Can you be sent to the looney bin for not eating enough?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by downunder, Jan 3, 2009.

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  1. downunder

    downunder Well-Known Member

    My husband says if I get down to 53kg again he will have me committed. Can he do this?? I thought "looney bins" were only interested in more serious stuff like people who are out to harm others, schizophrenics, psychotics people off their medication and lastly suicidal people. The shrink told me that she cannot make me eat, but can only encourage me to eat.
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    sadly yes he can :(My doctor threatened me with it before.
  3. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    What's the difference between starving yourself to death and doing it with pills?
  4. d-pressed

    d-pressed Well-Known Member


    Just to clear a few things up (I used to be an inpatient at a psychiatric hospital):

    Eating disorders are considered to be psychiatric disorders and therefore treatable in psychiatric hospitals.

    Your husband cannot have you sectioned (I assume that's what you mean by 'committed'). He can express concern to a doctor, however it is entirely up to you to see a mental health professional.

    The criteria to be sectioned for an eating disorder is usually when it is an emergency, one's BMI is extremely low and bodily functions are beginning to fail. You would have to have treatment against your will until you have reached a healthy BMI.

    The treatment varies depending on whether you go to an NHS hospital or private. (Sometimes, due to overcrowding in NHS hospitals they will cover costs for you to be treated privately). NHS hospitals you often hear horror stories about feeding you through tubes in your nose/stomach etc, but that's if you are not cooperative! There's a chance you may be in a ward with other psychiatric patients with a range of illnesses, be it in a private or NHS hospital. There are a lot of misconceptions about psychiatric hospitals. 1 in 5 will be institutionalised and some point in their lifetime. Eating disorders, depression and so on are serious illnesses in their own right.

    I'm not sure about your background. Are you on medication, are you having counselling?
    Take care
  5. Locket

    Locket Well-Known Member

    eating disorders are mental illnesses
    so yes, you can be sent to the "loony bin" (a rather derogatory term, don't you think?)
    most eating disorders are potentially fatal ... psychiatric hospitals are there to stop people hurting themselves.
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