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ED Clinic won't allow vegans


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#1 Nessii

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 06:36 AM

I've been trying to recover from Bulimia for a few years now; my ED clinic said that I fit the criteria for day patient care, essentially being a patient 5 days a week. The whole thing sounded like my worst fucking nightmare anyway but I'd been waiting for an opportunity like this for so long so I was prepared to do it because nothing else I  have ever tried has worked.

 

BUT OH WAIT

 

'being vegan is a form of restriction and we don't offer a vegan meal plan. If you want to be a patient here, you would have to at least eat dairy.'

 

Hold the fucking phone.. I'm not just plant based, my whole lifestyle is vegan, from the beauty products I buy to the food I eat. And if I want to recover, I have to give up my moral stance on this?

So I turned down the treatment and am now on a months long waiting list for CBT-E. Why even bother recover?

This infuriated me and I just wanted to share it.

 

Has anyone else come across this problem when trying to recover?

 

(to add some context to this, I live in the UK where plant based food is very accessible, nutritious, and no more expensive than dairy. They are basing the above purely on the fact that being vegan is seen as 'restrictive' and they don't take any exceptions, including if you've had an eating disorder for over 10 years but have only been vegan for 3 years..)

 

 

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UPDATE (16th Sept 20)

I can't believe how many of you have faced similar issues! I now work for the NHS and do have huge amounts of respect for them, but it does completely blow my mind how out of date some of the ED recovery programs are. I am now in CBT-E, which is helping somewhat, but I can't see myself being fully recovered for a very long time, and I can't help but wonder how better off I would have been if I had taken up day patient back in Feb. I also can't help but wonder why, after 3 months of CBT-E, my therapist has not once bought up the fact that I'm vegan.. why was it classed as such an issue of restriction for day patient, but doesn't seem to class as an issue at all in therapy?

 

Anyway, I wanted to add this update with the message of PLEASE DON'T GIVE UP ON RECOVERY over any of the issues mentioned here, this post was never intended to deter anyone from recovery; there is help out there for everyone, it's just finding the help that is right for you. Sending all of my love to anyone seeking recovery, it's not easy but it'll be worth it xx


Edited by Nessii, 16 September 2020 - 04:49 AM.

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#2 B u n n y R e b e l

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 06:57 AM

That's horrendous?!! Really.  I've had an ED since childhood really but have only in the last 6 months gone form vegetarian to an ethical vegan, my whole life is now vegan and although new to veganism, I hold my morals close to my chest.  I've never been inpatient but have wondered if ED Clinics cater for vegans.  I live in the UK as well and since Veganuary its been an explosion of plant based E V E R Y W H E R E so its not difficult.  Sorry your having a difficult time finding somewhere suitable ♥


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#3 Jacqueline_356

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 10:28 AM

That`s awful, so sorry they put you in a position where you had to make that decision


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#4 chiply

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 02:04 PM

i’m in the US and this is one of the very many factors of why i’m terrified of being put in treatment
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#5 Wondererwho

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Posted 12 February 2020 - 05:07 PM

That's such bullshit, I'm sorry :(


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#6 Umaru♡

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Posted 13 February 2020 - 04:19 AM

I think that’s awful! Luckily by some miracle when I was ip (by force) they offered vegan meals ... I was actually surprised.
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#7 peach dreams

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 12:39 AM

Ah, that's terrible! I'm starting treatment in a few weeks, and I made sure to choose a place that accommodates vegans. If you have The Emily Program near you, they accommodate vegans! Or you could see about going to TEP for res. Good luck!
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#8 MissBean

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 01:13 AM

I take it you are not just plant-based but veganism is an ethical belief system for you. You can tell this to the clinic. If they still say veganism is a form of restriction then you can ask them if they would also require a muslim to eat pork in the treatment. Being an ethical vegan is a belief system just as being a muslim or jewish. It is therefore protected by the same laws for belief / conviction both in the UK and in the European Convention of Human Rights, Article 9 (EU).

If they still can't offer vegan option then is there any other clinic in the UK that treats people with vegan diets?

Edit: I also found this link: https://www.vegansoc...s-what-law-says
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#9 borntired

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Posted 16 February 2020 - 01:58 AM

This is a big concern for me. I genuinely think I'd be distraught if I was forced to eat any kind of animal product. I think it's ridiculous to enforce this kind of rule knowing that for a lot it's a matter of morals.

Also, I'm sure after all these years any amount of dairy would have me on my ass.

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#10 Nessii

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:49 AM

I take it you are not just plant-based but veganism is an ethical belief system for you. You can tell this to the clinic. If they still say veganism is a form of restriction then you can ask them if they would also require a muslim to eat pork in the treatment. Being an ethical vegan is a belief system just as being a muslim or a jew. It is therefore protected by the same laws for belief / conviction both in the UK and in the European Convention of Human Rights, Article 9 (EU).

If they still can't offer vegan option then is there any other clinic in the UK that treats people with vegan diets?

Edit: I also found this link: https://www.vegansoc...s-what-law-says

This is really interesting - thank you so much for sharing. I told them that being plant based and being vegan are 2 very different things, and my whole lifestyle is vegan, but that didn't sway them in the slightest (I think they thought I was lying because of my ED to be honest). But I'm going to give this article a good read through - thanks again!


