I certainly think they have to be in ‘strong’ recovery and by that I mean being able to deal with the emotions that EMDR raises. If you think about it they are full of swirling intense emotions so dealing with them is tough when they’ve been so used to burying them. The therapist needs to be trustworthy and that was one thing my D said. She never trusted other therapists before because she felt it was about them. She meant the technique some use to try form a relationship (by discussing themselves and why they are the person to understand).
This particular therapist explains the process quite logically and does not ‘waste time’ talking about herself. My D really respects that. It’s Ds time to get out of it what she wants and since the opening of Pandora’s Box of emotions early on she always comes away a lot more positive than when she went in.
I have produced a timeline of our journey as I recall. I’ve tried to keep it brief so you can understand what strong recovery looks like for us. Any questions let me know. Presently she has 100% attendance at college. Got 3 x As on A level mocks so is hoping for good grades to move to university. She has a lovely supportive boyfriend and lots of hobbies. She’s 18 but has not used this as a way of saying ‘bye mum and dad I’m off to do what I want.’ She has passed her driving test and become a lot more independent than she ever was. She socialises (was never in to that) and went out clubbing with her best friend a couple of months ago. She goes on dates with the boyfriend....to restaurants! Pizza Hut was the last one....stuffed crust pizza was apparently the best 😂
So my AD D was diagnosed in Feb 18 (16years) although we saw issues in the Nov 17 (15years) and took her to docs who said all fine. We were monitored but ended up in A&E in Feb 18 due to suicide ideation (we fortunately stopped her plan in action) and the Anorexia diagnosis came quite quickly by CAMHS.
Refed immediately and by May 18 was at a healthy weight (53 to 68kg from memory) We did LSUYE and it worked for us as a general and suicidal safety plan.
CAMHS pulled out from fully supporting us in August 18. By this time we had accessed the dietician and CBT therapist. She was also diagnosed with perfectionism. She was also put forward for ASD tests and they came back initially inconclusive (2019) but then finally agreed with the perfectionism diagnosis from CAMHS professional.
Whilst coming to a close with CAMHS (Aug 18) my D was given some control over her breakfast, snacks and lunch as she was desperate to go to college in the Sept 18 and had already missed lots of school since January 18. I did and still do serve evening meal. There was conflict over this in our house but that’s what we did. I was a lonely voice.
We had ups and downs but her motivation was to get life back and do well at college to go to university which I wanted to support and encourage her to believe she could and would succeed.
In Sept 19 she approached us saying she needed more professional help as she was struggling with mood and getting through the day. She was eating mostly ‘safe foods’ again at this point, slowly restricting when out of the house on a bit of a loop with us attempting to encourage the right decisions. The exercise compulsion was creeping in again.
We were accepted by the current clinical Pschologist in Dec 19. She assessed her for EMDR and agreed to try with D. The first couple of sessions were ‘laying the groundwork’ and took her mood right back to the worst times but she stuck with it to her credit as she reminded herself that 100% recovery was possible. When she had 2 or 3 EMDR sessions she started eating normally and since then has been trying lots of variety of foods. She always eats without us having to prompt. Sometimes she will tell us it’s tea time or that’s she’s hungry and wants it now.
She is currently still working with the therapist to resolve a period of anxiety/low mood she recently had and she has altered her contraceptive pill, which we feel may have previously been an issue. We definitely saw big changes when she initially started the old pill she was on....mood improved when she came off it...went back on the same pill...huge dip in mood. Currently mood is good on this new pill.
She openly discusses her anxieties and fears. She is learning to cook and bake for herself to prepare her for university. Yes she does eat what she bakes 😊 I am just hopeful it will continue.
She is very interested in biology and wants to be a Clinical Pschologist herself. She has the typical ED sufferer traits of high achiever, perfectionism, caring, self deprecating etc etc. She’s such a wonderfully funny, warm and caring individual with a strong determination and I think throughout this Illness she is finding her own independent voice. She’s a very smart girl....so smart I don’t know where she gets it from as no one in our family that I know of had brains like this 😂
She seems to understand her issues and what the right decision is I think. When an old behaviour presents itself it makes her feel upset. She reports being able to resist the feeling of compulsion to exercise and to her not eating is not an option. She states she is not ‘fearful’ of fats now. It’s about trying to eradicate every behaviour. We will get there....it’s a marathon not a race and I was always good at long distance running 😬😘