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Member 3 posts
Posted 10 months ago
Hi this is my first post on here. I have a 13 year old daughter who has become obsessed with counting calories and exercise, to the point where she makes her own meal as she will not eat what we eat after this she would go on the treadmill for 20 minutes each day.. This has started over the last six weeks or so and she has lost so much weight that we took her to the GP. within two weeks she has lost over three kilos and looks a shell to her former self. She has always been thin but now every time I look at her I have to leave the room as it upsets me that much it breaks my heart. Since the visit to the GP we have stopped her using the treadmill and she takes the frustration out on her mum to the point were my wife is sobbing her heart out. The GP made an appointment for her to see the doctor at the hospital but we have to wait four more weeks. We have tried to talk to her but she thinks she doesn't have a problem and that we are being mean to her. Does anyone have any tips or pointers that we can try with her as we are terrified that if she loses anymore weight we may end up losing her.
Admin 124 posts
Welcome to the online community, although I am sorry to hear of your situation, it is a difficult and challenging but sadly recognisable situation, and it can be very difficult to find some solid ground. It is scandalous to me that you have to wait 4 weeks to see a doctor as your daughter's weight loss has been so drastic. Have you been referred to camhs services? I have often made myself very unpopular with the services, phoning up and complaining and asking for faster/better treatment, it doesn't always work but sometimes it does.
ABC has a help line that is there for those battling an eating disorder and their supporters, it may help to phone the help line(details above. I would also recommend you to read the guidance documents that are on the home page of the parent and carers on line community as we have endeavoured to provide as much information as possible, in particular there is information about diet and exercise.
When I was in this situation with my own daughter I felt as if she held all of the cards. Further down the line it has been my experience that an eating disorder manifests when the individual is feeling out of control. Has there been anything new in your daughter's life that may be causing her stress? is everything ok at school and with her friendship group? It is important that you are informed you say that she thinks that she doesn't have a problem, but she may not be being wholly truthful to herself, to her she may feel that she is loosing weight and feels that she is in control. If you challenge her head on about it and if she is anything like my daughter she will become stubborn and not budge. Try doing some activity with her away from mealtimes when you can chat for example taking the dog for a walk, painting a wall, any distraction activity. In this way you can try to let her know that you are concerned, and try if you can to come to an agreement with her - about her food intake and her exercise. If you get cross or cry she may not care, so try just to be gently persuasive. I do know just how difficult I is to do what I am suggesting and don't be cross with yourself if it doesn't come very easy, but don't give up on it, be steady, clear and supportive, good listeners and never give up on the end goal. Best of luck, let us know how you get on.
Thanks for the advice. I will let you know how I get on.
Posted 5 months ago
I am looking over the posts and I was wondering how you and you daughter are doing?
hi we have managed to get her weight more or less to where it should be but she refuses point blank to accept any psychological help as the doctor has stated she needs this.. We have tried many times but she will not accept it. bath times can be a nightmare, once she sees herself naked she is obsessed that she is fat. She has returned back to school full time but three times in the last two weeks we have had to pick her up due to having panic attacks. We have also had to ask the school to make sure that she eats her lunch as the first week back she would not eat it.
Thank you for your reply. It is good to hear that your daughter has restored her weight. Its also sounds as if you have the school on board and as if they are being supportive. The weight loss is a symptom of the anorexia (obvious I know but I mean it is not the cause of the eating disorder). and weight restoration needs to happen in order for therapy to be effective. Forgive me I am sure I am telling you what you know but she does need to face the issues and feelings that lead her to restrict so that she can feel a bit more in control of them and therefore not allow anorexia to be such an influential thought in her head. But as you say getting her on board is the next challenge. I know that I've said it in other posts but sometimes it is more effective to get her to talk to you away from any conflict situation, for example driving somewhere. Is there anyone in the wider family, or a favourite teacher at school, or anyone outside of the family who can support you in this. I used to try to plant the seed of an idea so that she then came to that idea as if it was her idea, then she would engage with it more. Sometimes modelling behaviours can be influential as well, I wonder f there is any support of offer for you or you family as carers, if you showed that you were ready to have support it may be a good example for her. If she is unhappy at seeing her body I wonder could you take any mirrors down or cover them, just while its so raw for her. I also wonder if maybe you have fewer bath times as if this is becoming a time of conflict it may only escalate her feelings of not being in control? All that being said I am so glad to read of the progress of your daughters recovery, very best wishes.
