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

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My daughter ocassionally suffers from constipation.I bought her an enema at her request last night. It didn't work so this morning after a healthy breakfast she began bingeing, saying that that is the best way for her to be able to poop.

I told her that b/p behavior would only continue the cycle of dehydration and inability to poop.That did not stop her bingeing‌.

I asked her to stop. She refused. I asked her again. She refused again and then she took my laptop (which I use for work), and threw it on the floor, breaking it and damaging the floor.

I did not get emotoinal during any of this time, but I broke many of my rules next by taking all of the food out of the house, putting it into the car, and driving the car to a location in my neighborhood because my d had the spare key and would not return it.

Now, she is locked in her room taking a bath. No food, though I have a snack for her and me, and soon I will go back to the car to get lunch.

How badly did I behave, Feasties?

It occurs to me that I acted out of the ordinary according to how my h and I have been handling the behaviors. Usually I would just let her b/p and ask her to limit the time. I don't know how helpful this is, except for keeping harmony in the house.

When she doesn't b/p at night, she gets high by using DXM, easily accesible and cheaply obtained at the dollar store. She has shared with me that she doesn't want to 'disappoint' her treatment team. She is not honest with them about her behaviors.


Francie, to be honest, I think you did exactly the right thing. She did not stop that behaviour, you taking food out of the house did stop it so that was best solution available at the moment. I am sure I would have done the same.

"It occurs to me that I acted out of the ordinary according to how my h and I have been handling the behaviors. Usually I would just let her b/p and ask her to limit the time. I don't know how helpful this is, except for keeping harmony in the house."

I think what you have done today was a big sign that you really mean business when you ask her to stop and that can be day 1 of recovery. It is hard to stop this behaviour and you need to stop it. So if she cannot binge when no food is in the house this is a strange but good solution. Strange behaviour needs strange solutions. Can you think about a more comfortable way to lock it away than to do it in the car? Do you have a garage where you can lock some food and eventually have a second fridge? A nice neighbour that can help with that?

Constipation was / is a big problem here, too, and it got better by adding vitamin C and magnesium as supplements because that has a slightly laxative outcome. It is also better if she drinks enough (1,5-2 l a day). If she drinks less she is constipated again.

I am really sorry that she damaged your laptop, can you think about having her pay or help in the household for that? I think this must have consequences as this is expensive. Try to get all good china out of the way [wink].

Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. You were desperate. I don't think you made this worse at all. Of course the best way for her to get normality of bowel function is full meals every day. No purging. Adequate fluids, fibres and fats. Enough fats tend to promote going too. 

My D had severe constipation with her AN. With restriction she wouldn't go for two or three weeks. It got to the point that even when eating well she wouldn't go for a week and then needed laxatives that still wouldn't work. She required some assistance to keep going and avoid severe constipation with laxatives for several years. Consistent eating has finally got things better, she has not needed to take anything for more than a year. 

It comes back to trying to talk to her not at a time of distress and reminding her that these physical symptoms will best be treated over time with regular consistent eating and no compensatory behaviours. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Francie, I think you did exactly the right thing.  I also think you need to level with her treatment team about how bad things are again.  Now you've got substance abuse on top of the eating disorder and you need to get her to a place to address both.

When she is in a better place, I think you need to address how she is going to pay for the floor and the laptop too.  Treat her like an adult even if she refuses to act like one.


I think you were courageous and honest. You don't want your daughter to b/p and you told her that. You then took the food out of the house and did not allow her access to it. What if you and your husband did that every single day and put strict guidelines in place at home?

It does seem as though she seems to be out of control and perhaps a very serious session with you, your husband, her and her team (she is still in treatment, right?) might be in order. As might her signing herself into a program where she cannot b/p or abuse substances. I don't know what the best program in the US is for b/p with a substance abuse co-morbid but perhaps some of the other wise carers out there have some suggestions?

I know you have tried that before and are right back where you started. But if she is so ill that your mention that b/p won't help with her constipation so angers her that it causes her to trash your computer then clearly things are completely out of hand. In addition, abusing DXM can cause liver damage. She needs help.

For the constipation, instead of an enema, perhaps drinking a couple of strong cups of coffee in the morning followed by my grandmother's method: a big glass of prune juice, might very well do the trick if you want to encourage her to try that. 

Usually I would just let her b/p and ask her to limit the time. I don't know how helpful this is, except for keeping harmony in the house.

Maybe it is time to shake things up a little and try something else. Harmony is nice but it comes at a very high price if it lets your daughter continue to purge and abuse DXM.

I hope you and your husband will consider joining us in March at the Feast of Knowledge in NYC in March and see if you can get some additional support there. It would be nice to meet you!



As my daughter and I are a little/maybe a lot lactose intolorance, a bit of cows milk might help to get things moving down below. It does cause some pain in the stomache but definitely clears the bowels. Just a thought as my D has also been constipated when she was a toddler and cows milk helped to get her bowels going again. 

She hasn't had cows milk for a couple of years as it does upset her stomache a lot. But in saying that I know as an adult that I can drink an 'Iced Coffee' which I love and then within 20 mins I will have to go to the toilet.

So get to the cows milk and hopefully down below will happen!
Hi Francie

Sorry you had such a tough day yesterday. I think you did absolutely the right thing. I have to agree with the others that you inform her team about the DXM, they must have come across something similar before and I'm sure they can help her. Is she on any medication? If not, another thing to bring up with the team. Re the constipation, I find drinking green tea helpful.

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
Hi Francie,
As you know, I also deal with severe b/p. I hide food all over the place. Where ever is cold and out of reach. I get sick of my son going to bare cupboards or finding the ‘good stuff’ gone. When he is at uni, my food stocks often run out. I am happy to shop daily at times. It makes life easier. But she works and orders pizza to be delivered. She goes out drinking to dangerous levels. I keep her safe to an extent. I repeat the same messages you probably do.
I often say outrageously bad things- That’s too bad.
Do what you can when you can. Keep her safe, call police ambulance if you need to.
My question is, in the place we are in, at what point do we ever get our life back or even just a bit of it? Enough to relax, have friends round, book a holiday, go out. Or is that the cost of caring for a disabled family member?
Don’t feel bad, you are doing your best.
The addiction thing generally is scary though and often goes with bulimia. Be vigilant, bin stuff if you can.
NELLY D 20 bulimic since age 12, diagnosed in 2011. 20 months useless CAMHs,7 months great IP, home March 14..... more useless CAMHs.now an adult & no MH services are involved. I reached the end of my tether, tied a knot in it and am hanging on. ED/Bulimia treatmentis in the dark ages in West Sussex.