In no particular order…
- I don’t want to — My persoal favorite. My therapist usually refuse it with something equally as thoughtful, like “yeah, no kidding.”
- I’m not sick enough -- Everyone (yes, everyone) has used this excuse at some point. Other variations include:
- I’m not thin enough / my weight is okay
- My labs are okay
- I don’t have serious health consequences
- If it were really a problem, my spouse / doctor / friends / parents would have said something
- I can’t take the time off from work – This one isn’t unreasonable… except for that whole part about having a life-threatening disorder. You kinda need to be around (and relatively health) to do your job… don’t you think?
- It’s too expensive -- Isn’t that the truth! However, there are ways around this. Lots of professionals / treatment centers can work with you on a sliding scale or scholarship. There are free, research-run programs in some areas. Still, lots of people DO (unfortuantely) run into the financial barrier.
- I did treatment before, and it didn’t work – Third time’s the charm… or fifth, or tenth. Lots of treatments (for mental or physical illness) don’t work the first time. Personally, it took my having several negative experiences to figure out what is helpful for me. I could think of lots of cliche’s to address this one: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Or, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” You get the point…
- I can do this on my own — This is another one that everyone has used. If that were true, you would have done it by now.
- I’m not ready to recover and am waiting until I am 100% motivated – it seems that rarely motivation is not proportiona to sickness. If you keep waiting… and waiting… not only are you going to be miserable during that period, but you’re continually putting your health in danger. Sometimes it takes starting treatment to make you want to get better.
- There’s no treatment near me — You’ll have to be creative. Maybe you’ll have to drive, or go residential somewhere far away, or try online therapy…
- I’m too old – Despite the stereotype, eating disorders are not liited to adolesent females. In fact, something like 30% of the Renfrew Center’s patients are over 30.
- Shame — So many people with eating disorders feel a lot of shame… along with many other internal demotivatos, like fear of disappointment, judgment, and rejection. If you can just get over that initial fear for enough time to seek help, it’s something therapy can help you work on.
There are lots of reasons to NOT seek treatment, and many of them are valid. However, reasonable or not, they are still excuses and they help keep you sick.
Note: While there is REAL research on barriers to treatment, this post only contains my opinion. Maybe I’ll blog about the factual stuff later…