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Member 3 posts
Posted one year ago
Sorry to put a negative post on here. My daughter has been admitted again for yet again being anorexic. She is in Bethlem Royal and has been there for 5 months she was close to death on admission. Whilst here weight has improved very slightly she is still fighting with the mental aspects and feels she is getting fat and there fore is trying at every turn to outwit the carers who do not have the manpower I guess to check everything.
The Hospital say they cannot treat her mind until she reaches a BMI of 16. Its catch 22 because she does not want to put weight on.
It is making me ill with worry because I feel I cannot help her and she is fading away. Can anybody offer any advice please
Many many thanks
Member 40 posts
Oh Mark, I am so sorry to hear this, I can completely understand why you are saying what you are saying. It does sound as if your daughter is very ill indeed. Anorexic thoughts are so powerful and I know that for my daughter they did override anything else, it is as if they are being held hostage. If it is any consolation at all there have been times when I really have not been able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I have honestly expected the worst to happen, and forgive me if this sounds trite but I have just kept believing that she will be ok, and although it is a long road and she is still working to recovery we are no longer in that very dark place. So despite what she may say or do believe in her even when she is horrible and unrecognisable, I remember saying once to my daughter "I give up I cant do it anymore"after she had not gained weight for the 3rd consecutive week in a unit and was threated with expulsion - this seemed to really shake her, she said that without my belief in her she would give up.
It is true that below a certain BMI the brain is malnourished and unable to function properly and so therapy will not be effective. That is the frustrating awful catch 22 of this. She will lie to you, she will lie to everyone, but remember that that is the illness causing her to behave out of character not her. She is still there even though it may not be obvious. I'd suggest getting the unit to tell you as much as possible about what is happening, and if you are not clear or do not like what you hear then ask again.
It is vital that you look after yourself, that is in diet and sleep, maybe if possible you should have some time off work just to base yourself. Ask those caring for your daughter whether there is any provision to support or counsel you. Read as much as you can about the illness, this site has lots of info and there is an ABC helpline for sufferers and carers. One thing that I did and still do is always look for the good news stories because they are there.
There will be an underlying anxiety for my daughter it was/is self esteem, self worth and acne. I don't know how long your daughter has been ill for, but be prepared for the long haul, it won't all be awful, but keep your sites on that time in the future when she will be well and recognise the progress no matter how mini. Finally I'd say involve your wider family if that would be a good idea and even good friends of hers who would be useful and let her see that people care. I say that realising that not everyone understand the illness, so choose carefully. Sending you my very best wishes.
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. Very kind of you. You feel very alone don't you and sadly my daughter has been struggling with various forms of eating disorders for 12 years or more, and she seems to be getting worse with each episode because the causes form her early years have not been able to be addressed for one reason or another. I have bought a book which details family / carer help
Anorexia Nervosa – A Recovery Guide for Sufferers, Families and Friends by Janet Treasure and June Alexander. I need to get reading and absorbing.
Just feel like crying a lot of the time. It all seems such a long haul especially since this year she has been is hospital for nearly 5 months. You were right about her lying ...She got close to discharge last week although we all knew she was not well enough and would just get rid of all the "fat" she had put on once she left. The staff discovered she had been cheating at the weigh ins which is possible why her brain function appears permanently damaged - perhaps the hope is that she is not at the target weight. She will lose her flat and her place at University now I suspect because this is the second time she has had to abandon her course half way through a year. Her hospital is 4 hours from where I live and she insists on staying in London. Hopefully the book will help give us strangth
I hope reading the book will give me some strength and help me be a be
Admin 179 posts
Hi again Mark,
I have been reading over the posts, it has been a few months now and I was wondering how you and your daughter are doing, you ahev had a very tough time
Hi again Mark,
12 years is a very long time you must feel exhausted by it all. Being informed is the key, as I say there is quite a bit on the home page for this platform as well which may be more easily digestible than a book. I cannot believe that you are not getting more support and it sounds as if your daughter has also been allowed to cheat at weigh ins they should be on the ball about that. They all cheat at weigh ins when they want to remain anorexic, even to the point of drinking loads of water, I found that my daughter had put cooking weights in her trouser pockets - I have learnt that they see the control that they have as a strength and a haven a place of numbness where their fears cannot hurt them - her brain function will return when she restores but not immediately if my daughter's experience is anything to go by. If she is so critically ill she should be in a treatment unit not a hospital you should insist on that. As to her flat and her education I would contact the uni and tell them what is happening and complete a mitigating circumstances form so then she may not have to do the work and may be awarded the grade that she would have achieved based on her work so far,(I have been a university examiner).
Remember that if you don't like what you are seeing/hearing/ witnessing then complain, keep asking what is happening and why, make it everyone's concern. Ask the uni to help to solve your problem, keep asking don't be fobbed off. If she is as ill as she is then she should take a considerable time off, so maybe see if you can sublet her flat. My daughter started 2 uni courses and had to leave in year 1, it is a stressful time. Remember that you have some agency in this you can say what you want to see to everyone involved including your daughter, although she probably wont like it if she is like my daughter then will be relieved. Remember that they really don't want to be where they are, hold onto her and hold out for her
Thanks you so much. It is so helpful to hear from somebody who has been through similar experiences ( though I do understand everybody is different )
I will do as you say and suggest to other relatives that they try to discuss with hospital too
Many thanks again
I have just followed this thread, and I wondered how you are getting in Mark, have you managed to talk to the family? how did it go? and how are you doing?