Thursday, 13 May 2010

Anorexia and This Morning - who's the 'ignorant' party?

"People need help, advice and love, not websites telling you how to lose your last pound, or scantily clad, deeply anorexic celebrities parading around flaunting their golden bones."
- Billie Piper

I am very, very fustrated that I can't directly message Phillip Schofield and give my own thoughts. Twitter isn't very well designed for meaningful or deep conversations.

First of all, the blog entry that kicked it off and the response;

@ilonacatherine what an ignorant blog. Do you think that we do these things for sensationalism? We had an expert on the condition there who
was very happy in our line of questioning and who had worked with Nikki. She left saying many sufferers would be helped.. the fact that you believe a sufferer of this condition would be helped ...
by us is insulting in itself... That information is available at the click of google, but without the back-up and support we went on to provide. Get into the real world!! oh and what's more, how sensitive of you to dismiss someone who has struggled so much, as Marmite.


Okay, first of all, how can she be ignorant? She is a sufferer and you are a television presenter, I’m pretty sure most people would be of the opinion that she has more wisdom and insight on the matter that you could ever do, unless of course you became ill yourself which is not something I would wish on my worst enemy.

You believe that you can get help for this disease by clicking on Google? I’m sorry but you can’t. It’s not as easy as that, it takes months of waiting lists and fitting in of certain (irrelevant) criteria. More often than not it comes down to a post code lottery of whether or not you get help, or the right help, or enough help. This is a lottery with people’s lives. Recently, an acquaintance of mine died, left in the wilderness of forms and funding, yet her family tuned into your television show to see Nikki getting automatic treatment rights because she was on a reality television show, because she was famous. Do you really thing that’s fair on them, fair on any of us? If you are doing it for one sufferer then do it for us all, or send the money you got paid for that show to b-eat.

The Marmite comment wasn’t an insult but a description, some people you just love or hate and it has fuck all to do with how much they’ve suffered. I would never nor would Ilona dismiss someone who is ill, that was not the intention.

The thing that I really feel the need to comment on is this part;

"Her first response was to say that she had tried every trick in the book. Fine. She went on to give an endless list of the extremes she went to in order to trick her doctors into thinking she was getting better. Far from fine."

Nikki is clearly not of sane mind, because you are not when they’re starving themselves and underweight, but you are and prompting her to go into details about how she hid her condition from doctors is plain irresponsible. I am specifically thinking about when Billie Piper ‘came out’ and she REFUSED to talk about the specific details of her illness as she said that she would only have copied them when you was in the grip of her illness and didn’t want other people to do the same.

Do you realise that in the Eating Disorder world, rather than the ‘real’ one you claim Ilona ‘get with’, patients in hospitals spend a huge chunk of their time watching day time television, that a vast majority of them would be clinging to every little trick and tip to stay sick and fool the people around them. Do you really think you have helped those sufferers? I honestly don’t believe that a single expert in the condition worth their weight would have been happy about it. In fact they would have been far busier trying to save people’s lives to want to press their face into the media world of book promotion and sensationalistic memoir writing. Those are the kind of experts who save lives, who I owe my own life to today.

Perhaps you have helped a handful of people to reach out and get help, but are the ones you’ve helped get or stay sick worth it?

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