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mamabear

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Reply with quote  #1 
For a month or so I have been talking with a woman and trying to give her helpful information and guidance in helping her 14 year old daughter beat ED.

She gave me permission to post here for her today. She has posted before- Amomof4

Her daughter has been in several treatment programs in the past year including inpatient and residential. They family did go to the week intensive at USDC. She was released from a 6 week residential stay at the end of the summer and started full-time school a few weeks later. She is at the "highest weight" she has ever been during this time (5 feet 6 inches and 134 pounds) but her ED behaviors are intense. She will not sit down. Won't stop fidgeting and moving etc. She has never had a period. (mom was a late bloomer).... so I have encouraged her to put on another 10 plus pounds and keep pushing until they see behavior changes and period etc. More fats...all of that. Also have given ideas to challenge standing etc. She has not had a helpful therapist thus far. She is in the process of switching. 

Anyway- what I am asking about is her husband. He is not "getting it". He wants the daughter to play sports again. (she was very involved in sports pre-ed). He thinks it will be helpful and that if she had more muscle, maybe she would be happier. The mom told him she may never fully recover then and he basically told her that well if she has to live with it her whole life, maybe she should "live" her life. 
He has started to read Brave Girl Eating. He has watched "Going Sane". He does not agree that she needs more weight. From the sounds of it the mom has been the primary caregiver to the ED daughter. The mom has been the primary parent in charge of making decisions regarding treatment etc. The mom goes to the therapy appointments. Dad has primarily stayed with other 3 younger kids. 

I told her I think her husband needs to go with her. They need to talk together to someone who understands this WITHOUT the daughter present. They need to be a united front together or he needs to get out of the way. I also sent them several podcasts and MN Starvation project video etc. 

So I am asking for those of you who had spouses that were not on board....how did you get them to see the light? And for those who didn't get their spouse on board- how did you handle doing it on your own without that partner? 

Help! 

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mamabear

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Reply with quote  #2 
I sent her a link to Toothfairy's post on Parent to Parent videos. 
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mjkz

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Reply with quote  #3 
I had a husband who bailed after a few years.  He is a physician and has never "gotten it".  If her husband went to UCSD and still doesn't get it, he probably never will.  I was very clear with my husband he either needed to do it my way or get out of the way.  It was much easier for him to provide other things (I have no other children but helping with the three other children is a good way for him to help).  I gave my husband shopping lists and had him help out with cleaning the house and watching our daughter in between meals and snacks to give me a break.  That to me was just as helpful as if he got it and did meals.  I knew if I didn't see the food getting consumed that I wouldn't believe it had been and honestly it was not fair on him to ask him to do a meal and then grill him mercilessly about whether or not she ate.  If her husband can't support her getting more weight on and keeping her out of sports, let him continue taking care of the other children's needs, house work, shopping, etc.  He doesn't have to get it for her daughter to successfully recover as long as he doesn't undermine what she is doing.
meadow

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi

My husband got it once he started coming with me to appointments, but as Mjkz says, if they've done the UCSD course together then that was a good chance. I also showed H threads on this site, which helped too at times.

I agree with Mjkz that helping in other practical ways is still help. Obviously anything that actually undermines or jeapordises her treatment would be a worry x
sk8r31

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Reply with quote  #5 
I think the most recent podcast, just released yesterday, by Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh is incredibly helpful.  It is an interview with Dr. Rebekah Pebbles.  They discuss 'state not weight' at length.


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It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
HateEDwithApassion

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Reply with quote  #6 
My H is probably one of those that didn't really get it. Not because he wanted her to do sports and such, but thought if she tried harder, she could get better. Saw her ambivalence as just not trying. Being lazy about getting better. Thought of it as rebellion and stubbornness - maybe even shallowness about looks - more than a mental illness.

Few things that have helped, but are not the route this dad would want:
1. Going inpatient and seeing his real daughter when the pressure was taken off her to "decide" to eat. When she returned home, ED personality took over again.
2. Suicidal threat. They had a fight about ED, she almost took pills to OD. He saw then that what he was doing wasn't helping but setting things off. He was broken and sad. Not recommended, but what happened.
3. Parent to parent video. He watched it and has said a few of the things he's heard. 
4. We are going to Family Days at ERC and I hope that education will push us over the edge where my H may change his responses to her, which seem to be a catalyst for much of her emotion.

Previous to this, my H didn't undermine me but didn't get engaged. However, I think that is a problem, if this girl cares what her dad thinks. It translates into my dad doesn't care, my dad doesn't believe I'm sick, my dad said I'm okay exercising and not eating so I believe that and will do that, etc.  Dads do have a big influence in recovery - because daughters seem to care a lot about what they think.

