The effects of an eating disorder took Kelowna resident Ashley Polson down a rocky road that nearly ended in death.
When Polson was 16 years old, she began to struggle with anorexia after she had gained a significant amount of weight in a short period of time due to the side effects of a medication.
The struggle lasted seven years and got to the point where Polson began to contemplate taking her own life.
She had started an online video blog to document her struggle with the eating disorder. One follower was able to convince her to change her mind.
“On the day I decided to end my life, one of them was talking with me,” said Polson, in a release by the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign.
“He talked me through things, got me to stop and go to the hospital, and offered to help me. As a result, my life was saved, and I was able to get treatment out of the country.”
According to Polson, the treatment was offered as a gift and has allowed her to carry on with life.
She has shared her story as part of a psychology DVD accompanying a textbook used in universities across North America to help educate others on eating disorders.
“That to me was one of the best things, to know that I could make a difference in someone else’s life and potentially save a life.”
The Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness campaign launches during the first full week in February with activities and events taking place throughout the year. It is a province-wide effort to raise awareness around prevention and early intervention of eating disorders.
To learn more about the campaign, visit facebook.com/loveourbodiesloveourselves.