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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rose08
Three years ago (to the date) my then 11 year old daughter was diagnosed with Restrictive Type Anorexia. Within the year she was also diagnosed with major depressive disorder, 6 months later, with psychosis. At 13 she was purging and by that stage had been unable to play sport for almost a year and a half. We were in the trenches. Weekly weigh-ins, a litany of medical professionals, therapists, dietitians and psychiatrists. Too many times to count we were told to book her in to mental health hospitals (we dont have any dedicated eating disorder facilities here) but due to her young age and fear of what she would encounter with older patients we decided at all costs to keep her home and take responsibility as a family for her care. It took a massive toll on my marriage, her younger brother, friends and family who just could not comprehend... with the help of a young therapist who supported FBT , books ordered online re the Maudsley Method a supportive school and most importantly, hope, we battled and fought her ED like we were at war. Setbacks were devastating, but each time we came back stronger. Now three years on, my 14 daughter eats freely, her intuitive eating which I feared was lost forever, is back
 She can express her hunger or feeling full... she no longer has to stick to a rigid schedule of meals. She is able to prepare her own foods without supervision and fear foods such as cheese, cake or icecream are again a normal part of her life and not even commented on. It was the toughest journey any of us have ever been on but we have her back. I hope this post gives someone in the trenches hope, I know not all stories have happy endings but alot do, even so called hopeless cases like my daughters. I wish I could line up the dr, psychiatrist and psychologist that told me this and show them my healthy, clever, wise and beautiful daughter now. Xx 
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pjdj
I am so glad to read about your positive outcome! This gives me hope. 
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teecee

Rose08 that’s amazing 😊 I’m so pleased you posted as it’s important to give parents in the trenches hope that even in the depths of despair recovery is possible. 

Caring for my AN D is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do in life. Other life threatening illnesses are rightly given time, resources and money by professionals to support families. Sometimes I feel that with eating disorders the world is going “there’s the life support machine ... crack on and use it to save your kid” and expecting us bewildered, frightened parents to learn those life saving skills instantly. There’s something so wrong with this concept but we do it...thankfully in our cases with success but for those without success I feel the world has let them down dreadfully. I pray that EDs will get the same care and compassion from professionals in the not too distant future. Xx

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greekdude
@rose08 , what a journey, I only can imagine the strength it takes to take over all the responsiblity at home. We are located in Greece, no special eating disorder center either, so our S (in Oct 2019 he was 14.5 yrs old) went 3 months residential in a generic psycho-clinic with just 5-6 teens all in all.
I think in situations where FBT is not officially supported , the doctors/authorities can only suggest the methods they can support. We went as a family under severe punishment, they had to find a scape goat, so they found me, the "anxious" one, unbelievable nonsense but it was part of the package that saved our S, since FBT is totally alien here, by "family therapy" they mean "systemic" therapy which means shooting at the parents basically. We attended such a program and they concluded we should leave S alone to develop himself, and we should start going out as a couple. How can my wife go out when she cooks 24x7 is a question that never passed their mind. Anyways, W was against FBT and the "western trend" and research, and still thinks that family "helps develop" the problem, go figure.
Anyways, enough about me, in your case, a huge "well done" should be said. Congradulations for being a perfect mother.
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MKR
Well done @rose08!! ⭐⭐

Your love saved your child! Your determination made it happen!

I bet you are able to keep a keen eye on any ED, knowing you are a tough contender 😀. Sorry it came at such a price, but you saved a life!

Although we had a supportive FBT team, they were unaware of some symptoms and classified them as non-ED. But luckily, the parent support group quickly came up with the resources and research. Others I found on this forum. I actually ended up emailing the link for the resources to the team - not to rub their noses in it, but to arm them to help future patients.

Keep up the good work!
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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mamabear

FOOD IS MEDICINE! 

Great progress! I’m so happy for you! 

I also had a young child ( diagnosed at ten). The original diagnosis was “ psychosis with possible early onset schizophrenia”. She had anorexia.


