a meeting. She informed them that I wasnít psychotic, I only had an eating distress called Anorexia Nervosa. She asked me the foods I used to like and ordered them from the kitchen. I was put on bed rest, had supervised meals. She also put me on two build-up drinks a day. I started to feel better in myself. I found her excellent because she used to listen to me , to me as a person and never spoke down to me. She encouraged me so much and had great faith in me that Iíd recover.

However, low and behold, my old consultant returned back and changed everything that she had done for me. I was divested. As a result my parents called for another meeting with him and his team and informed him that I needed help for my eating distress. He disagreed and shouted at them banging the table saying, how there they say that he and his team were not qualified to deal with me. He insisted the eating distress was only a small portion of my problem compared to the depression, social phobia and personality disorder.

While I was in hospital. Not knowing where to turn next, my sister looked up the internet and found the name of The Marino Therapy Centre. She phoned Gerry Campion in a terrible state and it all went up-hill from there. As soon as I came out of hospital I knew I needed professional help for my eating distress. So on Friday 14th February 2003, I attended the Marino Therapy Centre for the first time. I was so disorientated when I started, I canít remember my first few sessions, as I was like a zombie going round. I was on Risperidone 3mg, Prozac syrup 50mg, Zanax 3mg, Largatal 100mg, Zopulone 15mg. My family had to drive me up each week and then I started to get the bus.

One night while lying awake in bed, I didnít want to be like a zombie anymore and I wanted my life and independence back. On April 4th  2003, I stopped taken all my medication unknown to my consultant and G.P. I informed the Marino Therapy Centre and they helped me guided me through it. It was very tough. I had hot/cold sweats, I couldnít walk, light headed, the room used to spin around, had terrible cramps, couldnít sleep and I got terrible mouth ulcers. However, after about a week and a half of feeling like this I started to come back to myself. Thankfully, I am not driving up and down to Dublin for my sessions in contact with friends, working part-time in an office, listen to the radio, reading and eating regular meals at regular times ( still wit great difficulty ) and this is due to the Marino, as they encouraged me and most of all believe in me that I will make a full recovery, unlike the medical professionals.

I informed my consultant and his team that Iím off all medication and discharged  myself from the Community Health . I did this because I no longer want to be under their care and continue my life going around like a zombie, being suicidal and being misdiagnosed as having depression, social phobia and personality disorder anymore. I can now feel simple pain like catching my finger in the door, this I couldnít feel when I was on the medication. My sessions in the Marion Therapy Centre are only now beneficial to me as it is only now that I can feel again.

 I suppose the most upsetting thing  for me at the moment is that I trusted the medical professionals and they took advantage of that and just doped me up on medication and constantly wanting to admit me into a Psychiatric Hospital. Iím also very annoyed with myself for becoming very institutionalised and not being strong enough to say no to the increase of medication.

I have damaged my body physically and I am paying for that now. These include calcium and iron deficiency, low estrogens, sugar levels, blood pressure and poor bone density. I also know that I still have a long way to go in my recovery yet but I am on the right road now thank god. I am now looking forward to going back to work in September  as a Special Needs Assistant.


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