I think it's quite impressive he went to UCSD and is reading Brave Girl. I can't think of anything more someone could give a dad to help him "get it." Maybe have him read around this forum or print some entries for him? Have him watch the Parent to Parent videos? Read Dr. Ravin's blog posts, which have a lot about state vs. weight? I'm going to listen to the podcast above myself...


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17 yo D. Diagnosed in July 2013. W/R in Sept. 2013 and has remained so. Roller coaster on and off since, mainly with ED under control but co-morbid depression and other negative coping mechanisms making our life hell. Trusting in God for daily strength and wisdom.
AUSSIEedfamily

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Reply with quote  #7 
Dear mamabear,

He can read all my posts and he can also talk to me on Skype or by phone If you can send me an e-mail I can give them to you.

If you cant find my e-mail on this forum look up Eating Disorders Families Australia website and use the admin e-mail it will get to me.



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toothfairy

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Mamabear,
Firstly her bmi is only 21.6 as you say add an extra 10 ...
Have you heard this...,,its one of the best I ever heard about goal weights etc...1 hour long but worth it if you havent heard it for helping others....


__________________
Son,DX with AN, (purging type) in 2015 ,had 4 months immediate inpatient,then FBT at home since. He is now in strong recovery, (Phase 3 ) and Living life to the full, like a "normal"[biggrin] teen. This is with thanks to ATDT. Hoping to get him into full recovery and remission one day at a time. Getting him to a much higher weight, and with a much higher calorie plan than his clinicians gave him as a target, was instrumental to getting him to the strong recovery that he is in now. Food is the medicine.
toothfairy

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Reply with quote  #9 
Honestly MB ...he cant argue with that video, & the fact she may well need more than 10lbs when he hears it.
Exercise etc is mentioned as well, also the seriousness & gravity of the situation - hope it helps xx

__________________
Son,DX with AN, (purging type) in 2015 ,had 4 months immediate inpatient,then FBT at home since. He is now in strong recovery, (Phase 3 ) and Living life to the full, like a "normal"[biggrin] teen. This is with thanks to ATDT. Hoping to get him into full recovery and remission one day at a time. Getting him to a much higher weight, and with a much higher calorie plan than his clinicians gave him as a target, was instrumental to getting him to the strong recovery that he is in now. Food is the medicine.
deenl

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi mamabear,

Initially there was an awful lot of disagreement between me and my husband. I was on board straightaway with the negative energy balance flipping the switch and food and time being the medicine. My husband, very unfortunately, came across a psychoanalytical article online and finding the 'cause' and reversing it made so much sense to him. He is an engineer and he always over analyses everything. I swear there were times when I came within millimetres of hitting him I was so frustrated. But at the same time, I recognised that we both believed we knew the right way forward. Nothing is going to get the emotions to the extreme like the potentially fatal illness of a beloved child.

I became a broken record explaining that biology has taken over, that thoughts and feelings are, at their most basic, just electro-chemical reactions and the chemicals are provided by food. This sort of scientific talk about procedures and systems eventually clicked where emotional talk wouldn't. He is not a great reader and was emotionally and spiritually overwhelmed by heartbreak in the beginning. I, on the other hand, am galvanised by the need to read and learn and understand when disaster strikes. So, we worked to our strengths. I read Decoding Anorexia by Carrie Arnold and summarised it for him and got him to read selected pages.  Our wonderful paediatrician explained the switch analogy to him too. Meanwhile, he worked, brought home the bacon and supported the other kids while I dealt with most of the cooking and re-feeding.

Eventually, he got it and is now 100% committed.

Warm wishes,
D

__________________
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, tons of variety in food, stepping back into social life. Sept 2017, back to school full time for the first time in 2 years. Happy and relaxed, just usual non ED hassles. 

  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal. (but don't give up on the plan too soon, maybe it just needs a tweak or a bit more time and determination [wink] )
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
toothfairy

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Reply with quote  #11 
I just came across this from Laura's soapbox
If I could choose the first thing you ever read about eating disorders, this should probably be it.  Many of my friends are talking about it and for good reason.

[scales-of-justice-full]
It's not fair, but some people have a 
paradoxical response to hunger.
It is long since time we stopped, as Cynthia Bulik puts it so well: "psychologizing" anorexia nervosa. That goes for all eating disorders, of course. We need to start our thinking about these mental illnesses by seeing the symptoms as neither natural nor willful. What looks like a "desire to control" or a "desire to be thin" is neither. These are biologically driven psychological symptoms with a predictable trigger: energy imbalance.