In my tens tears now in this realm I see over and over again the youngest kids having very severe “ side effects” from malnutrition. Auditory and visual hallucinations, severe OCD, severe exercise compulsion etc. I cannot tell you all how many people I have talked to who were told their kid had separate mental illness issues  and were told to hospitalize them on General psych or to throw them on a bunch of hardcore meds when in reality they needed massive calories/fat/gain/and TIME. And a huge percentage of those kids have now been in full recovery without ANY of those issues any longer including my daughter. My kid never went on meds. 

( I am not anti-medication- yes meds sometimes can help but should never be put ahead of enough food and a high enough weight). 

 

Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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teecee
Mama bear....yes! I read your post and was saying yes to everything. I’m not anti meds either but my D did not use them although we came close. We committed wholeheartedly to FOOD IS MEDICINE and believed. Commitment and belief to this message saw us through and gave us our D back 
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Enn

Dear @rose08,
Well done ! She is doing so great! I hand it to her mother for keeping on keeping on, despite the barriers you had! 

Congratulations to all of you! ♥️

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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melstevUK
Fantastic news Rose08.  A huge 'well done!' to you.  You must be so proud of your achievement and of the fact that you have given your d back her life.
It is a tough enough job even if you have decent clinicians, but when you are fighting the voices of so-called professionals it is an even bigger task.  I am so very happy for you.  
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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PleaseEAT

So happy to read your update well done to you!
its SO good to get our kids “back” isn’t it and it’s no easy journey whichever way you look at it and unfortunately some of our kids DO need hospitalisation AND medicines
i sadly feel that is even stigmatised on this forum for those of us who have had to go down that path 🙁
but my d is also doing well, I just wanted to voice that is upsetting to always read your kid doesn’t need meds or hospital (do parents seriously want their kid in hospital with a tube shoved up their nostril??)
being stigmatised/judged by all
i feel there needs to be mindfulness in comments made 
sorry not trying to down your post rose08
feeling this is should be a place for support no matter what your journey looks like 
wonder if others feel the same 
this is why I went off the forum for a period of time. 

🙁

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Enn
@PleaseEAT, I do wish more of those who used meds (my d!) and required more intensive care and long term hospitalizations would speak up too.It is common and it is not wrong at all.  

Many many families need repeat hospitalization, many, many  kids need meds, many parents need meds! There is no shame in that. There is no glory in not requiring meds either. I am not wishing to offend anyone. I am just pointing out facts and that if there is a need for whatever therapy one needs, that is the "right" way for each of those people. The meds were made for a reason, just as all meds are for other illness and symptoms.  My feeling always is this "the right meds, for the right patient for the right illness for the right duration". 
Nutrition is medicine that I wholly agree with.  
I don't want you to leave the forum. Your voice is needed and is very important, just as ALL voices and experiences are.

This is a valuable discussion, if you wish to continue it on a new thread, then maybe others can  add as they want .  You are NOT alone with those feelings and thoughts.🌸 
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Foodsupport_AUS
I am so pleased with your good news Rosie08. It is great that your daughter is doing well.

 @PleaseEAT I am sorry that you feel that hospitalisations and medications are stigmatised on the forum. I don't think this was the intent of what is mentioned above. Those of us who have used hospitalisations and medications, I am another one, are well aware that it was not an option for us. My daughter would be dead if it wasn't for the care and treatment she received at the higher levels. I have no doubt at all. I think we each use the path that works the best for us and should never feel ashamed for using it.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Barberton
Rosie08 thank you so much for your positive story. They are so important to hear.

@PleaseEAT there is no room for shame in this journey. Sorry you have felt judged but stay strong.
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
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teecee

PleaseEat it was NEVER my intention to stigmatise meds above, merely to point out how amazing the results of Food on the brain is. Sometimes I just get passionate about the messages put out there to support others.

Its been well documented on my posts that I have used meds as a support for the depression I was plunged in to as a result of this illness. 


I have always supported people’s decisions to hospitalise where needed as I am a great believer in taking the support needed. 
Apologies if you feel judged on this forum. That’s sad because this forum has been lifesaving for me, sharing experiences no matter how different helped me in my darkest hour. 

