Letter to the Editor

No help for eating disorder

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I am a 20-year-old college student, I weigh 83 pounds. Shocking? What's even more shocking is that I can't get the help I need. There are no treatment programs in Cape Girardeau or the surrounding area for those who suffer from eating disorders. Since eating disorders are so misunderstood, they can rarely be successfully treated by those who do not specialize in eating disorders. And, in a lot of cases such as mine, in-patient or residential treatment is necessary for recovery. The problem is that those programs are very expensive (around $1,100 a day), and most insurance companies do not cover them.

I am being turned away from the residential program that I need to get better, and there are no government or private-charity programs to help me. I will die without residential treatment. Also, I was hospitalized for three days last month, which cost almost $3,000. My insurance paid $130. Now I, receiving no financial help from my parents and making $1,200 last year, am forced to pay a $2,800 medical bill. Why are we letting insurance companies get away with this? And why are those suffering from eating disorders so overlooked? Why are there no appropriate resources for us within the community?

KARINA DEWING, Cape Girardeau