‘Not thin enough’ — the people with anorexia being refused treatment


Hope Virgo knew something was wrong. She also knew that if she didn’t get help, her condition would worsen. But when she went to the doctor to ask for help, she says she was refused treatment.

“I developed anorexia when I was about 12 years old,” says Virgo. “I really struggled with my emotions and I was sexually abused when I was 12 and I was left with all this guilt and shame around it and didn’t know what to do about it.”

After her heart almost stopped due to malnutrition and low potassium levels, she spent a year in a mental health hospital learning about food, exercise, and how to talk about her emotions. But, when she was 26, Virgo relapsed. “I got all those voices back in my head, the anorexia telling me that I should be exercising all the time,” she says. Virgo went to her doctor to ask for sessions of talking therapy to help get “back on track” with her eating. But, when she talked to her GP and local mental health authority, she was weighed and told that because her body mass index (BMI) wasn’t considered “low enough,” and she was refused all treatment, including therapy Read more…

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