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joanne34
That's fantastic!!  Well done!!
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rose08
Thank for all the kind words of encouragement. Honestly, in my darkest days, I had lost hope and simply had to fake it to keep going... but we kept going. I always remember the words told to me on this forum by a wise member: "it's a marathon - not a race. If you dont pace yourself you run the risk of burnout." 
I see I have may have inadvertently touched a very raw issue of inpatient vs home based care and meds. Pls let me clarify. If we had had a dedicated facility who were equipped to deal with a young child with up to date methods I would probably had jumped at the opportunity. I was exhausted and terrified. But so many times I was faced with old school psychology and scepticism when speaking about what I had read re The Maudsley Method and "food is medicine". Many times I was made to feel that we the parents were somehow responsible and in order for my child to be treated I would not be able to be in the room or that somehow we were detrimental to her treatment.
As to meds, yes, now at age 14 without the "psychotic" effects of her anorexic voice my D is on SSRI treatment which is most definately indicated as she does suffer from depression, which when unmedicated leaves her unable to function as the creative, funny and insightful teen she is. My issue was when my child was being diagnosed and medicated like a line item in a textbook as "that is how we treat anorexics" . Throughout this process and probably the most enduring "gift" I was given was the ability to trust my instincts as mom for MY child. If anyone takes anything from this post or thread, please let it be that. Trust your instincts, no-one is better placed than you are to know what is best for your child.... yes, seek advice, help and  care then decide on what works for you and your child. I wish each and everyone of you superhuman parents the endurance and courage needed, please dont lose hope...   Much love xx 
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rose08
@greekdude
That's is a challenging situation for you! I am so sorry, it is incredibly difficult when methods and are not united and calling a parent out as "the anxious" one or using parents as the backstory to a recovery, in my humble opinion, is so very counter productive. But. It sounds as if your son is making his way and that is good although hard earned I am sure. This illness really is the most insidious thing... this forum is amazing and you are in the best of hands here with support. In my darkest days I spent months here and I credit this forum with getting me through the worst. Much strength to you. Rose
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MKR
mamabear wrote:
I also had a young child ( diagnosed at ten). The original diagnosis was “ psychosis with possible early onset schizophrenia”. She had anorexia.
---

I see over and over again the youngest kids having very severe “ side effects” from malnutrition. Auditory and visual hallucinations, severe OCD, severe exercise compulsion etc. I cannot tell you all how many people I have talked to who were told their kid had separate mental illness issues  and were told to hospitalize them on General psych or to throw them on a bunch of hardcore meds when in reality they needed massive calories/fat/gain/and TIME.



This makes me wonder... if 20% of energy is used by the brain and the AN kids are predominantly high achievers (compared to say, their siblings), could it be that they require more food to start with?

Re medication, there is no rule, but I believe they should be explained to us parents in great detail, because personally I am terrified of any side effects. With food = medicine, I can see the ingredients.

Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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LaraB
MKR wrote:

Re medication, there is no rule, but I believe they should be explained to us parents in great detail, because personally I am terrified of any side effects. With food = medicine, I can see the ingredients.

 



I absolutely agree with the importance of good information about medication and addressing parents concerns and of course, not every child with AN needs an SSRI  and many symptoms improve with nutrition and weight gain. Both myself and H were uncertain about using medication for my D.

However from my experience, since ED entered our house, I, my D with ED and her sibling have all been prescribed sertraline at various stages and it has made a huge difference to all 3 of us. I personally never expected to need or take a medication for anxiety/depression but my goodness it has been wonderful. I know it’s effectiveness varies in different people. Xx

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mamabear

My point is that it SHOULD NOT SHOCK any supposed ED professional when the youngest kids develop severe behaviors while malnourished. The OCD, auditory and visual hallucinations, epic exercise compulsion etc are NOT abnormal or rare. Actually they seem pretty darn common place. And if these behaviors did not pre-date ED then they are very likely to go away with nutrition and time. 

But over and over again people are made to feel like the doctor/therapist has never seen these behaviors before in eating disorders. Or that there “ must be something else going on”. And thus the first impulse of the psychiatrist etc is to throw medications at it. Day 1. And this I vehemently disagree with. 


I take Welbutrin for PTSD. My son is on his third round of a different med to try to get his severe depression and anxiety under control. I have no issues with medications. But I do when it’s unnecessary. They tried to push prozac on us for our starving and dying ten year old day 1. I’m grateful that we trusted our guts on saying no. We wanted weight gain and time. 

