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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Mika
We started treatment at the hospital 5 weeks ago with our son (14yr) .He doesn't like the social worker who works with our family (hates her! ) Don't want to see her at all and she said that it's fine with her . After 3-4 full meetingmeetings with her nothing has changed .He tried eating with us my food but that wasn't a big success ,he still wants to eat his safe food. The gym is even a bigger struggle he sneaks into the gym in our neighborhood and we have to go and bring him home. He's obsessed with protein and building muscles.Hospital program does not offer therapy .How or when do we decide if that treatment fits our son and our family ?
Also he's been very violent both verbally and physically when asked to eat with us our food or when asked not to go to gymgym especially towards me (mom) to the point where I am scared of what he might do. What to do? 
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Torie
Hi Mika, welcome to the club no one wants to join. 

If you don't mind telling us what country you are in, we can do a better job making suggestions.  Is this outpatient treatment? xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Mika
Canada, Toronto .Yes he is an outpatient. 
His obsession with eating healthy and building muscle started in the December 2018when he was 13.5 we thought its something that'll pass something that he'll grow out of it. But as the days passed the monster became bigger! He now restricted his foods to eat only what body builder eat and he started having supplement like whey protein .The nurse told us than his blood work shows high levels of protein and he should stop. He won't listen to us. ..
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Enn
Welcome,
I am sorry you needed to find yourself here.
Please read around the forum there are such great resources. 
This book has had good reviews from the forum members. 
https://www.amazon.com/When-Your-Teen-Eating-Disorder/dp/1684030439
Eva Musby's site as well   https://anorexiafamily.com/?v=3e8d115eb4b3
And Feast-ed.org  

A few things I see: The fact your son does not like the therapist is good. That way it is likely that they are calling ED out and not siding with ED. My d too hated our therapist and now tolerates her and is more open. 
The point of the FBT therapist is to empower YOU as the parents to feed your child. I found it more helpful to have discussions by myself with the therapist about what issues I was having that impacted my d's eating. If I had issues with certain foods, she would tell d that she had to eat that food. She would give me strategies to get D to sit longer as my D stood all the time.

For the gym your son likely needs to be supervised 24/7. Some have had to sleep with their kids. That is part of Ed and it will need to be extinguished anyway you can.
Many of us have been told by our kids that they hate our food, of course that is ED. Stay strong and tell him it is what he needs. I used to call the team and tell them I wanted to add in smoothies that week and then they told d that THEY had decided she needed to start them. My d listened to authority figures and would be more compliant if she thought it was the team that decided and not me. 

I am in Ontario as well. Are you affiliated with Canadian Mental Health Association ED services or tertiary care centre, or another ED clinic? 
If you let us know what he is eating we can help. Please ask all the questions you have. We all wish to help. 
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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Mika
I understand how FBT works but I don't think we've got from our social worker directions or tools to handle things at home .She's very sympathetic to our situation and she tries to find other places for us to gat help. ..
How do we get a 14 yr old boy to eat? So far he smashed a plate with food ,he punched a few holes in the walls and always swearswears at us! 
I started limiting his safe food and when he has"nothing "to eat he gets very frustrated and angry or he won't eat. 
We are not affiliated with any of the places you mentioned .
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sandie
It takes time to learn the skills you need to refeed a child with ED. It is really tough but it does get better.
What is he eating now? What helped me was to post here what my D was eating and then others gave suggestions. 
It is normal for young people with ED to get very distressed and have outbursts when expected to eat. 
ENN has given some really good advice above. My D needs 3 meals and 3 snacks every day. It took time and a lot of patience to get her into routine of eating. It is helpful to think of food as medicine your child needs. So that even if they are very resistant, you keep insisting in a calm confident way that they need it. Distraction is helpful. Eg watching tv while eating. X
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair
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Mika
THe main issue with him is portions .He'll have small meals and will snack all day .He avoids sugar ,maple honey,and food that he considers unhealthy like pizza, white flour ,fats ...On days when he goes to gym(without permission )he'll eat more . It's seems as though he doesn't like to feel full after a meal(that makes him feel fat )
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Foodsupport_AUS
Hi Mika, welcome. Getting started in treatment is so hard. There is no one way that has worked for parents to deal with this. You may like to look at KLB's posts. Her son was a high level athlete with similar problems to your son. 
You don't mention your son's physical state? Is this being monitored regularly. Over the last month has he gained any weight?
It is unlikely your son will "listen to" anyone. Many kids have anosognosia which causes them to be unable to see or follow through on managing their illness. The violence is also typical, it is his illness fighting you back. Some parents have found they needed to refeed with "safe foods" whilst others have managed to take over entirely. It all depends on what is happening and how much headway you are making. If you are not making progress he may need a higher level of care, and you can then go back to FBT later. Determining progress is more about how he is eating and medical stability rather than his behaviours changing - unfortunately that will take a long time. 
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
"We are not affiliated with any of the places you mentioned"
Are you with an actual ED therapist/team?  What is the diagnosis? I am presuming it is anorexia nervosa? 
As for the smashed plates. We had that too. I learned here to use plastic everything. And to make large amounts of food in case they were served onto the floor. Is he gaining weight? As Foodsupport_AUS notes above, does he get medical assessments regularly to ensure he is physically stable? Many of us added calories to our child's food with oil and cream and butter etc so not to increase volumes of food but the nutritional content. That way the weight would go up and the child would not be too upset with larger portions. 
Does he actually have gym membership? If so you may need to cancel that based on medical issues. 


