Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Compulsory detention for eating disorders

The compulsory treatment of people with severe eating disorders is considered controversial. The motivation to change is seen as an essential requirement for successful treatment and only a few places are prepared to treat people against their will. There is concern that compulsory treatment can undermine patients' independence and lead to worse outcomes to their treatment. A three-year study of 50 people with anorexia, admitted to the Wedgwood Unit in Stafford, compared detained patients with those being treated voluntarily. The detained patients had become ill at an earlier age and had been hospitalised more often. When admitted they were doing worse than voluntary patients, were more depressed and had more suicidal thoughts. However, both groups improved significantly once they had been admitted to the unit and by the time they were discharged there was no significant difference between them. Two of the voluntary patients died within a year of discharge; none of those who were compulsorily detained did.

Ayton, Agnes, Keen, Catherine, Lask, Bryan - Pros and cons of using the Mental Health Act for severe eating disorders in adolescents European Eating Disorder Review, 17(1), 14-24

1 comment:

Life Works said...

Thanks for your article. Struggling with an eating disorder can cause profound isolation, fear and hopelessness. Because this illness thrives in secret, people with anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating hide their behaviours from those closest to them, hoping that no one will notice whilst hoping that someone will.
In order to begin the process of recovery, secrecy must give way to self awareness and honesty, and this can only happen in a safe, structured and caring environment.

I would also like to suggest a website with lots more information about eating disorders as well as addictions . www.lifeworkscommunity.com

Life Works Community Blog also gives a source of information and inspiration from some of the leading counselors at Life Works. http://www.lifeworkscommunity.com/resources/life-works-community-blog.asp