F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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rota40
My 19 yo D was diagnosed half year ago when she returned from a semester abroad.
She refused FBT but started working with a therapist and nutritionist and regained 15 of the 25 lbs she lost.  She was eating 3 meals and 3 snacks.  She now cut out the snacks and lowered calories of 3 meals and is losing the weight fast. 
She doesn't want me involved, seems conflicted or even unwilling to improve and therapist is seriously considering hospitalization to refeed.
I'm desperate.. anxious and worried beyond.. any suggestions? What can I or anyone else do to get her motivated again?? Any suggestions from you warriors who have been down this road would be appreciated.
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Kali

Dear Rota40,

Sorry you have had to find us here but I hope you will find helpful support from the amazing community of caregivers here.

You don't mention, is your daughter is living with you or is she is away at school? If she is home can you step in and help regularize her meals? If she is away and is losing weight and not able to eat can you go and visit her and see if you can support her meals and assess how dire the situation is? The therapist may be correct that it would be beneficial for your daughter to be hospitalized in order to be weight restored if it cannot be achieved in other ways (at home or in an outpatient setting) and the quicker she is weight restored the better for her. Also, is she under the care of an MD who is knowledgable about eating disorders?

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She doesn't want me involved, seems conflicted or even unwilling to improve


This is quite typical. Unfortunately a component of the illness is often that the sufferer may not understand how ill they are AND may not be able to do anything about it. You and her team may need to step in and create a safe situation for her where she can be refed and get the treatment she needs whether it is at home or in a treatment program. 

Are you supporting her financially?

I'm sure others will be along soon to welcome you and to see if they have any helpful comments for you. If you have not already, you may want to visit the feast website and do some reading about eating disorders, which you can find here:

https://www.feast-ed.org/

warmly, 
Kali

Food=Love
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rota40
Thank you Kali. I so appreciate your response. 
First yes she's living at home with me now and doing local college several times a week.
She is under the care of a very knowledgable MD.  Between the MD and therapist they will make a decision re hospitalization sometime this week.
While I know weight restoration is critical, I wish I can somehow do it at home (FBT, meal coach, anything else??) Otherwise, she'd be leaving college mid term, and potentially losing scholarship.. she's been working towards and looking forward to this for such a long time.

She is fully dependent on my financially.
So I guess my biggest question is.. is there any leverage I have - aside from my relationship and love which she seems to push away these days...  Would financial incentive / consequences work?  Goals with rewards / consequences if they're met or vice versa? Can I set boundaries for MY home on what behaviors are or are not acceptable?

Shes a young adult who wants independence.  She is however so sick and therefore conflicted. Mostly she's had acceptance concern and empathy from me until now.  I want to start acting like the parent here and set some rules just not sure if its conducive to success... 




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Mamaroo

Hi Rota40 and welcome from me as well


rota40 wrote:

So I guess my biggest question is.. is there any leverage I have - aside from my relationship and love which she seems to push away these days...  Would financial incentive / consequences work?  Goals with rewards / consequences if they're met or vice versa?

Absolutely!

We all had to get very creative and inventive when it came to incentives. Every thing apart from food and a bed can be used as an incentive. Money for petrol, access to a car, car insurance, cellphone, clothes and entertainment allowances etc. 

We used a point system when every meal was finished with bonus points when the whole mealplan for the day was followed. My d used the points to buy itunes cards for the games she played on the iPad. When a snack or meal was finished she was allowed to play on the ipad, otherwise bed rest with a book. My d is still young, but I'm sure there will be people here soon with more suggestions. You can also reframe it as an incentive, for example "you can have your phone back after you've completed your meal" instead of saying "you didn't eat, so you can't have your phone".


rota40 wrote:
Can I set boundaries for MY home on what behaviors are or are not acceptable?


Yes, you can have a contract with your d where you spell out exactly what you expect of her. Here is a link:
https://www.mirror-mirror.org/college-contract.htm
http://eatingdisordersreview.com/treatment-contracts/
I've attached a sample contract from the University of California, San Diego

Please feel free to come here with more questions or just to vent. We understand!
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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ValentinaGermania
"So I guess my biggest question is.. is there any leverage I have - aside from my relationship and love which she seems to push away these days...  Would financial incentive / consequences work?  Goals with rewards / consequences if they're met or vice versa? Can I set boundaries for MY home on what behaviors are or are not acceptable?"

Yes, yes and yes!
I do not know how bad she already is and maybe she will need some hospitalization to get started with refeeding. Can you talk to her therapist or the MD?
My d is a young adult, too. We are not helpless. We still have power. We support them with so much (not only financially) so we can set the rules. We just need to dare to try that!
Please come here to ask and to vent, this forum is a lifesaver!

A very warm welcome from Germany,
Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum. Sorry that you have had to find your way here. As others have said you have a lot of leverage in terms of trying to help her recover at home if she is medically stable for this. It sounds as though she really needs you to step in despite all her protests and insistence she can do it without you (a standard thing with this illness).  Insisting on getting access to what is being said, management plans, coming up with a firm plan for moving forward. 

I am not sure where you are but would she be suitable for something like this https://centerforbalancedliving.squarespace.com/new-fed-tr ?
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Kali
Hi,

I just want to reassure you about her college scholarship in case she needs to go into treatment, if you are in the US....we brought our daughter home before the end of a semester because and she went out on a medical leave of absence. She also has a scholarship. Because it was a medical leave it didn't affect her scholarship at all, and she ended up with W's (withdrawals) for that semester. When she went back the university allowed her to retake all the classes she had had to drop free of charge. We submitted the medical leave paperwork to the health center and spoke with her advisors and it was all fine. 

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Otherwise, she'd be leaving college mid term, and potentially losing scholarship.. 


Usually they are good about these things, so maybe you should reach out to them and discuss it if hospitalization seems to be the way to go? A good practice would be to have some correspondence in writing. The school actually gave us a whole brochure about how to reenter, etc.

warmly,

Kali
Food=Love
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Torie
Hi rota, So sorry you needed to join us here.  This vile illness is the worst.

Many/most here had to identify/revise our priorities once ED was in the house.  My family, for example, is very academically oriented, and that has always been a top priority.  However, if I have to choose, I will pick health over academics every single time.  Education can wait - as Kali said, the scholarship would probably be willing to wait, too.  My last choice - the very LAST one on my list - is to watch one of my kids suffer with a terrible debilitating illness for years to come or perhaps for the rest of her life or even have her life cut short.  So dragging my d back to health had to move to the top of the list.

The question of hospitalization can be a tricky one.  If that is what it takes to bring her back to health, well, then I don't see that there is any choice.  Unless you are able to wrest control from ED, it sounds like hospitalization will indeed be the best option.  If you ARE able to outsmart, outwork, and outlast ED, then you may be able to avoid hospitalization.

As FoodSupport said, the CBL program in Ohio is a good option for many.  They have an intensive one-week program where the whole family learns how to stand together against ED.  I think it is worth giving them a call to ask if they think your family is a good fit.  I realize that Ohio may be far from home for you, but really, we are lucky to have this option at all.  I don't think other countries have this option yet - the only other one I'm aware of is in CA (UCSD), but I'm not sure if they still have an intensive weeklong program for your d's age group.  

As you probably know, there is no magic fix for this; dragging your d back to health will be a long, grueling, excruciating process.  You (and your d) will be tested like never before.  But it is possible, and you are in the company (here) of a community that can help answer your questions and provide support 24/7.  

Please feel free to ask all the questions you like. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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