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.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

Need to talk with another parent? F.E.A.S.T. parents offer peer support via:

D's team and I have finally come to the conclusion that she is not well enough to go away to college this Fall.  Since she was released from ERC of WA on Oct 1st, she has lost 3 pounds and is now at least 10lbs away from WR.  She has had weekly dietitian and therapy visits.  I live in a area with few MH resources much less ED resources.  Her dietitian, who also has a MS in counselling, is very dedicated, but she is almost anti-FBT.  So she has spent the last 8 months trying to get D to follow a meal plan and gain weight on her own.  Every time I tried to say,"Her cognition is distorted by ED, she can't possibly choose to eat what she needs," I get accused of being over-controlling.  I do make sure she eats every meal and snack, but I can see that she is skimping on portions and choosing lower calorie options. 

In March I brought up the fact that she has not met criteria for going away to college and that she should start planning for a "gap year," but they said she's making progress and she'll be ready.  Now it is July, and she has a full tuition scholarship to a college across the country that she has her heart set on, and her team says she is not healthy enough to go.  She does not know this yet (Her pediatrician will tell her next week.) and I do not know what I will do with her. She will be so angry at me and the situation that I fear for her safety.  She also will be even more fiercely opposed to FBT (she's 18).  Her weight is not low enough to be accepted for ordinary inpatient treatment, and there are no PHP or IOP programs less than 2 hours away.  Several months ago, frustrated with her lack of progress, I called CHOP (2 hours away) to ask about whether she could be part of their program but was told they would not take 18 year olds. They could not recommend any young-adult FBT therapists in the region.  I think she could go back to ERC Seattle but she did not do very well there, and she was released for non-compliance.  Should I check out ERC Denver?  I have called Columbia Eating Disorders program in NYC (also 2 hours away!).  Because they are a research program,  insurance concerns don't determine treatment.  They are willing to consider her for inpatient.  Does anyone have any recent experience with their program?  The other possibility is Sheppard Pratt PHP.  She could stay with family in the Baltimore area.  Has anyone recently dealt with them?

Even though the thought of allowing her to go away to college with an active ED was very scary,  I am also very anxious about how upset she will be about being told she cannot go.  I am not sure how we will get through this.
Really so very sorry to hear that things are not going well for your d, and that college is not recommended in the fall.

Truly, your d would not be safe going off to college with an active ED.  Although your d will be upset, it really would be inadvisable to let her go.  Check with the school to see if the scholarship/acceptance can be deferred for a year.  I know another family who was able to do this, and that 'gap year' provided exactly what their d needed to head off to college in the best possible physical/mental shape a year later.

A couple of months ago, I made a joint presentation to the International Conference on Eating Disorders with an MD, a psychiatrist & a treatment center director.  Our workshop was on transitions to/from university and treatment centers.  I can unequivocally say that our research, readings, and shared experiences all added up to this....no one who has not been in recovery from an ED for 6-12 months should be going away to college.

I'm sorry to hear that you don't have evidence-based treatment providers in your area to provide good professional back up.  We also had that situation for 3 years, until we went to the UCSD 5 Day Multi-Family program and ditched our local treatment team.  As challenging as it was to travel 90 min each way for therapy, it was worth it.  We spent a summer doing 2x week visits, which gradually stretched out to 1x every 6 weeks, several months later.

Our d was 17, and finishing up her junior year of high school when we began with FBT in earnest.  I know how difficult it can be with a kid who is considered an adult, and yet is incapable of choosing recovery.  Hang in there.

I believe that Kali on the forum has experience with the Columbia ED program, and her d/family had a favorable experience.  

Wishing you all the best, as you search for the best possible treatment option for your d.

It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Hi Dayton 707...I sent you an email... if you would like to chat about the nyc program I'd be happy to do so.