Coroner’s Ruling May Be First to Link Suicide with Anorexia | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Coroner’s Ruling May Be First to Link Suicide with Anorexia

The tragic case of Alana Goldsmith may actually help raise awareness to the lethality of the disease.

Image: 

Alana Goldsmith. Photo via

By Paul Gaita

07/17/14

| Share

A coroner in New South Wales, Australia, declared the cause of death for a 23-year-old woman as suicide while suffering from anorexia nervosa, which has been declared by authorities as the first time the disease has been officially mentioned in regard to a death certificate for suicide.

In 2011, Sydney resident Alana Goldsmith was receiving treatment for the eating disorder when she disappeared from the hospital; her body was found a few hours later on July 22 of that year. Goldsmith’s family had hoped that the coroner’s report would help to raise awareness of the lethal aspects of the disease, which has death rates estimated at 17%—the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

Coroner Mark Douglass presented his conclusion at the inquest into Goldsmith’s death at the New South Wales coroner’s court in Sydney. The reasons for his findings have not been released, but are expected in the coming weeks.

Christine Morgan, chief executive of the Butterfly Foundation, an eating disorder awareness group, underscored the significance of the situation by stating, “Recognizing suicide risk is heightened for someone suffering from anorexia nervosa, this finding can jolt a seismic shift in the way governments resource communities to address eating disorders.” Data collected in 2012 shows more than 900,000 Australians suffer from an eating disorder, while an estimated eight million Americans contend with anorexia or bulimia.

In both countries, access to treatment is limited—only 20% of American women who receive treatment for eating disorders get the full three to six months of inpatient care doctors and health specialists say is required to stay in recovery from the disease. Many are sent home weeks earlier, or cannot afford the cost, which is estimated at $30,000 a month for inpatient treatment; New South Wales’ Fed Up campaign reports that only two public adult inpatient eating disorder beds are available in the state, while public outpatient treatment is relegated to four hours a week.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv