Thursday 15 December 2011

Funny how our relationship with CAMHS has changed so much...

Funny how, for the first 12 months of our relationship with CAMHS, I felt as if we had two completely different agendas. I had serious problems consolidating the messages I was getting from my various professional and lay ED contacts and those I was getting from our CAMHS team. At times I felt totally at odds with them. Often I used to wonder whether they were colluding with the eating disorder rather than kicking it into touch.

Then just over a year ago something changed. Or at least it did with the psychiatrist (out of a CAMHS team of two). For me the watershed was when Ben was rushed into hospital for the second time with a dangerously low pulse rate of 30bpm in October 2010. Suddenly the psychiatrist zoomed in, took charge of the ED and, instead of following the 'you need to WANT to change' route, she adopted the 'you have NO CHOICE but to change RIGHT NOW or I could, in my professional capacity, hospitalise you sooner rather than later' route.

This put the fear of God into the eating disorder and into Ben - and for the first time he said NO to the ED. We haven't looked back since.

Between then and now, despite the odd disagreement which is only natural, the psychiatrist and I have been 'singing from the same hymn sheet, on the same page' (to coin a phrase that makes me squirm).

For the past few months we've got on astonishingly well and I really like her. In fact I'm going to miss her when she leaves her job in March - aarrrggghhh! that was news to Ben and me today!!!!

The Good News is that we have almost reached the point where we don't need to see CAMHS at all. And, anyway, Ben is 18 next week and about to go to university.

But what it will mean is that we have to work with someone else between March and when Ben does go away.

Maybe March is the opportunity we need to make the break and say Goodbye and a Huge Thanks to CAMHS, knowing that someone is there if we need them. OK not the psychiatrist we've come to know so well over the past two years, but someone.

In a strange way I'll miss CAMHS. And I am eternally grateful that, here in the UK, these two years of treatment have been completely free.


  1. Why didn't Ben get sectioned? I was sectioned when my BPM and weight got so low? I'm not saying they did a bad job, just interested, from the looks of it, Ben has done amazing, I'm so proud of him, as I have anorexia too and I'm 18 and I wish I was better :(

  2. Hi Anna, Possibly he would have been if he hadn't turned a corner at that precise moment in time. It would have been because of the cardio issues; his BMI was never low enough to warrant IP treatment - it always hovered just above the level it needed to be for that.

    I wish you all the best for your recovery xx

  3. Hi Batty Matty I just recently discovered your blog. I went through the nightmare of anorexia 3 years ago now, I was never admitted to IP either but came with in an inch of being admitted. I know how horrible this illness is, I am currently in University at the moment
    (University of York) I really just commented to let you know the anorexia will never win and recovery is the key to unlocking the gates to a golden future. Good Luck and all the best :)

    p.s if you have facebook can you please pass forward this status :

    An eating disorder is not a fad or a diet gone wrong.

    It is not caused by the media and they do not just affect young women.

    An eating disorder is a serious psychiatric condition and has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.

    Please *share* this post and help us to raise awareness of eating disorders so people can spot the signs early and seek treatment to gain a full recovery.

  4. Hi Jack, Thanks for the feedback. Why don't you become a 'friend' on my FB page - see link on right. Also have you visited which is a fantastic website aimed at raising awareness of eating disorders in men of all ages? Love BM xx