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

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Morgana
My non-ed son has depression, but just discovered what I've suspected for a few weeks that he's been taking drugs more than the usual teenage experimentation, such as pot and ecstasy. He is going to be kicked out of school because he's missed so much and not done any work, and I just don't know how on earth I am going to get him help and get through this as well as everything with d.

D is struggling, and today might be quite anxious for her as the girl she knows from school in ip with her had mutual friends visit last night, and whenever they visit the other girl d start restricting the next day, so it obviously causes anxiety. So I really need to be ready and focused for her as I am visiting twice today, but I've had 3 hours sleep, woken by my son off his face speaking absolute gibberish, he has scratches and cuts all over his wrists so I don't know if he's been in a fight, or restrained or what's been going on.

I might be rambling myself as I just can't process all of this. I know my son has been struggling himself but we've had to concentrate on d. I suppose at least now she is in ip so that does take some pressure off for now. We had such a massively intense last 5 months, on top of the whole last 12+ months of d being ill (when we didn;t know it was ED) and I know when she comes home the battle will continue full-on, I am so tired and drained all the time but I need to help my son or I can't imagine what his future will be.

I guess start with the family therapist and see what he says. Why do these things happen on the weekend when you have to wait until monday to do anything!
15yr old d. June 2014 stomach pain. Medical investigations until Feb 2015, referred to CAMHs dx food anxiety. Kept restricting and losing weight until July 2015, medically unstable. Began intensive re-feeding at home. Re-evaluated by psychiatrist, dx Autism Spectrum Disorder and Atypical AN.
Found out it's actually Typical AN.
IP from Oct 15, ng tube Nov. Re-started eating food July 2016. Discharged from IP August 2016 97% weight for height.
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Sotired
Oh hon,that's really tough.at least you have found out now,hopefully there is a good treatment place near to you-possibly attached to where your d is-where your son can get some treatment.it just feels like a punch in the stomach though doesn't it when something like this happens to our kids.
Do some diaphragmatic breathing,have a cup of tea or coffee (with whiskey in it if required) and then when your mind is slightly more peaceful write a short list of what needs to happen for your son.it might look something like 1)doctor visit.
2)referral to drug and alcohol programme
3)monitoring him closely while you wait for programme to begin and during times he is with you.
Something short and clear.it doesn't matter if you do it in that order but having a plan will help clear the fog of panic a bit.you CAN do this,you are stronger than you think you are,but it is perfectly normal to feel afraid at this time.the important thing is that you feel the fear but do what needs to be done anyway.
My thoughts and prayers are with you,
Sotired42
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K63
Hi Morgana, am sorry to hear about your son ,at leastyou know what is going on with him but this is also another struggle to come of these drugs and stay off them hope it won't take too long to get the help he needs.
If you feel the friends visiting d causes anxiety and restricting could you put it in place that she would not be allowed visitors or this particular person for a while or let the team know about it and work around why it causes her to restrict. This is such a difficult time for you now be sure to take time out there is only so much any of us can take without crashing.thinking of you .
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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NELLY_UK
Morgana, sadly it's so easy and so 'normal' to try drugs these days.
Focus on helping him with the depression but talk to the dr first so they know about the drug issue.
Keep telling him that everything is temporary and NOTHING lasts. Not sadness not stress not happiness. The only thing that is certain is that life changes all the time.
Try to keep him going to school so that he is involved with people and peers rather than hanging around with little to do.
Even if he misses so much he can't take exams, he can do those later.
Does he have a job? Can you encourage him to get one?
If he is in with the wrong crowd he needs to focus on a different friendship group. Otherwise they could dabble and they decide drugs are a bad thing, stop taking them, but he can't find a way out. There needs to be a way out.
This life is so tough.
Now you have two balls to juggle whilst staying sane.
They both need you.
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.
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Torie
Oh dang, so sorry this additional challenge has been visited upon you. Sorry, too, that I don't have any advice to offer, other than to trust your instincts - you're their mom, and you will know what is right for both your kids. Thinking of you.

xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Morgana
Thank you so much everyone. Sotired you have so much wisdom and your words instantly calmed me. I confess I did read the replies as they came into my inbox but it was such an emotional day yesterday I couldn't bare to come on here.

K63 I didn't explain properly-another girl in ip is a friend of d's from school (although you wouldn't know it anymore, staff are stunned when they find out they used to be best friends). It was this other girl who had the visitors. They are friends of the other girl but one is a boy my d used to mix with, and I noticed that twice after he visited the other girl my d started restricting the next day. 

