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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Mcmartin30
Hi there,
I’m new here. My 12 yo D is going to start FBT for AN this week. We are catching this very early- she is not yet underweight but has lost 8-10 lbs in past 6 weeks and began restricting food although she still eats . We are shocked- we feel like this happened overnight, and she is a totally different kid than she was 2 months ago. My question is this: has anyone else’s kids also exhibited signs of depression while in the early stages of this? My daughter seems withdrawn and irritable, and has isolated herself from friends and from us . I really feel she is depressed as well but maybe this is just part of the AN? I know there are often comorbid diseases like anxiety and depression with AN, and I’m wondering if you felt FBT was still the right approach to address the AN AND depression . Thanks.
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cm72
100% yes. My 10 year old daughter was caught very early too and exhibited the same signs you are mentioning. We are only in about week five of the refeeding process but my plan, as part of the healing process, is to schedule for her friends to come over for short hangout sessions (2-3 hours) once a week. She usually gets really happy when they are there and is in a better mood the rest of the day. I would say my daughter is hitting the anxiety trail more than depression but these often go hand in hand. You can look for my posts to see our progress as we are going through this since we are just a little bit ahead of you. Best wishes and good luck.
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Torie
Welcome, Mcmartin, although sorry you needed to join us in this club no one wants to be a member of.

It is great - GREAT - that you caught this so early.  What I learned here is this:  Top priority is to get that weight back on asap.  That's the only thing that really matters right now (assuming she is not suicidal).  WHen she has been wr (weight restored) for a while, a lot of the other stuff will melt away.  You can worry about whatever remains, then.

Please feel free to ask all the questions you like. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Enn

Hello from me too!
The fact you got this early is great. Keep feeding. How can we help you? Is there any problems you are dealing with? 

Please know that there is always someone here who has been through what you are going through. We all want to help. Please just ask.
XXX

Food+ more food+ time + love+ good professional help + ATDT+ no exercise= healing ---> recovery (---> life with no ED)

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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teecee
A warm welcome from here too (From Yorkshire). Yes, yes, yes....what you describe is very common and was a similar story for us (we also had suicidal thoughts as well as depression/anxiety) Food really is medicine and those symptoms will eventually melt away with continued full nutrition. The symptoms may appear to worsen as you challenge/treat ED but you must keep going and not back off at that stage as they will peter out if you stick to refeeding and insisting on full nutrition every time. The mistake done carers make is to back off when they see symptoms worsening...
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teecee
FBT is the gold standard....so yes please implement immediately.
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Torie
Ronson wrote:
Keep feeding and it will get easier. My d didn’t lose much either and it was caught early but surprising what a hold it can have. 


So true!  My d only restricted for a couple of months before we started refeeding, but it still was a marathon and not a sprint to drag her back to health.  Amazing the havoc this vile illness can wreak in even a short time. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Mcmum
Hello and welcome. I am new to this too and don't post often but this forum has been a life saver for me and I'm sure it will be a huge help to you too.
My son seemed really depressed before he was diagnosed. Flat, sad looking and uninterested in anyone or anything. I couldn't understand why a young child could be this way. He had always been very happy go lucky in the past. We saw him as our "easy" and laid back child!!
Anyway, just to reassure you, his mood has lifted enormously with time and food. He's much more engaged with the world now and even has his sense of humour back. It's tough but don't give up hope. Depression can be defeated and your child will come back to you.
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Enn

Mcmartin30,
ED's and depression can go together and many have found that when the ED gets better then they are less depressed. The withdrawal is common and part of the illness, so as you treat the illness with food and more food and more and more food, it does get better. As Torie says above, once her weight is back up and for a while it stays up and keeps going up, then you can work on the issues (depression etc) she has left. The treatment for everything right now is food. 
So glad you are here. You will find the best advice, and support compassion and resources here. 

XXX 

Food + more food + time + love + good professional help +ATDT+ no exercise=healing ---> recovery (---> Life without ED)

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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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum. It is great that you caught things early. 

  Depression can both be a symptom of malnutrition and a pre-existing illness with eating disorders. The general rule is  to treat  the malnutrition first, early on it may not seem to improve the depression but many have found a marked improvement without additional treatment. 

  Have you read the Minnesota Starvation study ?- this is a landmark study from the 40's  showing how many of the symptoms seen in eating disorders are purely due to the malnutrition.     
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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Mcmartin30
Haven’t read it but I will now ! Thanks to all for the wisdom and encouragement- this has been so scary and so sudden that we are still trying to figure it all out. Our D has always been such a happy easy kid, and I can’t help but wonder if puberty set this off. We are going to her first FBT session tomorrow, and will do everything to support her through her recovery .
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ValentinaGermania
Mcmartin30 wrote:
Hi there,
I’m new here. My 12 yo D is going to start FBT for AN this week. We are catching this very early- she is not yet underweight but has lost 8-10 lbs in past 6 weeks and began restricting food although she still eats . We are shocked- we feel like this happened overnight, and she is a totally different kid than she was 2 months ago. My question is this: has anyone else’s kids also exhibited signs of depression while in the early stages of this? My daughter seems withdrawn and irritable, and has isolated herself from friends and from us . I really feel she is depressed as well but maybe this is just part of the AN? I know there are often comorbid diseases like anxiety and depression with AN, and I’m wondering if you felt FBT was still the right approach to address the AN AND depression . Thanks.


What you describe are totally normal symptoms of a malnurished brain and AN.
All these things, the depression, the withdrawn, the isolation will fade away slowly again with food and normal nurishment.
You will get your "old" d back afterwards. It takes time and FBT is a lot of hard work but recovery is possible. Great that you found us here in such an early state! We can help you a lot. Ask, ask, ask. We are open 24/7.
Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Mungojerry
My daughter is 11 and is the same! She was really down in the summer, spending all her time in her room, not wanting to go anywhere, socialise etc. We thought once she settled at her new school (moved to secondary) she would get better. But she's found the transition very hard and her eating has got worse. My own depression started at her age so I do worry she has it.
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ValentinaGermania
I really think most depressions during AN are symptoms of the malnurished brain. It is very rare that they stay after WR and that they do not get better with refeeding. My d did not want to see anybody, did not even speak and if she spoke she did with a very low voice. She had no drive to get up or do anything.
Now she is hanging around with her friends, singing under the shower and laughing a lot again. The only difference to last year is her weight. With every kg she gained she slowly came back.

So as long she is not WR + time x to start brain recovery I would not be afraid that she has a genetic depression. Read again the Minnesota starvation project, most of the men there got depressed because of hunger and starvation.

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Kali
Hi,

In our case, my daughter's depression did continue after weight restoration. She is still taking a low dose of an SSRI and her one attempt to come off it resulted in weight loss and a resurgence of symptoms. I think it also helps with her general anxiety and some of the anxiety around food.

Sometimes depression does resolve after a period of weight restoration and sometimes not. She was still suicidal after weight restoration and that is why her dr. recommended it.

I do hope that one day she can manage without the meds.

warmly,

Kali


Food=Love
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