Persistent, consistent vigilance!
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Kali
Hi Rose08,

Thank you for posting your story. It always gives hope and inspiration when we hear that a child has recovered. 
I am so happy for you and your beautiful daughter. Wishing you and your family all the best things as you look at the eating disorder disappearing in the rear view mirror.

warmly,
Kali
Food=Love
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LaraB
@rose08 I love hearing your story of hope and take to heart your message for us parents to trust our instincts. Thank you for your encouragement. Xxxxx
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deenl
Hi @rose08,

Thank you so much for your update. Like LaraB and I am sure many other parents, I firmly second the message about trusting your instincts. It is such a scary illness and in the beginning I felt like I have been hit over the head with a 2x4. But with knowledge comes power and by reading and asking on here, I gained the knowledge to be able to discuss and sometimes challenge treatment for my child. The whole process of learning to trust my own instincts took many months but was ultimately one of the key concepts in our son's recovery.

rose08 wrote:
Throughout this process and probably the most enduring "gift" I was given was the ability to trust my instincts as mom for MY child. If anyone takes anything from this post or thread, please let it be that. Trust your instincts, no-one is better placed than you are to know what is best for your child.... yes, seek advice, help and  care then decide on what works for you and your child.


Wishing you, your daughter and the rest of the family continued good health especially in these crazy times,

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, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • 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.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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greekdude
PleaseEAT wrote:

So happy to read your update well done to you!
its SO good to get our kids “back” isn’t it and it’s no easy journey whichever way you look at it and unfortunately some of our kids DO need hospitalisation AND medicines
i sadly feel that is even stigmatised on this forum for those of us who have had to go down that path 🙁
but my d is also doing well, I just wanted to voice that is upsetting to always read your kid doesn’t need meds or hospital (do parents seriously want their kid in hospital with a tube shoved up their nostril??)
being stigmatised/judged by all
i feel there needs to be mindfulness in comments made 
sorry not trying to down your post rose08
feeling this is should be a place for support no matter what your journey looks like 
wonder if others feel the same 
this is why I went off the forum for a period of time. 

🙁



Dear @PleaseEAT , firtst things first, I wish the best for your D, I would be really happy if I read a positive victorious update of yours in some months from now.
That said, regarding, hospitalization and medication, in my darkest days when I thought the worst things about my S's hospital (and only hospital to deal with ED in general in my country), (I cannot dare to state them in public), I literally pushed the members here for opinions to align with my disgust towards the hospital, and to my surprise there was never ever a single case that I had a member here talking negatively against hospitalization, or medication, in general or this specific hospital, including parents (veteran members here and very knowledgable) who had the most negative and harmful experience from their hospitals. In my eyes they were torturing my child, yet, the members here tried to calm me down, saying that the kid was gaining weight and started eating again, and that it was all that it mattered no matter what the method was. Eva Musby kept saying that hospitals save lives, didn't bad mouth the hospital not even once. Everyone here was ok with the specific medication as well. So personally, I don't have this specific impression.
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PleaseEAT

I hope you s is doing well greekdude Hospitalisations and medications DO save lives and help with recovering, this I know as my d would be dead if she didn’t go into hospital 
unfortunately it took us 6 months of stuffing around before we got the professional help we really needed and In that time I was told I could do it myself  “ you don’t want Your d to be a revolving door case”Were some of the comments I read here on the forum
when you are new/naive to this illness and the GP didn’t seem concerned about my d and I read comments like that, we battled on 
no one seemed to think there was a problem until my d was very ill and the AN was very entrenched by this time 
we have been “at it” for 4 years now
so I only make these comments as in reflection I WISH we went straight to the specialists 
Unfortunately I can’t turn back time 
our journey is our journey 
I only wish to let other parents know that it is important to get the help they need ASAP!
as we all know early intervention is the best in treating these illnesses 
if your kid is younger you have the priveledge of a few years whilst they under your care/control
17/18 YO it’s another story 
my d now 21 and it’s still a struggle and I’m over it 
and this is the only reason I send the message out of getting into services to help your kid as soon as you can Unless you still want to be at it like us 4 years down the track 


❤️&☮️ to all

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