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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Enn
This book from Lauren Mulheim has been quite well liked by many on the forum and may give you helpful tips on what to do to help him eat. 
https://www.amazon.com/When-Your-Teen-Eating-Disorder/dp/1684030439
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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Mika
Yes, he has a medical examination every appointment .He drinks a lot so we don't know what is his actual weight (if he gained )
He won't touch food he suspect /tastes has fats . When /how we decide if hospital treatment or the therapist we got is good for us? 
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Torie
Oh dang, this is so hard.  ED is not rational - you said he only eats what a body builder would eat, but actually body builders do eat fats.  So what to do??

First is that you need to work on getting to a place where you feel physically safe.  He is swearing at you, throwing plates, punching walls.  I don't know where you want to draw the line, but surely at a minimum, he cannot be allowed to physically hurt you.  In your shoes, I would call the police and ask how they deal with mental health issues.  Some are willing to send an officer to the house during a quiet time to speak with ED-kid and explain that violence is not okay and will not be tolerated.  If he strikes you, or threatens to, pick up the phone, and if he doesn't stop immediately, call the police.

As you probably know, fats are super important for recovery.  The brain is made up largely of fats and needs much dietary fat for physical healing.  Would it help if his doctor or social worker told him he has to eat more fats?  Somehow you need to get a foothold on that.

Some are able to make "healthy" seeming smoothies with fruit and canola oil and other ingredients.  Tina is a great reference for that - I think she told her d it was needed for the vitamins.

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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Mika
In our journey we've visited numerous professional (dietitians, doctors..) That tried to explain to him the importance of fats to body-that didn't help much. 
We also called the police once after he punched a hole in the wall and ran out. ...They send 3 police cars to our home they talked to him but we got 3 more holes since then. ..We stopped calling because it doesn't help .
We have 2 younger siblings at home and things are very bad when it comes to talking about food with s. We want to help him but to protect them from all the stress this is causing .
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Torie
Mika wrote:
When /how we decide if hospital treatment or the therapist we got is good for us? 

It can be a tough call.  It always takes a while to find your way - each family has to blaze its own path to some extent.  If you are not able to make progress at home, he will need a higher level of care. 

After you find your sea legs, the usual goal is 1/2 to 1 kg per week (1 to 2 pounds).  When you find you can do this, you will have a good idea you can keep on with what you are doing.  If you find you can't do this at home, you will likely want to pursue a higher level of care.

Please remember that we're with you in spirit.  And please take care of yourself as best you can. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Mamaroo
Hi Mika and welcome from me as well. I does sound like your son might need a higher level of care and you could ask his Dr if he could recommend any eating disorder residential centres in your area. In the meantime you can read up on Deenl and KLB's posts, they have sons who went through the whole refeeding process and are now in recovery. Sending you lots of hugs 🤗🤗🤗
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
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Enn

Mika wrote:
In our journey we've visited numerous professional (dietitians, doctors..) That tried to explain to him the importance of fats to body-that didn't help much. 
We also called the police once after he punched a hole in the wall and ran out. ...They send 3 police cars to our home they talked to him but we got 3 more holes since then. ..We stopped calling because it doesn't help .
We have 2 younger siblings at home and things are very bad when it comes to talking about food with s. We want to help him but to protect them from all the stress this is causing .


Mika, 

I does sound like you have been through a lot. 
With an ED you cannot reason with their sensibilities. That is called anosognosia  https://www.verywellmind.com/anosognosia-and-anorexia-3573545
So having the doctors try to tell him, it will not work. 
It does, unfortunately, come down to parents finding what needs to be done. A good FBT therapist, knows ED and its tricks well and should be able to provide some tools to manage the anger and outbursts, or discuss meds and have a doctor assess properly. You need to keep the home safe and have consequences for that behaviour ( maybe no phone, no school, no friends) that is normally what we would do with no ED in the home, but I do understand how hard it is to do that with ED. WE all have had to come to terms with how we had to handle all the issues. The forum provided me with so many creative ways on how to "parent" my d differently than I ever have.  We had violence too and we had to make it clear that we did not accept violence  and she had to go to her room. We have punches in the wall and broken light fixtures and digs in the door. Now my d was almost 12 and it is likely a very different issues with a 14 year old male. I get that. 

As for the police. Yah they are not the best. We had our therapist/doctor  give us a plan A, B and C for not eating . If not eating in 24 hours to go to ER. We had a note from the doctor outlining her issues so that it would have been an easier discussion with the emergency department. The therapist gave us her card in case the police were called and they do have mental health support on many police teams (edited to add this is in Ontario), but you have to tell them that when you call. You need to say this is a mental health issue and if they have a mental health support person, could they bring them. Their hours on the force can be limited though.

Unfortunately the onus will be on you, to ensure boundaries and proper nutrition. The team does not actually do that. 
I have asked before and am still not sure from your replies, whether you are actually with an ED service. 
Is he gaining weight? And how can we help you so that he does not go to the gym anymore?

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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Enn
This is a nice thread by deenl and siblings. 
The other children do need your support too. It is so hard on the whole family.
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/supporting-siblings-10268886?highlight=siblings&pid=1309915987
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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Mika
Enn ,
Yes we are getting help from ED services. I thought that she will give us better tools to handle things at home but all she suggested was calling the police or having him removed out of our home which is not an option for me at this stage. That is why I'm confused and disappointed with therapist we got. It's seems to me she's not try to get ti know us as a family and come up with better advice. 
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Enn
You have every right to sit down with her and ask for what you need. And if you are not at all happy, then you can ask for another therapist. That is OK. With something so personal/intimate you need to find the right fit for you and your family.
Just like another doctor you can find who fits you 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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