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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RachaelMc
Hi, My 15 year old son is anorexic and currently going through re-feeding. He is putting on weight really well. However, he is also transgender (assigned female at birth) and as a result is finding the weight gain extremely distressing , not just because of his anorexia, but because it is sending his gender dysphoria skyrocketing. Each week he gets weighed and puts on weight (and subsequently curves), and each week he feels more and more distressed. 3 nights ago he took an overdose. Thankfully he is fine, but wishes he were dead and doesn't know how much longer he can cope. 
I know that he needs to put on weight and even overshoot so that he can fully recover from his anorexia, but I honestly think that his gender dysphoria is impacting to such a degree that I don't know if this truly is the right path.
Does anyone else out there have a child who is going through / has gone through a similar situation?  I would really really appreciate hearing from anyone who can give me some advice around how to manage these 2 things together, and anything that they have found that has helped.
Thankyou
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum, sorry that you have had to find your way here. 
There have been a few parents on here whose children have either been transgender, or gender questioning. My understanding is that eating disorders are markedly increased in the transgender community. I can't at all speak to dealing with this with my own child, however I can speak to dealing with this in a child who just wanted to die and had a number of suicide attempts. 
I think there is a place for potentially going more slowly when there is such extreme anxiety that it is life threatening. We certainly had to go softly with my D. At the same time there can be no brain recovery with ongoing malnutrition so food has to continue and consistently. For my D yoyo-ing weight was much worse for her mental health than steady and consistent gain. Given the severity of reactions to some kids with any weight gain, it must be hard to know how much to assign to gender dysphoria and how much to the eating disorder itself. 

You may like to do a search of the forum for Transgender - use the magnifying glass icon - and find other parents who have been dealing with this. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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scaredmom
Welcome, 
Eds' are super hard to deal with. I am glad he is putting on weight and the anxiety may get better over time.  The weight gain and changes in the body habitus of course can affect their state. Is there support for the gender dysphoria in terms of the ED and anxiety? Is he on hormones as part of transition?  Surgery yet? 
I am sorry abut the overdose- and so glad he is OK. 
Is there a therapist involved that you and he trust to help? 
I will try to find some information for you as I have not the same issues you are dealing with. 
Please ask all the questions you have. We all do wish to help!
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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mommiful
Tabitha Farrar (eating disorder recovery coach, blogger, vlogger, podcast host, etc.) recently had a podcast with Dr. Gaudiani (MD specializing in eating disorders) entitled Considering trans and non-binary individuals in eating disorder treatment. Dr. Gaudiani's book Sick Enough: A guide to the medical complications of eating disorders also has a chapter on gender and sexual minorities. 
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