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

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Every time I have to go to the kitchen to prepare the next meal or snack, D runs to her room to hide under her blanket and marinate in her ED thoughts.  I try to engage her with a whole range of distracting activities, but unless I am doing them with her, she won't participate.  I at least start to play an audio book right next to her.  Sometimes she turns it off when I leave.  It is so completely frustrating that she is choosing to listen to ED than me.  

Many meal/snacks I can get ready quickly and then the question is, do I take the food to her, or bring her back down to the food.  

I don't want to give ED more time in her head! 
Speaking only for myself I took the food to my d in bed when we were at this point-it's actually easier in some ways because they are a.ready ready to rest after the meal.have a distraction ready to go afterwards.hope this helps,
When we were at this stage, for some strange reason, my D felt that eating in my bed was easier than anywhere else.  We went along with that, and used to play Uno or other card games, saying that she had to take a mouthful at a certain point in each game (for example, when we made a pair, or when one of us won a hand).  It would sometimes take an hour or more, but it was a way to keep the food going in.  Eventually, we got into a rythm with this, and after a while, she felt she was able to eat downstairs with us all, watching tv as a distraction.

It did help with us that my H would prepare the meal, whilst I sat with her to start the distraction prior to the meal, to ensure that she couldn't disappear anywhere.  We both had to give up work for 3 months in order to do this though.

UK - South East

19 yo D

Dx AN Feb 2015 (Aged 15). Pre-existing low self-esteen and high anxiety. 

2015: 3 x medical hospital admissions. 1 month in IP which she self discharged from [eek].
2016: 3 x hospital admissions. 
2017: CAMHS CBT. WR, dropped out of 2 different colleges and started an apprenticeship.  Started having grand mal seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy in Nov 2017. Sacked from job because of this.  Tribunal ensued.
2018 - doing a Psychology degree through Open University and working in retail to pay her way in life. Relapses with eating disorder in June 18 and Nov 18 😢. 

On particularly rough days when I am sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good. [Author Unknown]
Dear dubaiexpat,

You will work out what is best for your d. I would take meals to my d if she left the table. She would eat it just to get me out of her room!

The only thing I would mention is that you might need to protect your d from purging, and that could impact on your choice.

It doesn't matter where she eats--whatever makes it easiest on her.

You're doing grea!. Just keep going.

D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]

I'm not clear what the problem is. D is hiding under a blanket after eating and you would like her to behave in a more normal manner?

IF the door is open, she is not self-harming or doing anything else detrimental to her health, then she may just need time to calm herself after meals. IF it works, in that after a while she comes out of her room, or even if she doesn't, but she's tolerating distress without self-harm, then that is actually good: she handled her distress on her own, without resorting to anything harmful.

You may like to let her know that distress after meals is normal, and that it gets better, and that other sufferers have found that doing x and x and y (distractions) help them feel better more quickly.

And gosh, it's normal for a kid to not want to listen to her mother all the time. Sorry. 

I understand you'd like to protect her from all ed thoughts. I was the same way. Our t explained that d being able to get through them by herself without self harm was actually a good thing. I was not totally on board with that, and insisted the door stay open, and I insisted on going in every 5 -10 minutes to say "hi", or "are you ok", or just bring in the laundry and make a quotidian comment. Or send the dog into her room, or a sibling. 

Laundry was actually very useful. It's a good reason to go into her room without seeming like you're checking up on her (which was irritating to my d). It reminds her that life goes on and that even tho she may have screamed and hated you twenty minutes before, it didn't change anything about your relationship. Ie you still love her. Laundry=love! 

Through the course of refeeding you will then see that the time of sulking after meals gets shorter, and she will become increasingly able to distract herself.

I'd try and make meals as normal as possible. Call her to the table, if you normally have meals at table. IF she doens't come, THEN let her know she can come to table or the food wil come to her.

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.