Member 8 posts
Posted one year ago
Hi this is my first post on this forum - just wanted to test it is working and say how pleased I am that it is available. I am a regular reader of Around the Dinner Table but I have never posted as I am a little daunted by its international flavour ! However it is very useful and encouraging so I have great hopes for this site !
Member 4 posts
Hi. Just registered here today. My daughter (16) has been suffering from anorexia from June (officially) last year. She had been doing so well until 3 weeks ago when she suddenly stopped eating. Previously I took 'Maudsley aproach' which was very tough but actually effective. Now the same method seem to have no effect on her but just makes her more and more devious. I'm not sure if I should step back a little and give her more freedom or it would make things even worse.
Anyway, glad there is this forum. I thought I would put some comments to get the ball rolling.
Member 34 posts
Hi there my daughter has been battling anorexia for a number of years, and I know that you wont want to hear that, I didn't when my daughter was first diagnosed. It is a journey of persistent and consistent love and firmness on your part while you whether the storm. When I look back to the early days of my daughter's illness I recognise exactly your dilemma and I tried stepping back and trusting her, that was not the best move . I can see now that I mistook the behaviours of her illness as her personality and character but I have learnt now that they are classic behaviours of the illness. Is she getting support? and are you getting support? My daughter went into eating disorder unit quite quickly after being first diagnosed and actually it was a relief for her and me, she felt safe from herself(her words) and I felt that she was in a good place for recovery, as I felt that I was making mistake after mistake and all the while I was getting more confused. She had to have a second time in a unit the year later, she was in for a while the second unit was very firm and that was what she needed, so I used that as a model. I tried wherever possible to agree what was going to happen away from mealtimes and times of stress and I tried to make my expectations clear, I am still learning, keep clear, keep informed use whatever support you can
Hi Fingers crossed
Thanks for your reply. I knew the avarage time to recover is 5-8 years, but I hoped she would be the lucky few to escape quickly! She relapsed after a few stressful events and this made me realise that in order to truely recover, she needs to dig deep and find inner strength somehow to cope with life, because life is always going to throw stressful events at you. And to be honest, I don't think she is mature enough to make the psychological leap at this stage.
Sorry to hear that your daughter had to go to the hospital. My daughter was explained the possibility of 3 weeks stay if her eating doesn't improve. I can completely understand you because I was strangely relieved to know that someone will take over the feeding and keep her safe if things gets really bad.
She has an appointment with psychiatrist this week. Also CAMHS suggested she is kept away from school for a while. Hope these measures will make some difference.
Thank you for your kind words. Hope it's going to be a good week for you and your daughter.
I am just looking over the posts and I wonder how you and your daughter are getting on ?
Thanks for posting - it has been a while since I have looked at the site. I am sorry your daughter seems to be having a blip - I am no expert as we are still (after 8 months) in the refeeding stage and have not reached a weight that CAMHS are happy with. My daughter does eat begrudingly but not enough to get to the weight she needs to be at. However we don't have the screaming fits and tantrums that we used to have, just a silence and complete blank if we try to get her to eat something she doesn't agree with. Is your daughter weighed regularly and do you know where she is at with that? My D still has such disordered thoughts around food, given free choice her portion sizes would be non- existent so if you relaxed would your daughter do the same ?
It sounds like we joined this horrid club around the same time - June 2016 - it is a long hard never ending road is it not ?
Thank you for replying. Good to hear from someone because this is a lonely place.
My daughter goes to CAMHS every week and we as a family see 2 family therapists in a single session (what a luxury!). They are great and she was firmly fed at home and weight recovered by December. Then suddenly a series of stressful events happened and she completely lost it again. I thought if you are weight recovered, your brain will recover eventually and true recovery will come in time. Now I'm beginning to understand why they say you need to recover physically and psycologically, and why relapse is so common. She is seeing pshychiatrist this week and they will discuss about medication. I don't know what to think. Will post the outcome afterwards.
