In this space, we welcome letters such as this:
I have been suffering from bulimia since I was 14. I got treatment for it but a year later it began again and has been on-going since then. I just want to be better. I hate the way I am, and I can feel my body is taking the affects. Please advise me on how can go about getting help.”
This is a letter I received some time ago. My initial reaction was, What a lost opportunity for this young person and her family. The earlier eating disorders are treated, the easier they are to treat. The flip side of that is the longer you wait, of course, the tougher they are to treat. When the gains from the original course of treatment were not maintained, her parents should have found a way to get her back into treatment. Eating disorders are tenacious; the family must keep up the pressure against them.
The second issue is her question inquiring where to get treatment in New Zealand. There are public facilities provided by the District Health Boards. There are also private programs such as the New Zealand Eating Disorder Specialists. From our perspective, treatment should involve the family: indeed the family should be welcomed and included in the therapy for maximum effectiveness.