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

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Nadine1169
My husband and I will be talking to our daughter tonight. We are going to tell her that she can’t go away to college -which we are paying for - until she is assessed by an area eating disorder clinic near Chicago. However, I’m having doubts because she is beginning to eat more after she had a severe bout of Strep and lost ALOT of weight. I’m wondering if we wait to give her the ultimatum since she seems to be improving. 
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Nadine1169
Or would that cause her to regress? She is 21. 
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Nadine1169
She also recently told her brother that she gained 5 pounds, which leads to even more confusion. 
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sk8r31
Hi Nadine1169,
I firmly believe that college is for those in robust health.  Being in strong recovery for a min. 6-12 months before going away, or alternately, living at home and going to a local college, so that there is meal support available.
College is a huge transition time, and even those in recovery can find it extremely challenging.
Here are a couple of blog posts that might be useful.  This one by Dr. Sarah Ravin is called Leaving the Nest: 10 Tips for Parents.
Lauren Muhlheim's post Is Your Young Adult with an ED Ready for College? is another good resource.
Wishing you all the best as you plan for the best way forward.
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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mommiful
I wonder if you would want to start from a more general position? I've used expressions along the lines of "We're not comfortable supporting you in going to college until we are confident that college won't result in a setback for your recovery"  and "We need to be confident that you're in good health before we can put our resources toward your going to college." From there you can move on to the specifics, maybe in a later conversation. I've found it works to present difficult news in small bites and to keep coming back to the basic, reasonable premise of "We care about you and we want to make sure you're ok."

While an assessment by an ED specialist is a good idea, I wouldn't rely on that as an exclusive criterion. You don't want to set up a situation where you're promising she can go to college if the assessment comes back ok. Aside from any attempts to trick the person doing the assessment, eating disorders vary a lot, and common screening tools such as this one are not always effective at identifying them when the OCD component is stronger and there is less concern over shape and weight. (It sounds like that might be the case for your daughter.) If your gut tells you to be worried, listen to it. 


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tina72
I think it is very important to be in very good recovery when you start college/university and we had a contract with our d when she went to university last October. We wrote down what we will do for her (pay for univiersity, living, insurances, car, phone, everything) and what she has to do for that (eat 3 meals 2 snacks, maintain her weight, see GP for checks and weighing regularly and stay in contact). She knows that when she loses more than 2 kg she has 2 weeks to turn that around or she must come home for a health break. She is still living with us and only on half schedule so she can eat at least 3 days a week at home. We are in year 3 in recovery and she is doing well but recovery from ED is a long run.

She might have gained 5 pounds, she might have only TOLD her brother she did. You need to find out how her health state is. Does she see a GP for checks and weighings regularly? If not, ask her to do that and share those informations with you to make sure she tells you the truth...
How is her eating? Any ED behaviour left?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Nadine1169
She is 21 and is refusing us to go to the dr with her. I have called them while she’s not around and they said that her bloodwork is good. She did seem to improve and I had promised to back off, but she needed an answer about living with a friend at college, so then I gave her the phone numbers of 2 clinics near Chicago and told her she needed an ED nutritionist. The rage from her was out of control. The texts I received from her about how evil we are and how she will never ever talk to us again when she leaves the house is heartbreaking. I’m falling into the trap of believing every bad thing she says about me. I’m trying to separate the ED from her, but I really think she feels those things herself. My other daughter, who is 25 and out of the house, wants us to admit her. It’s very upsetting for her to see this happening and she said she will come over and call the police so they will take my other daughter and have a psych hold on her for 5 days. Not sure what to do with a young adult refusing treatment. Any advice would be appreciated. 
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tina72
So if she refuses to go to the doctor with you, gets in rage when you tell her to see an ED specialist, send you bad texts, what more signs do you need that you are right and that you should not support college with your money at that state? Her ED seems to be very bad and active or she would not behave that way....
You other d is totally right. She needs help. I do not know the legal rights there. Where do you live?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Nadine1169
We live in Chicago. I also need to find a therapist for myself. I’m beginning to get physically ill. Tina, I appreciate your thoughts so much. I need to move beyond my doubts and get my s*#t together. 
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tina72
Oh, then please go to the doctor quickly, carer burnout is very serious and your d needs you. You are most important person in her recovery as you are the only one that will and can do that to force her into treatment. You really need to care for yourself first. I learned here that in a crashing airplane the stewardesses ask you to put the oxygene mask on your own face first to be able to help others...

Is there a possibility to get her admitted against her will for medical reasons?
What would happen if you make an appointment at GP for yourself and then get her in the car (with another adult, maybe her sister or hubby) and simply drive her there?

We all waited too long because we had doubts, were not sure what to do, were afraid what would happen. I would like to give you that little kick that you need because I wish someone had done that for me 3 years ago. I had waited until my d was admitted as an emergency case and need to fight for her life. I will never ever forget that and feel still guilty about it.
If she had cancer or a heart attack you would not wait. Try to compare it to that. There are more young adults dying from AN than from cancer...

Do EVERYTHING that is needed to get her admitted or at least to make her see a doctor to check her state. It might be more serious as you know at the moment.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Kali
Dear Nadine1169,

This sounds very difficult and I'm wondering if there are any ways you can think of to diffuse the situation with your daughter. We do sometimes have to walk on eggshells with our adult kids to figure out the best way forward. There does need to be some buy in from the YA since we cannot force them into treatment. The question is then, how best to achieve that. Where is your daughter currently living? Are you able to support her meals and eating on a daily basis?

I also have a 21 year old daughter and know firsthand how tricky it can be. I have had the most success when trying to start with wording things in a nonconfrontational manner. It is hard to argue with a parent who tells their child that they love them and want the best for them. And then the conversation can continue from that place to discussing how the YA can create the life they want and achieve the things they would like to achieve, free from the eating disorder. And then some practical plans about how to eat more and be in treatment.

I also made it clear to my daughter that we would not want her at college if she was not in good health and that her tuition would not be paid if she did not maintain an appropriate weight. 

I'm also wondering if your daughter has been assessed for PANDAS by an MD, since you mention that she had had a strep infection and then lost weight.

Also very important to take into consideration is how low her weight it at the moment when deciding how to move forward. A family intervention of some sort might be helpful to get her into treatment. What symptoms does she have? Is she suffering from depression or is she purging?

Finding a therapist for yourself can also be helpful. I worked with a therapist who treated people suffering from eating disorders because I wanted expert advice as different situations came up and she knew the illness well. We were able to come up with strategies and ways to cope and move forward as different situations presented themselves.

As far as a psych hold, I believe that it is only for up to 72 hours and in order for that to happen she would need to be suicidal or a danger to herself or someone else. What she really needs is long term ongoing treatment with an eating disorder specialist and support for her eating more at either at home or in a program. There may be better ways to achieve that outcome, such as a family intervention. If you can gather your family together and all speak with her together and urge her to get treatment and offer to support her. And be kind. Remember that she did not ask to have an eating disorder and it is not her fault. I have also found that if I start a sentence during these discussions with "I feel" instead of "You" it is less confrontational. Starting sentences with "you" puts the person on the defensive from the getgo.

Just trying to throw some ideas out for you. Let us know how things are going.

warmly,

Kali






Food=Love
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Nadine1169
The latest is that, since I told my daughter that we will not be paying for an apartment lease this fall, she has agreed to go to an evaluation with a registered dietitian who will give me the notes from the meeting. This is still not acceptable-as she still wants to be in charge of choosing the dietician and will be going there alone. I don’t believe this is acceptable. I need to pick not only a dietician, but an ED dietician. I also am going to tell her exactly which center to go to to be assessed and that I will go with her. Do you agree?
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tina72
YES! I suppose you pay for that, so you set the rules.
Chose an ED dietician and join her or she will tell you very different things that the dietician really said.
If any possible check the dietician before ALONE so you can see if she/he is really professional and does not tell your d she can live from love and fresh air...
And insist on seeing a GP - that might be more important than a dietician - to check her health state. It might be much more worse than you think...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Nadine1169
Update: D is refusing everything we ask her to do. It looks like we may have to go down path of intervention AND cutting her off financially. Really nervous about this. I’m scared for her. But she is being viscous and blaming us for everything in her life. She also tried to prevent me from leaving our house by blocking the door and then sitting in my car and wouldn’t get out. Advice or experiences with interventions?
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tina72
That sounds really serious. But was kind of foreseeable. ED does not want to go to GP or dietitian.
Can you just make an appointment at GP and get another adult around (dad?) and drive her there?
Financial cut is something I would ad least announce....maybe that helps.

She cannot see that she is ill. It is not her fault. But in that state she will not recognise when its getting dangerous.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
Oh Nadine it is hard for sure. My d is not an adult. I know others in a similar position will be here soon to offer support. I just wanted to reach out to you and give a hug. It is hard to know how things will work out.
big hug 🤗 
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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tina72
Can you call that ED clinic that you mentioned and ask what you could do? Is there a possibility for a 72h assessment via A&E?
Is there any other adult (family, friends) she might listen to?
It is really critical that you insist on an appointment now. She really needs help. Her behaviour shows that she is very frightened about that but it is necessary.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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tina72
I do not know if they offer this program for young adults also but would that be something for you?
http://www.centerforbalancedliving.org/5-day-program-description

These 5 day programs are often a really good start and you could ask her to go there with you to get financial support in future.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Nadine1169
What is A & E?
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scaredmom
Emergency department I think it stands for accident and emergency?? In Europe.
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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mjkz
I'd either take her wherever I was going if she won't get out of the car or let her know that you will call the police if she continues.  You and hubby should probably come up with plans together on how to handle her if she continues like this.  My daughter and your daughter would get along like two peas in a pod!!
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tina72
Nadine1169 wrote:
What is A & E?


Sorry, it is emergency room in US I think.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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deenl
Hi Nadine,

I am just wondering if your budget would stretch to finding a therapist of your own.They would know the regulations in your area and could help you figure out the pros and cons of the various options. It may also be helpful to go with your husband and other daughter so all understand the plans.

Kali wrote:
Finding a therapist for yourself can also be helpful. I worked with a therapist who treated people suffering from eating disorders because I wanted expert advice as different situations came up and she knew the illness well. We were able to come up with strategies and ways to cope and move forward as different situations presented themselves.


Wishing you continued strength and courage
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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