Thursday 23 March 2017

"I no longer have to dread the calls in the middle of the night saying she is in hospital again after another overdose"

I hope she won't mind me saying it but I am in awe of Rosie Flett's mother, Kirsten, at the selflessness she is showing at this terrible and tragic time, always with thoughts of others in mind, keen to raise awareness of the devastating effect that an eating disorder can have on a family.

Kirsten has paid the highest possible price. She has lost her much-loved and beautiful daughter. She has received the news that every parent dreads - and, despite having to face the unthinkable, Kirsten wants to do her very best to prevent this happening to other families by speaking out.

No young person should ever have to reach a point where they feel there is no option but to take their own life. Not in a country with a free National Health Service open to all where politicians continually harp on about more investment being made in mental health.

Often to us families, at the forefront of mental health issues, it can seem as if there's less good-quality help available these days, not more.

Eating disorders are the most deadly of all mental illnesses. They can and do kill whether as a result of complications brought on by starvation and / or by organ failure or by suicide.

Yet there is still a huge stigma surrounding mental health and in particular suicide. Some people, so very wrongly, still think of suicide as a 'selfish' act.

Following on from my post yesterday, Kirsten made the following comment (I have full permission to quote her - as she says: "People are not going to understand unless people like me speak out.")

Whilst sadly many still see suicide as selfish, if they have truly seen their loved one fight day after day for a glimmer of hope or just a few minutes respite from the mental torment they are going through then they would understand that those who commit suicide often desperately want to live but just can't find a way to do so without their inner pain, which can be worse in some ways to physical pain. 

They are not selfish, far from it. As a mother who has lost my daughter to suicide.. do I think she was selfish? .....No, it was in many ways an act of bravery as although - yes - I am suffering in so many ways as are other family and friends, I no longer feel so totally hopeless that I can't help get my daughter out of her hell.

I no longer have to see her punish herself through self-harm and starvation and I no longer have to dread the calls in the middle of the night saying she is in hospital again after another overdose, etc.

I know she is no longer suffering and that gives me some peace. Yes I would give anything to have her back but I wouldn't want her to be the way she was before she died, just a shell of my beautiful daughter.

Kirsten says it all here.

Eating disorders are deadly illnesses that need to be treated promptly using evidence-based therapies until the patient is completely free of the illness and any co-morbid issues.

Things should never be permitted to get so bad that suicide seems to be the only way out.

My heart goes out to Kirsten and her family.

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