Considering that fact that the very purpose of placing someone with an eating disorder into an eating disorder unit is to help them recover and move on from this condition… you’d think that the main focus (food and drink) would be nutritionally adequate, sound, safe and educated, no?
Well, sadly, you are mistaken. The present stance on nutrition and dietetics in the UK’s mental health system and nutritional guidance is beyond poor and unacceptable; rigidified and petrified by concepts that are outdated, non-innovative and, ironically: restrictive.
The nature of anorexia is restriction and control: which is precisely what the universal approach to a meal plan and diet tuition is within eating disorder units. Enough is enough. I am livid, I am angry, I am fuelled and fired and ready to aim. I have had enough of girls and boys being failed time and time again, having inpatient stays at months on end, only to be released back into the world, sure, semi/totally weight restored, but still abundant and heavy with disordered thinking, routines, regiment, fear and often more disorders in their minds than prior to admission.
Depression. PTSD. Anxiety. Evolution from one eating disorder into another. Self harm. Body dysmorphia. The list is endless.
Food should be medicine. Food freedom and choice should be the governing factor in the remedy to this devastating disorder. And it starts with re-evaluating our current perception of what nutrition encompasses when treating those with eating disorders.
Take it from me, as someone who has been an inpatient once with anorexia, and once whilst wrongfully diagnosed - recovered from an ED, but left instead with a chronic and incurable gastric condition (gastroparesis)… the system is broken. There is little to no knowledge, insight, intuition or innovation surrounding food and drink.
This changes now.
This changes now.