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

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bfiz
Hi I've noticed that my daughter's ed has made her somewhat less 'popular', not that she has ever been the most popular girl in School, but she is most certainly getting asked to less playdates and it has effected her friendships which has never been a problem before ED came along.
 
It's now the school holidays and this lack of invites makes her feel really alone - especially since she is an only child.  She is 13 and weight restored but her mental state is far from restored.  She is violent with us and herself at home, swearing, punching us and scratching herself but pulls it together out of the house.  I think the lack of invites confirms her own worthlessness and this is heartbreaking for us.  She asks 'friends' but commonly they are busy or doing other stuff with friends.  

I'm wondering what other mothers have found and if anyone has any advice?
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US_Mom
My D was a bit older, 17, but did the same thing. Basically alienated herself from her friends. I called the parents of her 2 best friends and told them the situation. The friends and their families were more than happy to help. They included her in their holiday activities. These families were a Godsend. It was at this time of year last year. One friend called and said she needed help making her grandma a Christmas present. My D loves crafts. At first I felt like I was betraying her by telling people, but I think that's what ED wants. I'm so happy I did it. It brought her and her friends back together and she eventually told them about AN which was another good thing. She has now visited one of the friends in college this year and is waiting for the other to return home for the holidays. Good luck! 
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Enn
Oh do I feel this!
it is so sad to see them struggling socially. My d was isolated and we did not tell many of her friends or their parents for awhile. One family did know and I asked that child 
 to come over when d was on home leave from IP. 
I did then tell other mothers and invited  those girls over. But I found it so difficult. D was not in the best mood, I felt vulnerable telling those mothers. But it did work out. It took d about 6 months in to really get more social and have a good group of friends.

Does your d have grandparents to hang out with or cousins maybe to spend time with? Is there a neighbour she could visit or walk their dog or house sit their plants? Would she volunteer with animals, the elderly? 
i wish I had magic for you and all of us to spare us the sadness. 

sending  a 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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MKR
Yes @bfiz, this was hard. It started with D no longer  having lunch with her usual circle of friends because they had "bad" food. She still didn't want to offfend them so she removed herself. 

She still met friends to go shopping etc and came home her old self. But whenever a date was cancelled (such is life) I could see she was sad. "But I tried, mum". It broke my heart so I didn't react, told her plans can often change and we did an activity together instead. 

Some great suggestions above. 

I am pretty sure your girl's ED will not play out when with friends and it helps rewire their brains with non-food areas of life.


Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Torie
I wonder what grade your d is in, and how your schools are organized.  In the US, 13 years old is often a transition time when they are in middle school, and is famous for being a difficult age socially.  If things are similar in your part of the world, it is likely that her friends are also feeling social awkwardness and difficulty.

Could you arrange some enticing events perhaps a little craft activity at your home if she likes that or board games or if you have those places where they paint pottery, maybe invite a friend to go along to that.  It takes some thinking to come up with the right thing that is not too food centered and doesn't involve too much exercise, etc. but perhaps something like that would help get the ball rolling again. If you are able to throw a little money at the problem that can help because it is often hard to say no to an invitation to a nice event.

Please keep us posted on what you figure out. xx

-Torie 
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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bfiz
I find there are two camps of parents.  There are the parents of friends that will bend over backwards to help and we have a couple of those - thank god.  And then there are the friends parents that think it is somehow contagious....like AIDS supposedly was in the 80's and don't want to be anywhere near it. I wish there was a greater understanding of Anorexia in the community...but there just isn't.  
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bfiz
Thanks for all your suggestions...it's just hard...as we all know
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Scaredmom2019
My 17 D has always struggled with friendships. She really doesn't have many friends at all. Maybe one girlfriend. She has a boyfriend and spends most of her time with him because then she doesnt have to navigate the girl stuff. It's been really really hard to watch. Shes 17 so I can't really reach out to other parents now...but I did when she younger. I would suggest that. Do you like any of the parents? Maybe an outing with all of you? I made friends with other moms and tried to use that a lot to cultivate for my D. 
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MKR
Great suggestion @Scaredmom2019. If you befriend a parent they are more likely to listen and also see how the playdates will benefit the child and the friendship.

bfiz wrote:
And then there are the friends parents that think it is somehow contagious.... 


I saw similar attitude to allergies. Some families found it too hard to host my friend's child with an allergy.  And all it takes is to ask the allergic child's parents for guidance. Same with ED. A little bit of kindness would go a long way.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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Scaredmom2019
I made mom friends at bus stop, sports events and also volunteering at her school for years. I would invite mom and kid over drinks on my deck, dinner or anything. It helped a lot when she younger to get her at least around kids and having things to do.
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Foodsupport_AUS
My D was also very isolated when ill at age 13. She did have a few long term friends whose parents I knew well. Rather than D invite them over I would often arrange "play dates" for my D. Very odd for a 13 year old I know. I found that arranging activity based social things - craft dates was particularly popular, also sing star, and movies. As she got more into the swing of things her social function returned to normal.
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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ValentinaGermania
This is what happens to nearly all of them, it is sad but AN makes them really hard to handle and I fear we must also understand the friends a bit. They are very strange in that state and it is hard enough for the families to stand that.

