A Cork woman says she believes inpatient treatment is now the "only possibility I might survive" her eating disorder.
Lisa Murphy has spent a year on the public waiting list to access treatment for her eating disorder, and says it's a miracle she's still alive.
Lisa has been admitted to hospital seven times and earlier this year attempted to take her own life.
Her friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help her get access to private treatment, raising nearly €45,000 so far - three-quarters of the way towards their goal.
Lisa told The Pat Kenny Show she has suffered from serious eating disorders for over a decade.
She said: “I did crash diets and yo-yo dieting when I was a teenager, but it didn’t really cross over into the realm of eating disorder behaviour until I went to college… about 18 or 19 was when it started.
“It started off as bulimia - that would be the primary one. Over the years, I’ve had bouts of anorexia.
“I am very aware of the types of behaviours I engage in and how harmful they are. But awareness doesn’t seem to help me break that cycle.”
Around a year ago, Lisa was admitted to A&E and referred to a mental health team in Dublin - and it's taken her a year to reach the top of that waiting list.
She said: "I’ve just hit the top of the waiting list now, and all they can offer me is 20 50-minute sessions with a psychologist. There’s no dietician in there… it’s not very intense.
“Things are so severe that I think at this point the only thing that will give me a fighting chance is to go into a facility.”
'My only chance'
Lisa said the last three-four years have been "horrific", and suicidal thoughts are "always there".
She told Pat: “Whether I act on them or not depends on how low I get and how bad things are on a given day.”
She says she received no psychiatric treatment after a suicide attempt earlier this year, only physical treatment.
While doctors have "strongly recommended" Lisa receive inpatient treatment, she said she's so far had no luck accessing one of the three specialist beds in the country.
Meanwhile, Lisa said her friends have taken matters into their own hands and started the GoFundMe campaign after seeing firsthand what she's going through.
She said: “They knew I had an eating disorder, and they’re used to me disappearing after meals.
“But what happened on the holiday was about two days in my body just really stopped functioning. I was on the couch for a couple of days - I couldn’t move or do anything. I was just really catatonic, really.
“I think they got a fright - they were very upset, understandably."
They're now looking to raise €60,000 for a 12-week stay in a private facility - something Lisa believes is now her only option.
She said: “I think it’s my only chance really. It’s a miracle I’m still alive, even now - this really is the only possibility I might survive this eating disorder.
“There’s still a big part of me that think it’s going to beat me… but [treatment] is the only thing I think might give me a chance.”
Anyone affected by the issues discussed in this article can contact the Samaritans on 116-123 or the Bodywhys helpline on 01-210-7906.