Registered: 1502455352 Posts: 1
Reply with quote #1
Hi everyone. I’m a longtime lurker but I’m desperate and need your advice since I know a lot of have struggled with a child having ED.
Long story short – my d has been suffering from an ED for about a year.
At first she told me that she wanted to lose a little weight and eat healthier. I didn’t think much of it at the time but pretty soon she was exercising 3 times a week and losing about 1lb per week. I started to think that this was a little extreme and insisted that I weigh her. By then she was a BMI 22. I told her that she needed to slow down with the dieting but she blew up in my face and said that her weight is totally normal for someone her age (she’s 17). At first I wanted to believe that this blow up was just teenage angst and rebellion, but I started watching her more closely and noticed how preoccupied and restrictive she was around food. She thought about every single thing she ate and refused to eat anything “unhealthy” (like cookies and ice cream). She often criticized what my h and I ate for dinner, claiming that we are unhealthy and will just keep getting “fatter and fatter.” This was incredibly obnoxious behavior that we’d never seen before. We were shocked.
I noticed that she was getting more and more concerned about food and weight over time. She wouldn’t even go out with her friends when they went to a burger bar because she said there is nothing “healthy” there and that she doesn’t understand why people eat “that crap.”
When she got to a bmi 20, I gently told her that I thought that she was losing a bit too much weight but she blew up again and told her that I was just being “controlling” and was jealous that she was thin and I’m “fat.” Like I said, this was new behavior to us. My d has always been very sweet and kind toward us. So I started to suspect that this was the ED talking.
I found this site a few months ago and have been trying to do maudsley FBT and follow the advice I’ve found here. I knew that I needed to jump on this before she turns 18 and can just legally leave home.
To say the least – it hasn’t been going well. She’s at a bmi 20 and I know that I can’t let this horrific ED take her any farther down this path. She has not responded well to me plating her food and forcing her eat. I sit with her after meals so that she can’t purge. She’s gotten more verbally aggressive telling me that I’m “controlling” and “terrible.” That all I care about is “myself” and that I’m a “narcissist.” This shook me to the core but I after reading this forum for a while I
know that it’s the ED talking. Then she just stopped eating everything I plated for her. I tried threatening to hospitalize her and took her to the doctor. Our gp completely undermined me and said she’s a “healthy” weight and that I don’t need to plate her food. I expressed my concerns to him in private and told her all of her symptoms and patterns and he blew it off saying it’s “normal” teenage behavior!!! I was shocked. I shouldn’t have been shocked given all the horror stories I’ve read about ignorant doctors on here. But I was still shocked. He’s not an ED specialist and I know my d a lot better than him.
So I tried to continue FBT as well as improvising when things get tough but now my h is not being supportive. He doesn’t understand how insidious and controlling our d’s ED is. I’ve told him that we
need to do this – that we are literally saving her life. But he doesn’t get it. D still refuses to eat the meals I’ve plated so I’ve resorted to force-feeding when necessary. I’m not proud of this but it has to be done. She’s threatened and tried many times to run away so me and my h have lightly restrained her to her bed so that she can’t go anywhere. We release her to go to the bathroom but make sure she leaves the door open. She has screamed at me, bitten me, and spit in my face while restrained. I tell that she only needs to prove that she will listen to me and eat the food I plate for her and then I’d be happy to remove the restraints. My h has increasingly grown weary of me and thinks we’re doing too much. I try to explain to him that we need to fight this ED with all our might so that our d doesn’t spiral out of control. I’ve read all the resources and material on this site and feel that I’m making the right choice. But now I’m started to second guess myself. I just don’t want this ED to control my daughter for the rest of her life! Am I wrong? Is my h right? What should I do?
Registered: 1496061527 Posts: 245
Reply with quote #2
welcome to this forum nobody wants to be in, but I´m sure you wil find some help from all the wonderful people here. Thats a quite difficult situation you´re in. To just throw in my opinion about what you wrote, I think you are right with what you are trying to do but the problem is that a) your d is already 17 and b) she is on paper "not underweight". So all the doctors only see that "not underweight" and if somebody doesn´t know anything about fbt it must sound strange that you want to control the meals of someone of that age. You are right about the ED talk. You know your d and you are right about her change in behaviour. Thats alarming. The problem is she is legally adult soon (as my d, too). To help her you must try to be her partner and not the enemy. Thats very difficult. We try not to do the hard way fbt but to give her choices and the feeling that she is part of a team. But our d sees that she is sick and needs help, thats the difference (she sees it since she is weight restored, before that she didn´t see it). Restraining sounds a bit hard, maybe I understood that wrong because of my language gaps. Is there no other possibility to keep her safe at home? Could you lock all doors leaving outside or something like that? Can you take her to an ED specialist who knows about what he´s talking? Maybe he could convince your h that there is a problem and you are no maniac Hope you get some help soon. Tina72
Registered: 1304383538 Posts: 1,240
Reply with quote #3
Welcome to the forum, though sorry you have a need to be here.
Where abouts are you located? If you can give some info on where you are, others may be able to offer advice or suggestions on medical providers. treatment centers etc. I don't think there are any parents or carers on this site who would advocate for restraining or force-feeding. If your d is refusing all nourishment, then she should be brought to the ER or A & E for assessment, and if necessary, be admitted for medical stabilization. There are some on the forum for whom plating & requiring all food to be eaten has just not worked. You can check out the thread on 'super resistors' to get an idea of the kinds of things that parents/carers have tried. Sending warm support, sk8r31 __________________ It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Registered: 1369949641 Posts: 1,739
Reply with quote #4
mamabear56, If your H will read any of my old posts you are welcome to print them out and give them to him. If you back e-mail me I can try and help you help your h to get what EDs do to our offspring. From what you describe I would suggest there is a need for a higher level of care from a Eating Disorder trained clinical team. GP, Psychologist/Psychiatrist. If you do the Feed Your Instinct (FYI) check list & then print that out as a referal http://www.feedyourinstinct.com.au/ this could help your H, your current GP and other clinicians. Unfortunately so many GPs just dont get EDs. Depending where you live there may be services available for the GP to learn from. If not you should look for an alternative GP __________________ ED Dad
Registered: 1436500021 Posts: 660
Reply with quote #5
I am sorry your daughter is ill.
I found this site a few months ago and have been trying to do maudsley FBT and follow the advice I’ve found here.
FBT is done under the supervision of a trained therapist. Are you and your family working with a therapist? If not, here is a list of trained providers that you can look into. http://maudsleyparents.org/providerlist.html Have you read Help Your Teenager Beat and Eating Disorder by James Lock and Daniel LaGrange? It gives a good overview of what parents can do to help their children. https://www.amazon.com/Help-Teenager-Eating-Disorder-Second/dp/146251748X/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=PSVE019Z6ANSQZPDZNNP
I’ve resorted to force-feeding when necessary
me and my h have lightly restrained her to her bed so that she can’t go anywhere. We release her to go to the bathroom
She has screamed at me, bitten me, and spit in my face while restrained.
I tell that she only needs to prove that she will listen to me and eat the food I plate for her and then I’d be happy to remove the restraints. When you read about FBT you will see that at no time is restraining suggested, condoned or part of FBT treatment. FBT is not about force-feeding. IMHO, it is about compassionate support and creating firm boundaries and expectations about eating to help an ill child regain health during refeeding while the patient and family receive therapeutic guidance from a trained professional. Kali __________________ Food=Love
Registered: 1438737617 Posts: 1,269
Reply with quote #6
When you say force feeding, what do you mean? Are you simply requiring her to eat and not letting her leave until she does or is there actual force involved?
Registered: 1502574081 Posts: 1
Reply with quote #7
Hey mamabear, I just want to say you are not crazy for thinking your daughter has an ED. Weight does not determine wether or not you have an ED, you could be obese and have anorexia, but now I want to say... I dont know if restraining her to her bed is a good idea, I also dont think force feeding her is a good idea, no matter how much you worry and want her to take in more than she is. As soon as she turns 18 and leaves home she will probably just start losing even more, what I think is important is to be her friend, or her support system now that you still have her with you. Look, people cant control their own EDs so let alone can someone else do it for them; I dont know what is triggering her ED and desire for weight loss, you know her better, but most of the time it comes from people being insecure about their appearance, and can often turn into an addiction... and i know this sort of thing makes you feel completely out of control of the situation and makes you want control things/her life but that will only make things worse, so what i would say is: just be there for her, tell her she's worthy and valid and beautiful, tell her you love her and that theres not something wrong with her and that she can get through this, be there for her if she ever feels sick or just needs someone to talk to > if it does start heading that direction you might just be able to understand her better. You dont want to be her enemy, or for her to avoid her, she's gonna do what she wants and you cant control it or moniter her, so the only good you can do is support her and make her feel good about herself in a way that maybe one day she wont feel she has to have a bmi of what 16 to be beautiful, you can help her by just being there, not controlling her
And she will start to appreciate your efforts, when she realises youre doing things that make her feel better, not feeding her to make YOU feel better (because FOOD will not cure an ED, it is a mental thing and I'm sure you've noticed that by now) i know its hard, but i also know you can do this. (If you love her let her go) YOU CAN DO IT
Registered: 1454901521 Posts: 157
Reply with quote #8
I'm replying to Mintkat's post. Although the first half of your post is correct, I have to disagree with the latter part. My d became ill at 9 years. She didn't have self image problems, her ED was triggered by doing too much exercise. This is a biological illness and highly heritable. One of the first therapist told us exactly what you said; about control and that we couldn't do much. Luckily wee didn't listen to her. We found an excellent team, who put weight gain ahead of any other treatment. After months of refeeding, where I controlled and monitored her food intake, she reached her correct weight. She was then given sessions with a psychologist to sort out the trigger of her ED if any. Turns out there wasn't any other issues. There's was no way I would tell my d she looked good at a low BMI, I often told her she looked like a skeleton, because this illness kills. Today she can't remember any of those stuff, but boy, did she enjoy the ice cream she had for dessert today. And so did I!
Mambear56, find a good team and I can recommend Eva Musby's book and videos. Here is her website: http://anorexiafamily.com/
Good luck and remember you can help her, you are her best hope! Sending you lots off hugs 🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗
__________________ D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for a year and WR at age 11 in March 2017. Challenging fear foods and behaviours now.
Registered: 1268143852 Posts: 1,363
Reply with quote #9
I well remember my H saying things like "If it wasn't for you and 'your cronies' on 'that forum' [i.e. here!!], S would be coming along just fine". In other words, I was making things worse by 'going against all the professional advice'... [the outdated treatment our S was receiving]
Thankfully he gradually began to realise that it was quite the reverse... __________________ Bev Mattocks, mother of 23-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.