She has the ng tube now and was compliant all day yesterday, but was very quick to get annoyed when we visited yesterday, and we had to leave early as she walked out.

Son has a part time job and I woke him three times yesterday morning to get him up to go to work. H says I should have left him if he couldn't manage to get himself up but I felt he would have been better at work than anywhere else, at least we knew where he was whilst we were visiting d in the afternoon.

And the visit didn't go well, and she told us not to come back that evening or next day! 

We had a talk with s when we got back, I had prepped h to be calm, non-judgemental, listen etc he wanted to go in all hard and ready to kick him out! I just wanted to let s know we are here to help in any way we can. We actually had a good talk, it seems it's not as bad as we first thought although it's still a little more than the odd weekend experimentation.

Nelly that's really good advice, and so I said things change and it's not always going to be like this etc 

Thanks Torie, I start thinking it's all my fault but I know the best thing I can do now is help him out of it.

We have a plan now, which is the main thing. See the family therapist today and ask for help with the drugs, talk to school to see what needs to be done to get him on track, and we're going to set up some routines for looking after himself, such as prioritising 3 regular weekday meals (he eats sporadically, always in a rush somewhere), bed times, study time etc all stuff that we left in his hands whilst looking after d and giving him some independence.

D's meal plan is increasing today so I can see this is going to be a fun week!

15yr old d. June 2014 stomach pain. Medical investigations until Feb 2015, referred to CAMHs dx food anxiety. Kept restricting and losing weight until July 2015, medically unstable. Began intensive re-feeding at home. Re-evaluated by psychiatrist, dx Autism Spectrum Disorder and Atypical AN.
Found out it's actually Typical AN.
IP from Oct 15, ng tube Nov. Re-started eating food July 2016. Discharged from IP August 2016 97% weight for height.
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Elena
Hi Morgana,
I've just caught up on your thread. I'm sorry to hear that new issues have arisen in your family, but it sounds as if you are already dealing with it all very sensibly. I'm slowly coming to the opinion that we need to become un-shockable. Issues are going to arise with our teens/young adults which are difficult, unexpected, and worrying, but we just have to keep on loving them no matter what and do what we can to support them. I haven't always 'practiced what I preach' but I'm trying. I'm really glad you've had a good talk with your son and have a plan.  Sometimes it is good for our ED kids to realise that the world does not entirely revolve around them, and that other family members can have issues too and need our time and attention. Mind you our ED d, can look quite surprised when we work to meet the needs of others in the family, like it has never occurred to her before!!!!!

I hope it all goes well for you with both your kids. Just keep on breathing! You can do this, just one step at a time.
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bccka5
Can I give you a big fat cyber hug!! (I know that sounds really cheesy) but my heart goes out to you and your family. Can I just support you in saying that no matter how your kids got to where they are, it is not your fault. It is not a result of bad parenting, stressful events, etc. ED's and depression and any other mental disorder are merely that and you should not feel that you've failed your kids.

In fact, it's your great parenting that is going to get them through this with love, sympathy, boundaries and consistency. It will not be easy, but thru this trial, you will find how strong you can be when pushed. Your kids will eventually see how much you truly love them. Our psychologist, Dr. Warren, told us that after recovery many of these ED kids are very, very close with their parents in their late teens and early 20's when kids usually pull away. I know that seems like a long term goal, but it's a goal, nonetheless. Stay strong, and persevere!!!

Daughter diagnosed with anorexia at 12 in 2013 without having any image issues/concerns about calories or exercise. Hospitalized - 3 days. FBT at home along with outpatient therapy - 16 weeks. Recovered/weight restored - 4 years. Still gaining and growing but has no hunger signs yet.  
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Elena
Ditto what bccka5 said. Certainly not your fault. You are wonderful how you have just taken on this next issue. Did you ever know that you could manage this really tough amazing parenting? When you have to, is is incredible what you really can do. So take courage, and just keep doing the amazing stuff you have already been doing. Life is not easy or predictable, and at times it can seem all too much to cope with, but you can do this. Sending love.
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K63
Hi Morgana , thinking of you and family hope your d is doing a little better it's a slow recovery with this illness steps forwards and backwards for a lot of it. Hope your son is getting help also and hope you manage to get some time to take care of yourself .
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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Elena
How are you going? I hope you are getting over the initial shock of having two kids with big needs.  Life can throw some really difficult stuff at us, and we have no choice but to deal with it as best we can. Sending love.
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Morgana
Thank you bccka5! It is hard when I feel like d is slipping further away from me, but I hold on to knowing she is inside there and needs me when she tries pushing me away.