Imagine a group of sixth grade girls who decide to go on a diet. Or imagine a boys’ wrestling team that decides to engage in some serious crash dieting before weighing in for a meet. Most of the girls and boys find the period of negative energy balance unpleasant and can’t wait to break the diet and go out for pizza and ice cream. For a few, however, they find that they actually feel better under negative energy balance conditions. The diet feels good; they feel calmer. The anxious chatter in their heads diminishes enough to suggest that this might be an escape route from the pervasive discomfort with which they have been living. The positive biological reaction to negative energy balance lures them into continued and escalating dieting in a quest for the paradoxically improved sense of well being that it confers. It is simultaneously seductive and destructive. It is seductive because of the promise of calm and control it holds; it is destructive because it has the power to kill.
from "Negative Energy Balance: A Biological Trap for People Prone to Anorexia Nervosa," by Dr. Cynthia Bulik 

__________________
Son,DX with AN, (purging type) in 2015 ,had 4 months immediate inpatient,then FBT at home since. He is now in strong recovery, (Phase 3 ) and Living life to the full, like a "normal"[biggrin] teen. This is with thanks to ATDT. Hoping to get him into full recovery and remission one day at a time. Getting him to a much higher weight, and with a much higher calorie plan than his clinicians gave him as a target, was instrumental to getting him to the strong recovery that he is in now. Food is the medicine.
aboncosk

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Reply with quote  #12 
I think someone said it - if her husband went to UCSD and still doesn't "get it"; he may never get it.  That was the eye opener for my husband.  Now, that being said he's still very hands off with the care/treatment of our daughter and her illness but at UCSD he got to learn the "gray" area of this illness.  I think most men are very black or white - they don't see the gray that women do.  But we do participate in FBT as a family (minus our younger son) and that helps keep my husband in check.  He's seen first hand the benefits and success of being on-board with treatment.  We've experienced such a different outcome due to UCSD and following the Maudsley method.  Our daughter is weight restored after four months of treatment, contains to maintain weight and her period returned after an 18 month absence.

I think we can all empathize with this Mother and understand the need for support.  Everyone has to be on the same page in order to beat ED. 

Keeping this family in my thoughts and prayers!
toothfairy

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Reply with quote  #13 
Please get your H to watch this

__________________
Son,DX with AN, (purging type) in 2015 ,had 4 months immediate inpatient,then FBT at home since. He is now in strong recovery, (Phase 3 ) and Living life to the full, like a "normal"[biggrin] teen. This is with thanks to ATDT. Hoping to get him into full recovery and remission one day at a time. Getting him to a much higher weight, and with a much higher calorie plan than his clinicians gave him as a target, was instrumental to getting him to the strong recovery that he is in now. Food is the medicine.
momon

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Reply with quote  #14 
For a parent who finds themselves in the situation where the other parent not only doesn't get it and can't be induced to get it and doesn't want to get it, and actively undermines due to their own issues, e.g. wants child to do 3 week backpack trip, or play intensive sports when not weight restored, etc.... [welcome to my nightmare], I had to separately inform therapist of issue and of need for therapist to write "rules" for these issues down in black and white.  Can't be equivocal and can't be spoken only, has to be written down and so clear that to fail to heed it would be gross malparenting.  I hope this parent is not in this situation but if so, that's what you have to do, use the expert to box the bad behavior out. Since they have been to UCSD, they have some good experts to turn to.

I wouldn't have commented but it seems to me, also, that someone who doesn't get it after a week at UCSD may not be operating on a level to "get it," and at that point there may be a reason they won't. Then you aren't aiming for help from the other parent, you're aiming to ameliorate harm. Oh, and let me add that while it would be LOADS better if everyone was on the same page, and I second all the advice for trying to achieve that, I do not believe we can't beat ED anyway, because my daughter is going to beat ED. Already is beating it.
deenl

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by momon
let me add that while it would be LOADS better if everyone was on the same page, and I second all the advice for trying to achieve that, I do not believe we can't beat ED anyway, because my daughter is going to beat ED. Already is beating it.


I totally agree. While my husband is on board now and it is great, I just went ahead and did fed and had structured meals when he wasn't.

For others reading this, I would recommend Carrie Arnold's book Decoding AnorexiaThe science-y slant seems to be more appealing to many men. Although that's not to say women don't enjoy it too - I loved it.

Warm wishes,
D

__________________
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, tons of variety in food, stepping back into social life. Sept 2017, back to school full time for the first time in 2 years. Happy and relaxed, just usual non ED hassles. 

  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal. (but don't give up on the plan too soon, maybe it just needs a tweak or a bit more time and determination [wink] )
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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