1. ITV Report

Somerset woman: 'frightened for her life' as she battles eating disorder

Vanessa Holbrow has been battling an eating disorder for 35 years and believes she was misdiagnosed 25 years ago. Credit: ITV West Country

A Somerset woman says she’s “frightened for her life” after losing a lot of weight because of an eating disorder.

47-year-old Vanessa Holbrow believes she was misdiagnosed 25 years ago and should have been helped with trauma at the time.

She says that after struggling with an eating disorder for 35 years, she is still not getting the treatment she needs in Somerset.

Vanessa told ITV News: "I'm quite shocked at how far you have to get, in terms of your physical state, before one can get help."

She believes that if she lived in an area with a specialist unit for eating disorders, it would be far easier to be treated. She described it as a "postcode lottery".

Vanessa is calling for more help for people of all ages that may be suffering from an eating disorder. Credit: ITV West Country

The Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group say:

Whilst this may be of little comfort to people who have lived with an eating disorder throughout their adult life, the emphasis for local services has been upon raising awareness and early intervention. The age of those most frequently seeking help are 14 to 24 year olds.

– Somerset CCG

Vanessa is calling for more help for people with eating disorders. She thinks the emphasis needs to be on dealing with the root causes.

She wants to help people of all ages get the treatment they need.

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For more information on eating disorders and advice on where to get help, you can visit the following websites: