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

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I was wondering if there are any other parent/carers out there who have experienced their son or daughter become very aggressive. My D is 14 and was diagnosed with AN in August this year.I'm afraid to say that when her mood is low and we try to get her to the table, she is lashing out, kicking, biting and punching. It takes myself and my husband to restrain her. This can go on for about an hour then she eventually eats.We do have the support of camhs and we attend FBT weekly.She was recently prescribed olanzapine but after 2 weeks on it I see no difference. Can anyone offer any other advice as it's looking highly likely she will be admitted to a psychiatric unit.I should also mention that the rage is at its worst when she wakes up and doesn't happen every day. Thanks
Hi tbole - Many others here have written about this. One popular response is to inform DD you will need to call police if she is violent ... and then be ready to follow through.  Some contact police beforehand to let them know about the mental health issue.

In many / most cases, they can control the violence if they need to ... in order to do that, they need to know you mean business.

Best of luck and please keep us posted. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
My 15-year old son used to get very aggressive and violent - and he was taller than me! He was like it before meals, at meals, after CAMHS sessions and in the mornings, especially when getting ready for school. I was caring for him alone at that time, but had a couple of friends 'on call' should I need them in an emergency (one was a huge Scotsman!). Torie's police idea is good, too. I am so sorry you are having to endure this. I know it sounds really difficult, but try to remain as calm as you can and repeat your intentions, calmly and with authority, and carry them out - don't let the ED win. I can only offer hope in that this period will eventually stop and you will get your daughter back, just like I got my son back. He is now a lovely, caring 22-year old young man, completely recovered from the ED. Keep us posted. xxxx
Bev Mattocks, mother of 24-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.
Thanks Batty Matty. Did your son take any Meds during this. My D needs all the help she can get to keep her out of hospital.once the rage has passed she does eat fairly well. Thanks

We had many days like that, and my heart breaks for you. I had bruising and lacerations like a domestic violence victim, which I guess I was.

My advice for you is to do the very best that you can to protect yourself. If you decide to phone the police when she is violent, phone them ahead of time. Speak to your d when she is calm and tell her your plan. We only had to phone first responders twice. The violence did not end at that point, but became manageable.

Be aware too that this experience may have a lasting impact on you. I have recovered, but struggled after my d was well.

And what made my d recover? Food, glorious food.

Sending my very warmest cyber hug,

D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
It's good you've noticed some kind of pattern: your d is worst in the mornings. It's possible that the long fast of a night of sleep is to blame here; feelings of intense hunger can exacerbate symptoms, and it's not well-recognized, but a body burns nearly as many calories while sleeping as it does when awake. Sleep is also the time when a body works hard to rebuild and rejuvenate itself--therefore your d could just be waking up intensely hungry, which is a terrifying feeling for someone suffering anorexia.

What to do? You could try getting a much bigger nighttime snack into her. Some caregivers have had to wake their child up early in the morning with a high-cal smoothie, have him or her drink it with a straw and go back to sleep. And/or just get your girl up earlier for breakfast. What time does she wake now?

Rages are unfortunately not uncommon; my d suffered them, too. They subsided with food and time, but I worked really hard to get as much high-cal food into her as quickly as possible; the longer she's underweight, the longer everyone suffers.

best wishes,
D diagnosed with EDNOS May 2013 at age 15, refed at home Aug 2013, since then symptoms gradually lessened and we retaught her how to feed and care for herself, including individual therapy, family skills DBT class, SSRI medication and relapse-prevention strategies. Anxiety was pre-existing and I believe she was sporadically restricting since about age 9. She now eats and behaves like any normal older teen, and is enjoying school, friends, sports, music and thinking about the future.
Agree with Psycho_Mom on trying to get her to have a big, calorie dense high fat snack before bed.  My d's worst outbursts were in the morning as well.  Kicking, screaming, etc.  She never hit me but she did throw things and try to break or damage dishes, furniture, appliances, etc.  It was scary.  But I did notice a difference when she had a really good snack before bed.  How far off from weight restored is she?  Sometimes the last several pounds are the hardest and they put up the biggest fight.  Keep pushing, it does get better.

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  


15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
My D has approx 21lbs to gain I think.I say this because I'm not 100% sure of her starting weight before the illness. She's 14, 44kg and 160cm tall.She will eat supper before bed but the most she will have would equate to around 500 cals. She will not accept snacks as part of her meal plan though. she eats around 2-2500 cals per day. I'm afraid we walk on eggshells around the rage because she can be very violent towards us.She has been referred to her psychiatrist and we see him Friday. Surely he can prescribe something to help her. The rage doesn't come every day. Today she has been relatively fine. Chatting and smiling and managed all her food. Sometimes this fills me with dread because I know when we wake tomorrow the ED rage will be back. I should just be thankful to get a calm day before the storm happens.
She will not accept snacks as part of her meal plan though. she eats around 2-2500 cals per day. I'm afraid we walk on eggshells around the rage because she can be very violent towards us.

Sounds like you may have to making eating snacks a required thing rather than optional.  If you see that her rages are in the morning when she has been fasting, then she needs to start eating before bed.  If she can't control her rages and is that violent than maybe she does need to be an environment where she can be kept safe from harming herself or someone else.

Have you given any thought to calling the police when she is violent?  It may only take one visit with someone outside of you and hubby telling her no more violence to break the cycle.  It only took one visit with my daughter from our local police to completely break the cycle of violence.  I actually called them more for her than me.  How is your daughter going to feel during her calm times knowing she hurt her mother or dad?  For my daughter, the guilt would be overwhelming so we had to do something quickly.  I also wasn't going to be afraid in my own home.  You provide a safe home for her and you deserve the same thing.
We had kicking, punching and smashing things. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. One thing is to not react to the violence if it is only against stuff, but keep the focus on eating. She smashes a plate of food, you ignore the mess and immediately serve another full plate. I also contacted the beat officer of our neighborhood so that he would know our story, esp in case someone heard the screaming teenage racket coming from our house and imagined something my scarier than us requiring her to eat a muffin. And I contacted the mental health liaison of the police dept, so that in case I called 911 I would know what would happen. I told my d I was in touch with police and it made my reaching for the phone while she raged a really powerful motivater for her to not kick/punch. Good luck, it got better and she would never do these things now!!