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#11 Nessii

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:54 AM

That's horrendous?!! Really.  I've had an ED since childhood really but have only in the last 6 months gone form vegetarian to an ethical vegan, my whole life is now vegan and although new to veganism, I hold my morals close to my chest.  I've never been inpatient but have wondered if ED Clinics cater for vegans.  I live in the UK as well and since Veganuary its been an explosion of plant based E V E R Y W H E R E so its not difficult.  Sorry your having a difficult time finding somewhere suitable ♥

When I posted this, I was really angry and hadn't considered that this may put some people off recovery - please don't let this put you off if you're in a circumstance where recovery is an option! I live in a small town with a very old school clinic, I'm sure it's not like this everywhere in the UK! And this is an NHS clinic as well, I'm sure private ones would cater to a plant based diet. 

 

But my original appointment was in Jan, and I had to laugh at the irony of Veganuary literally being everywhere you looked and how happy it made me that a lot of people were finally embracing vegan food, and yet there I was being told I couldn't be vegan by medical professionals  :huh:


Age: 27
Height: 5'7

Lw: 112
Cw: 131

Ugw: 98

 


 

I wish I could've known about the view from half way down


#12 Nessii

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Posted 24 February 2020 - 03:59 AM

This is a big concern for me. I genuinely think I'd be distraught if I was forced to eat any kind of animal product. I think it's ridiculous to enforce this kind of rule knowing that for a lot it's a matter of morals.

Also, I'm sure after all these years any amount of dairy would have me on my ass.

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It's such an awful position to be put in. But I probably should have included in my post that this is on the free health service that we have in the UK, if I was in a better financial position, I could probably afford to go to a clinic that don't turn you away due to your beliefs..

 

Same, I don't even want to think about what dairy would do after 3 years of not having it  :blink:


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I wish I could've known about the view from half way down


#13 green-tea-and-black-coffee

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 04:19 PM

Vegan bulimic in UK here

Never seeking NHS treatment because of this. I've heard the horror stories from my support group, and I'd rather die. Lactose intolerance isn't even enough of an excuse for them, you have to have a milk protein allergy....so they can force-feed you eggs instead.

Our free healthcare is crap send help

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#14 onelastchancegirl

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 01:56 AM

I went IP and was told that vegetarian/vegan diets we against policy. I went from 23 years veg/vegan and had to eat meat or I would have been sectioned at put in a public facility against my will.
Then, 6 weeks later a girl comes in and is allowed to be vego. I cracked it majorly and they eventually relented as I was told meat was compulsory and that obviously wasn't true as they were letting other patients do it.
4 months of private treatment later and all I want to do is go home and starve.

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#15 PrincessAnaBaby

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Posted 26 February 2020 - 03:42 AM

This is my single biggest fear after relapsing. Previously, I wasn’t vegan, but became vegan in “recovery”. I had no idea hospitals and ED clinics don’t accommodate veganism.

I can’t even sit on my friends “real leather” chair, so being forced to consume it is my absolute worst nightmare. I have had multiple nightmares about being in a hospital and force fed dairy or meat. Having vegan food force fed to me is also a fear, but it pales in comparison to my vegan morals.

I would much rather decline or avoid any form of help. Even more, I’d rather give my life than eat the body of another creature that didn’t want or need to die.

Also (edit), vegan food is not really restrictive. I fully understand how non-vegans can see it that way and how intentions can be problematic (esp if going the raw vegan route). But, when I was in “recovery” I had SO much more variation in my meals than I ever did non-vegan!
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#16 lonelyvenus

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 08:34 PM

thats... bullshit im so sorry!! :(



#17 collarbonedreamer

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 01:33 PM

Yes, because denying you access to your ethical code will totally help you recover ‍♀  Good job meat-centric medical system. 
 

 

sarcasm^ Just so we are clear


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#18 sprintergirl

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Posted 11 March 2020 - 06:38 PM

i came across this as well when i was trying to recover the second and third time. the center i was at also told me it was just restrictive and shit and i saw their point, but while they didn't allow me to be vegan, i found a loophole with being vegetarian. i would just drink supplement in place of the meat they gave me and that seemed to do the trick to convince them i was gonna be okay. vegan just seems to freak people out, but vegetarian i think is becoming more easily accepted these days, especially in treatment centers. once i told them i've been veggie since i was like 8 they were like "alright so it isn't just an ed thing" you know. they're just worried it's intertwined with your ed, and even i was convinced that my ed and veganism weren't intertwined, but looking back i can see they totally were. i try to buy cruelty free products and shit like that to this day, but a vegan diet is just something i can't do healthily, and that's okay.


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#19 HerDelusionalBones

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Posted 12 March 2020 - 06:13 AM

When I went to inpatient I expressed the fact that I was lactose and couldnt eat dairy yet EVERY FUCKING MEAL was Mac and CHEESE. I cant eat cheese. Wish I could, but I cant.  The fucking drama that I had to go through. Doctors notes, testing, everything under the sun to prove I wasnt just a liar.  After all the testing, EVERYTHING TO PROVE I WASNT LACTOSE, my time in Inpatient was up and nothing changed except my bank account was now completely empty 


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#20 sadskinnymatcha

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Posted 03 April 2020 - 03:27 PM

I heard some places allow you to stay vegan as long as someone can bring in the alternatives for you since they won't provide them. Like if there's Mac n cheese on the meal plan, someone (or you) brings you that, or like yogurt.. however I'm guessing the majority of places won't allow it.. no harm in asking?

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