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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Mandycarr

My son is 14.. and up until the last few months was functional. The last few months have been a rapid decline and a nightmare. 

What started out as focus on healthy eating (brought on by a dr visit and then health class) progressed into restrictive eating. Exercise after eating. He lost 30 lbs In 6 months. Started seeing a dietitian, therapist, than did a 10 day outpatient program for kids with general issues. They diagnosed him w a thought disorder which they think caused the ED. He is on Risperadol and Lexapro. 


Any outpatient programs have closed and we can’t even have full psych evaluation done due to Covid 19. 


This is tearing us apart. We are trying to get 3500-4000 calories in to him at home. Add on that it’s a divorced situation with two homes and split time. 

help 

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Torie
Hello and welcome.  So sorry you needed to join us here in this club no one wants membership in.

It is great that you are trying to get enough calories in him.  If you would like to tell us a little more about your situation, we can help brainstorm ideas if you would like.

In general, most find it best to keep ED kid out of the kitchen and grocery store.  No discussions of calories, ingredients, etc.

The more calories in each bite, the fewer bites he will need.  Do you think he woeuld drink a smoothie?  Some here have learned to create smoothies that appear "healthy" and fruity and yet are loaded with calories.  Sometimes they find it easier to drink calories than to eat them

Most here find that canola oil is their best friend.  You can add it to everything from soup to rice and yogurt to smoothies.  If you stir it in briskly, it will disappear without changing the flavor or texture as long as you don't add too too much.  (Trial and error on that.)

I have read pretty much every post on this forum for the past 6 years and I don't think I have heard anyone diagnosed with a "thought disorder."  So I am somewhat skeptical about that idea/diagnosis.  It can be very difficult to find professionals who are truly knowledgeable and effective in treating AN - many here (raises hand) have found "professional help" that is worse than no help at all.  

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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Mandycarr
Thank you for your reply. Yes, we try to keep him out of the kitchen.. the grocery store became an obsession for him.. super rigid about foods/labels. Currently we aren't having him go into any stores. Thank you for the tips.. I have also purchased Benecal which adds calories to things like Smoothies. Yes, my son will drink them as well as eat yogurt.

The Thought Disorder is what the Psychiatrist at the inpatient program diagnosed him with. They did limited psych testing and his full evaluation was cancelled due to everything being cancelled (Corona virus). Meanwhile, due to his OCD behaviors which came from and with the ED, we had to try medication though we were totally against it. He would spent an hour fixing the sheets and blankets on his bed, he can't look at his own reflection in any capacity (phone, TV, mirrors). He cannot change his clothes other than to shower. He has a hat and coat on all the time even to sleep and the hat almost covers his eyes. 

His therapist, specialist in ED, asked if he could be on the Spectrum because of the above behaviors- including not making eye contact often and flat affect. However.. these are all new and we've never seen one sign of developmental delay or the above symptoms until the ED. My son is probably 10-15 lbs underweight now and that would only make him in the normal range. He went from 175 to 137 in 8 months. He is 5'10. 

The Thought disorder diagnosis scares me to death. It is a precursor to Schizophrenia. 

Thank you again.. we are trying to treat him at home but I am very afraid that it won't be possible long term if the medication doesn't help and he doesn't actually gain weight. 
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Kali

Hi Mandycarr,

Welcome to ATDT and I hope you will be able to get some ideas here about how to refeed and help your son.
Since he has lost so much weight, some of the issues and behaviors you are seeing might be due to the weight loss. This is a very difficult time for your family and we understand how hard it is.

Some families have found that when a child is fully nourished for a significant period of time and is weight restored, that some of the OCD and other behaviors seen during the time when the child was severely undernourished can, over time, start to fall away. If your son was functional before the eating disorder there is a very good chance that when he is again fully nourished, that he will again be. 

There are many parents here who have successfully refed their kids back to health, and I'm sure some of them will be along soon to welcome you and share ideas. It is great that your son will drink smoothies. That is a great way to pack in a lot of calories. 

Dr. Lauren Mulheim has written a book called When Your Teen has an Eating Disorder, which you might find helpful.

warmly,

Kali


Food=Love
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Torie
"I have also purchased Benecal which adds calories to things like Smoothies. Yes, my son will drink them as well as eat yogurt."

Great.  I hope you are able to find full-fat yogurt.  I think Trader Joes normally has a good selection.

"The Thought Disorder is what the Psychiatrist at the inpatient program diagnosed him with."

Please do not put much stock in psych diagnosis based on symptoms that appeared during ED.  The kids of forum members have been diagnosed with all manner of psych illnesses that magically vanished when they have been weight restored for a good while.  Many if not most start to exhibit OCD and / or autistic traits.  (Mine did both.  She is fine now.)

"He cannot change his clothes other than to shower. He has a hat and coat on all the time even to sleep and the hat almost covers his eyes. "

Classic AN symptoms.

"My son is probably 10-15 lbs underweight now and that would only make him in the normal range. He went from 175 to 137 in 8 months. He is 5'10."

It is a good bet he needs to get back to AT LEAST 175 pounds,  And then, as is normal and expected, he needs to gain a few pounds each year through the young adult years as bone density increases and organs mature.

"The Thought disorder diagnosis scares me to death. It is a precursor to Schizophrenia."

Please try to set that worry aside.  Very likely, full and sustained nutrition will bring your son back to you, the same son you had before the weight loss. 

"Thank you again.. we are trying to treat him at home but I am very afraid that it won't be possible long term if the medication doesn't help and he doesn't actually gain weight."

He HAS TO regain the weight he has lost.  All of it.  Please focus on that and do not spend time and energy on the whys or possible co-morbids.  Please let us know how we can help. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum, so sorry that you have needed to find your way here. Eating disorders change personalities and behaviours profoundly. My D when at her most ill was unrecognisable in personality to the person she is today. She was obsessive, anxious, withdrawn, suicidal and miserable. I also wondered about things like ASD and ADHD but realised that none of this fitted my child prior to ED. Many kids with ED develop marked OCD, though it can co-occur, which resolves over time with renourishment. 

I agree with the others that it is important to be very wary of other diagnoses given at the same time as an acute eating disorder is raging. 

The good news is that you have come to the right place. There are many experienced parents on here who can offer you support. The most important thing right now is making sure he is eating each and every meal despite all the resistance. He is also likely to need to regain each and every one of those pounds that he has lost to help repair the neural and physical damage that the starvation has caused. 
 
I would agree with the book recommendation, there is also some great information in the FEAST family guides
along with good assistance from this booklet which gives ideas for those trying to negotiate much of this on their own http://ceed.org.au/sites/default/files/resources/documents/FamilyLedRefeedingRecoveryResourcePartA_Nov_2017.pdf
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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Enn

Welcome from me too. 
How do we help you get the weight up. I am glad you are here. We all wish to help. 
I agree that right now the priority is weight gain and then you will see how his brain/thoughts change.
How can we help you? 

How are you coping?

Sending my best,
🌱 
  

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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