Anyway hope your daughter will stay on the path of recovery. We need to stay strong!
Hi ak it does sound as if you are doing all that you can, I am the administrator for ABC but I also have a child who is battling an eating disorder, we are further on, it is an incredibly complex illness and it does create disorder. if you haven't already done so,please have a read of the info on the home page of parent and carers on line community it is always best to learn as much as you can and I learnt quite a bit as I compiled it for this platform. I have been a bit of a sponge soaking up and learning as much as I can. It is a long journey but for me it does have stages, some not so intense as others, I hope that this site grows and that we can all offer each other support .
Hi Admin person
Thanks you so much for your reply. when you said 'it does sound as if you are doing all that you can', it gave me relief. I think what was bothering me recently is I was getting more and more unsure if what I'm doing is right. I suppose nobody knows what is the best cause of action, and also we must accept our resources, mentally and physically, are not limitless. Somedays I feel I am beaten by AN, but still need to get some sleep to be prepared for another battle next day.
Thank you for providing the opportunity to speak to other parents.Very much needed.
Posted 11 months ago
What you are saying sounds so familiar to me. It is so difficult, at times I feel that I am out manoeuvred as I tip toe around on eggshells. Then I have a think and resolve to myself that I've got to be more firm with her, but when it comes to I cant bear to challenge her as ultimately she seems to vulnerable and then I try to understand a bit more. I have had some very good conversations with her away from the dinner table and those really give me an insight. Basically she is as terrified of eating as we are terrified of her not eating, so I suppose that I just try to support her and encourage her to be brave and try not to make it a battle between us. So in my opinion the only way that you can get this wrong is by not listening or supporting. If you can encourage her to share her fears and talk. Finally sleep is vital you must look after yourself.
Hi, I am just re reading over the posts a few months have passed now, I was wondering how you and your families are getting on
Hi, thank you for using this platform to talk to others, it is a bit daunting but you have got the ball rolling. How was Christmas for you and yours?
Christmas was very daunting, it is a time when food has such a pivotal role in the celebrations which only makes anxieties higher. We played it down and served the lunch just like a roast dinner already on the plates - it worked okay thank goodness. Our family all went along with what we had organised and the day went without hitch. It wasn't a day to push anything tho.
Just in case anyone else is reading, I have a 15 year old daughter who has been weight restoring since June. We are still not there yet and it feels like a very long hard road !!
Tt sounds as if you managed Christmas well. Although I am the ABC administrator for this forum, I am replying to you as a fellow carer because my daughter has been battling an eating disorder for 5 and a half years she has had good times but was struggling over Christmas, so my posts are from me as a mum/carer. Christmas and celebrations where food is central are so difficult. Like you we try to keep things as normal as possible, but my daughter would not have allowed us to plate up her food, so you are doing well to still be trusted to do that.
Hi It is good to know we are not alone. Luckily at the moment we are still in the refeeding stage and we plate up all our daughters meals. CAMHS gave us this authority/role very early on and we are still retaining it. She has more choice/control over snacks but if we let go too much then we find that she will choose the smaller and smaller options which doesn't produce a weight gain at all.
Having said that, I read books where people feed their children milkshakes packed with Haagen Daaz etc etc and there is no way my daughter would ever accept that. Although I am making the meals they are still within the realms of what she likes, trusts etc. I don't think I push the fear boundaries enough by far......
It is very difficult to know what to do in terms of boundaries. I took the approach that I was always honest and transparent I never tried to sneak the calories in mainly because she was in such fear of them that if she felt that she couldn't trust me that I would have lost that last tenuous link to her. We had re feeding brochures that didn't really work and as you say she would always pick the smallest potion/vegetable etc. etc. Really I wasn't much good at it she needed the rigour of a unit but when she came out it was back to her It does take time and I don't know the answer I have just been consistent with her sometimes I know that I have been a complete pushover. She is now 25 she hasn't eaten with us since she got ill all of those years ago. But at last at last she has worked out that she is using it to be mean to herself because she feels that she doesn't derive any better and she is beginning to win little battles with my support ...