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

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I was a fairly regular poster here when my D was diagnosed in 2012. She was in and out of IP treatment for the best part of two years and seemed to be making real progress around the end of 2014. In her A Level exams she just seemed to relapse quite badly and lost a lot of weight and has also started binge/purging. She also has a real drink problem - going out with friends and coming home so drunk she blacks out.

In two weeks time she's due to start university 170 miles away, although her granny lives in the city and they're close. She is 19 now and has refused any help accessing treatment since becoming an adult and has always really struggled to ask for help, insisting everything is fine. Last night we had a total meltdown and she disappeared for a couple of hours. I've threatened stopping her from going to uni, but her dad won't support that - we're divorced and he's always used ED as a divisive tool.

The university has an excellent ED service apparently, unlike adult services here. She says that she's going into shared halls and therefore won't binge/purge - but she does have her own bathroom. I'm really scared and worried and just don't know what to do
Sorry that things seem to have gone downhill for your D. It sounds as thought things have been deteriorating for a while. 

There is no doubt it is tough to get adult children to be actively involved in fighting eating their ED. Partly they are asserting their independence as young adults and partly their ED is asserting it for them. You are well aware that she needs ongoing care and their is significant risk in your D. To try to get your Ex involved actively will give you much more weight. If he is concerned about your D's welfare then he may be able to be convinced of the severity of her current symptoms. Sometimes asking for advice while expressing your concerns may help you find some common ground to work from. 

As regards the university, telling them of her eating disorder would be appropriate. They are taking on some responsibility for her even if you can't stop her from going. I understand there have been some disastrous incidents in the UK with students at university with ED. They may be willing to take things seriously and help push her towards seeking better care. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
You may also find it useful to look at this document about fitness to study for university students in the UK.

There is excellent info on assessment, recommendations for medical leave, and at what point students should return to uni.

As FoodSupport says, it would be beneficial to let the college know about your d's health history, so they can help direct her to appropriate care/support if needed.

It is a 'dance' with young adults, but to the extent possible, try to get on the same page with your ex to support your d.  I also like this short video (7 min) with a family; mum, dad & d discussing the trajectory of illness, and how the family support made it possible for recovery and the ability to go to college for this young woman.  Particularly helpful for those with menfolk who don't quite 'get it'...this dad's explanation of his challenge in understanding ED, and how he had to change to help d.

Sending strength and support,
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
Sigh Onemoremum, So sorry you are back. I hope you can keep in close contact with your d while she is away. Where is she going? Some universities have great support but then its not there in the long holidays.
Interesting link to fitness to study. However it focusses on such a low bmi not sure how helpful that is.
Have you spoken to the uni yet?
I never left this place just slowed down posting as nothing has changed a great deal.
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.
Thanks for this - had a long discussion with uni this afternoon. They have a really good specialist ED service as well as a more generalised mental health support scheme. She'll probably get better help there.
I hope she does get good help. It's always difficult with adult children as you can't make them take the help, but at least it sounds as if good, responsive help is there if she can be persuaded by whoever (and her father or the uni staff may have better luck than you here just because of the novelty value) to acess it
Fiona Marcella UK
She said afterwards "I had to lie Mum and say I was fully recovered and was fine with eating etc etc or they wouldn't take me!!"

To me, it seems slightly immoral that they are accepting these girls knowing they have a serious illness and there is zilch we can do about it.

Does this mean you are going to call Uni and tell them the truth about how much your daughter is struggling?  It is not immoral on their part if they are not working with the truth.