Is there a really best friend you could talk about that and invite to your home?
Is there a club she could join to make new friends? A book club or so (nothing sportive for sure)?
Could you get her to any volunteer work so she will get out of the house and have something to do with other human beings? Maybe work in an animal shelter or reading books to old ladies in a retirement house?

It will get better again when she is better and behaving normal again.
"She is 13 and weight restored but her mental state is far from restored.  She is violent with us and herself at home, swearing, punching us and scratching herself"
How long has she been WR and are you sure she really is? Normally about 4-6 months after WR you should see some change in mood and behaviour. If not she might not be WR...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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atdt31_US
Same boat as many with my d -- but been in this slog for over a decade of long meals and meal times dominating every schedule, so I don't even know if she is naturally shy and quiet and not ready to join or if she wants to and got left behind. BUT when I read the heading I though it was a reference to the carers' ability to socialize ... which for me, has also been devastating and isolating to the nth degree.  
Mom of either pre-diagnosis or non-ed underweight 12 yoa (as of March 2018) kid here to learn how to achieve weight gain.  BMI steadily in the mid 12's for nearly her entire life.  Born 2006. UPDATE:  April 2018 diagnosed ARFID, based solely on weight being less than 75% of Ideal Body Weight.  Mildly picky, but mostly the problem is a volume/early satiety issue, along with abdominal discomfort and chronic constipation, all present since birth.  UPDATE:  July 2019 diagnosed with PANS. Dr. said likely started first PANS episode at less than 1 or 2 years of age.  On long-term daily prophylactic antibiotics. BMI now about 16 after period of intense refeeding prior to PANS dx,  followed by stagnation as we sort out what is next. FWIW ED-D is a fraternal twin and we have no other kids.
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PurpleRain
We also struggle with that and I try to come up with things with mixed results. My d is not an only child but my s is much younger (9) and her older (half) brother is 19 so not much socializing with him. She has cousin's that we see every week, they are really close and she has a good time with them but she is the oldest of the bunch so she feels more like the nanny (in a good way, she organized games and stuff but she doesn't really get teen interaction with them). She has a couple of friends that she communicates with via watts app and sometimes they talk on the phone, i took her a couple of times to theme parks with some of them, but in a day to day basis she is with us (mom, dad, little brother). So different from what I thought it would be at this age, from what it was for me at 14. It is sad, but having read A LOT around here, I'm hopeful that this too shall pass as recovery keeps going on.
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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bfiz
She's only been weight restored for about a month.  I didn't realise that it could take 4-6 months.  I'm considering medication to take the edge off (hopefully stop the violence).  What are other peoples experiences with medication?  
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sandie
An SSRI has been very effective for my D to reduce the frequency and intensity of outbursts. She had become unmanageable until she started them.
The psychiatrist said depression in kids tends to manifest differently than adults as   abrupt changes in mood- rather than the constant low mood in adults.
there are different choices depending on whether anxiety is a feature and also on whether any family member has benefited from a particular one. Anxiety is a significant feature for my D so sertraline was the drug chosen. X
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair
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ValentinaGermania
bfiz wrote:
She's only been weight restored for about a month.  I didn't realise that it could take 4-6 months.   


To be honest, it can take up to 12 months. One months WR is really early days. Try to be patient although that is hard 🙂.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Ellesmum
My daughter was very lonely during the very worst of the illness and it broke my heart that her phone stopped ringing and the invitations dried up. 

If I’m to be totally honest, I found her hard to be around and I’m the person who loves her most in the world so now with time and perspective I understand more.
it was so hard because she’d always had lots of friends, I also felt terribly lonely myself as I’d been on friendly terms with some of the mums. Nobody sent a text to see how we were - nothing.

I am happy to say she has a full social life once again and there have been boyfriends too. She still gets very tired, still not at school every day for every hour  but definitely getting better day by day and I bear no grudges towards the friends, they are welcome over anytime.  The adults I’m not so forgiving of I’m afraid. 
Ellesmum
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bfiz
Hi Ellesmum that is pretty much exactly where I am at....how long did it take for things to improve for you?
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Ellesmum
H bfiz, I guess it was gradual. I was aware of her having AN around Easter 2018, the summer holidays were the worst ever for her. She started attending school again very part time around beginning of December 2018 I think and slowly but surely started to integrate again. To be honest the last year or two has been a bit of a blur so my timeline is fuzzy but this term has been busy for her, sleepovers, a boyfriend etc.  Summer break 2019 was way better than 2018 that’s for sure.  

As her brain began to heal her confidence grew and while we’re not out of the woods my sense is she has reason to live. She is a bit vulnerable to being taken advantage of by friends (money, ‘borrowing’ things’ ) so we’re working on that. 

18 months or maybe more ago it was an ordeal to even have her come with me to the local shop (fear of noise, crowds, the food on display) now she can confidently call a taxi or grab a bus.
Ellesmum
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bfiz
did you do any medication?
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