Thank you all so much for thinking of us. My son is getting help and support from camhs. He had a scare last weekend where he thought he was having a heart attack, but didn't tell us until two days later! I took him to a&e and he was fine, no trace of a heart attack so he thinks it was a panic attack. I thought my head was going to explode, for a few days last week I was switching gear from him to d and back again every few hours.

As for d, my poor d. She has gained weight (although not up to her admission weight yet!) and is really struggling. She continues to refuse olanzapine, and they can't force her to have it. She has the ng tube, and accepts 4 out of the 6 feeds. The lunch and supper feeds are extremely traumatic for her. They have started needing to use light restraint on her at lunch, and rather than requiring her to go to the dining room or treatment room they try to do it wherever she is. She curls in a ball on the floor so they can't get to the tube, and when they do manage to sit her up she sobs the whole way through. They don;t like using restraint too much without a section so it looks like next week they will have to start the process for a section. She is escalating her behaviour every day, starting to become violent towards herself and staff around the lunch time feed. They also don't like doing it at supper so the past two nights they have tried verbally encouraging her for an hour each time, without success.  
She continues to remain silent about the ED. So much so that I have had 3 meetings last week with the psychologist, main nurse and other staff to convince them it is typical anorexia ie issues around weight loss, calories, exercise, body image etc I can understand- we didn't know for a year, and if I hadn't seen her search history myself I wouldn't believe it either. 

In between feeds she is usually fine, although last week she had a few really bad days and wouldn't go to the school or engage with staff or us.
 
It is just so heartbreaking, and I have to keep believing she WILL get better, we just need to get her over this bump, get regular weight on her and we'll see a change in her thinking.

How are you both doing, Elena, K63?
15yr old d. June 2014 stomach pain. Medical investigations until Feb 2015, referred to CAMHs dx food anxiety. Kept restricting and losing weight until July 2015, medically unstable. Began intensive re-feeding at home. Re-evaluated by psychiatrist, dx Autism Spectrum Disorder and Atypical AN.
Found out it's actually Typical AN.
IP from Oct 15, ng tube Nov. Re-started eating food July 2016. Discharged from IP August 2016 97% weight for height.
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Elena
Sorry to hear that your d is having such a hard time. It can take a long time for kids to start to open up to professionals ( and us!!), our d has just recently started talking to hers, so I'll cross my fingers and hope yours has a break through soon. Panic attacks can seem a lot like a heart attack, but maybe the scare was good for your s ( but not for you ) Thinking of you.
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Doitagain
Hi Morgana - thought I'd say hello and offer support. It isso hard when behaviours escalate when IP - I guess it's because ED is well and truly trapped. She must be very frightened - poor thing, and I know how distressing that is for a mother to see when all we want to do is protect them. I've been following your comments about your D having a friend IP too, which I think does make it more difficult. ED is such a competitive illness. How is the friend doing I wonder ? Is her behaviour escalating too? Mad thought - but is there a tiny element of who is sicker going on here - ie I'm a bigger, better and stronger (more resistant ) anorexic than you?

The competitive visiting is hard - of course she's upset if the friend gets a group from school - I hope they also visit your D too. Please tell me they do . Does your D have a friend from school that you could rope in? Could someone organise a card for her from school, signed by a few people? Could a friend organise for a couple of people to visit her? The only other thing I can say on the friend thing is that if the friend is complying more then your D you might start to gently point out that this is the case. It is also likely that if the friend starts to make progress your D and the competitiveness could kick in there too - ie who is going to get out faster etc. Neither is ideal in the long term, but in the short term it might eventually help the food go in and inadvertently get your D off the starting blocks. Don't know if this makes sense... I hope your D agrees to medication too as I think it really is key in extreme behaviours. Perhaps kindly point out that if she doesn't comply there will be no choice and she does have a choice now... I'm sure she feels like there are no choices anymore...You have made all the right decisions so far . Keep going and never doubt yourself and your parenting. your D is so lucky to have you x
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Doitagain
Morgana - the other thing I wanted to add , sorry if you've already seen this, but violence when faced with food is actually one of the criteria for admission to IP in either the Marsipan, Junior Marsipan or Nice, sorry - I can't remember which. So conversely this must mean that for some it is par for the course at a certain stage. I emphasis "at a certain stage" because this is "a stage" and it will pass. Sometimes it has to get worse before it gets better, sort of the storm before the calm xxx
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