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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kgm
Hi,
our 15 year old daughter has been an inpatient in hospital now for 6 weeks.  During that time her weight has increased steadily but her mental state has deteriorated.  She refuses to eat with either my husband or I in the room.  She refuses to do the outings home that are part of her recovery plan.  I feel like we are stuck and it's never going to move forward.  How do you all keep going when I'm only 6 weeks in and already waning?!  I know it's not her but the eating disorder but I still find myself irritated with her on the way home and incredibly frustrated.  She says there's nothing wrong with her now and she's never coming home again.
Any advice gratefully received.
15.5 year old daughter diagnosed anorexic January 2020. Currently doing FBT after a 2 month hospital admission. Very very slow going.  
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Foodsupport_AUS
It is hard to deal with the meanness of the ED voice. It can be heartbreaking for a parent who just wants what is best for their child. Firstly since she is still in hospital I would look for some support for myself - you need care too - be that self care, or therapy. 

As for D, what is their plan so far to try to incorporate you back into your D's care? It is common and normal for them to want to push those who most care for them away, yet at the same time she has never needed you more. Are they insisting on you being involved? What is expected if you do a trip home and meals are not completed? Are you able to take her out for brief periods no meals involved? Can you do other activities together, games, crafts etc? to start to get some non food related bonding coming back?
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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teecee

Initially I could never come to terms with the fact that as they get their regular medicine (food) the symptoms worsen....it’s such a vile, topsy turvy illness. All I can say is trust in the process and she will come back to you. When her brain starts to repair from the food intake she will recover and you will get your girl back. In the meantime it’s so tough but somehow we have to find a way of putting on the ‘game face’ and dealing with them by letting the insults rebound off us. Please take this time to concentrate on self care....doing at least one nice thing a day just for you. I didn’t realise how important this was and neglected myself....carer burnout is real - I can vouch for that. I can also vouch that o practised self care, came through it and got my D back. 

Virtual hugs to you. 

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ValentinaGermania
kgm wrote:
Hi,
our 15 year old daughter has been an inpatient in hospital now for 6 weeks.  During that time her weight has increased steadily but her mental state has deteriorated.  She refuses to eat with either my husband or I in the room.  She refuses to do the outings home that are part of her recovery plan.  I feel like we are stuck and it's never going to move forward.  How do you all keep going when I'm only 6 weeks in and already waning?!  I know it's not her but the eating disorder but I still find myself irritated with her on the way home and incredibly frustrated.  She says there's nothing wrong with her now and she's never coming home again.
Any advice gratefully received.


Sorry to say that but this is totally normal. It takes months and years to recover from an ED and it is not realistic to see a chance after only 6 weeks. Try to be patient and trust the process. Talk to the team how the recovery process can happen even if she does not help with it. She has anosognosia and does not want to get better and the team must make clear that eating with you and home leave and going home again will happen no matter if she wants or not.
She is 15 and you are in charge and you decide what to do. Dare to do that.
Your d inside wants to eat with you and wants to come home. It is ED that does not allow her to say that. She is captured by a bad bully in her head. This has nothing to do with you personally.

Ask the team what plan they have.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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BebraveMummy
Hi. It is a miserable illness and it is so tough to parent a child in this situation but we just have to do it so somehow we do. It is fantastic that you have weight gain. Trust that weight gain is eventually going to bring back your true D. My D never ate in front of me during her 9 weeks in hospital. Sometimes she ignored me, cried, begged, threw food at me, smirked at me, screamed at me but never ate. Often I left the room and let the nurses sit with her, she rarely ate for them but she always had to drink the supplement or would have had ng. I often sat in the play room at the hospitalduring feeding time and sobbed.  
My advice is to be kind to yourself, tell your d you love her all the time and to keep feeding with no excuses because nutrition and weight gain will bring your d back. 
Sending you and your family love strength and bravery. 
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Barberton
kgm, You are not alone! I just left my d at the dining room table where she sat refusing to eat toast after a bowl of cereal because her weight was less than she thought it should be and she now thinks the scales are wrong and that "she won't eat more than she has to until she knows exactly what her weight is!" It was so very hard for me to say with compassion, "I can see how disappointed you are, but that's the ED giving you an excuse to not keep going. You know what a good job you are doing and you are making progress. So don't focus on the number and just keep pushing onwards." I then retreated to my office and have logged on here for some mental support. It's so frustrating, but staying calm and focus is the only thing we can do.
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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kgm
Oh you guys were just what I needed today.  That reassurance that it's still very early days is so calming.  The team around us is fantastic.  They insist that my husband or I are present for at least 2 meals a day with D.  They also back us in saying that the trips out are non negotiable.  In saying that, there are days where we physically can't get her to leave the ward but other days where if she shuts her eyes, she is willing to be led.  They are giving her anti-anxiety meds to help her when she's totally over whelmed.
Thank you for being so honest about your own struggles.  I hope one day I can offer some support to another parent going through this.  But right now, it's back to the battle field!
15.5 year old daughter diagnosed anorexic January 2020. Currently doing FBT after a 2 month hospital admission. Very very slow going.  
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ValentinaGermania
Sounds like you have a really good team, kgm. Trust them, it will get better. Not tomorrow and not next week, but food and time is medicine!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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ValentinaGermania
Barberton wrote:
I just left my d at the dining room table where she sat refusing to eat toast after a bowl of cereal because her weight was less than she thought it should be and she now thinks the scales are wrong and that "she won't eat more than she has to until she knows exactly what her weight is!"


Barberton, I wonder if blind weighing and NOT let your d know what her weight is could turn that around.
This information is too much for her at the moment and she is panicking about every change of numbers.
This stopped here totally after we changed to blind weighing. My d is in year 4 of recovery now and not even interested to know her weight any more. She is totally relaxed about weighings.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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