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

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Scaredmom2019
Since confronting ED about 6 weeks ago we have been in PHP 40 hours a week. We tried SSRIs and they made her way too loopy and weird.

Now we have CONSTANT mood swings. She feels great (pretty much her normal) for a couple days and then just crashes into total despondency and will cry in bed ALL day. Sometimes this flip can happen by the hour or many times a day. She cannot tell me what is wrong and says she doesn't  know.

I have never seen her this despondent and almost catatonic. Since starting ED treatment things have gotten worse and worse. Is this all ED or am I missing something major like bipolar?? So lost 
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Enn
Hard to say for sure. I know you are in the mental health field. What does her psychiatrist think?
Some have tried olanzapine, with some good calming effects that are immediate. It did not work for my d. I really think she would require a proper psychiatric opinion on this. 
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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Foodsupport_AUS
It is hard to say, but certainly my D felt worse for some time after confronting ED. Physiologically it makes sense that if starvation helps to dampen down the anxiety then re-feeding may ramp things up a lot. It took a long time for things to settle for my D, made worse by her repeated hospitalisations for being unable to eat. 

I agree to asking her psychiatrist what they think, is this normal mood swings for ED or something else at play?
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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Torie
I agree with the others that it is hard to know.  ED can make them unrecognizable to us, but there could also be something else in the mix.  Hang in there. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Scaredmom2019
Thanks. That's just it. She has a psychiatrist she sees weekly at the program. She also has 2 therapists she sees weekly and no one can really answer this. I sit it on these sessions and we all just throw our hands in the air and dont know what is really happening. So frustrating!
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Barberton
Scaredmom2019,

My d became a totally different person at the start of her ED. In hindsight I now see that she was in full Fight or Flight mode. I would speak to her for hours hoping to get some response. Then I wrote her a note and put it on her pillow. Then I wrote another one the next day. My notes told her how much I loved her, etc. Eventually I got a note in reply. Looking back on those notes I can tell that she was still covering up for the ED, but it started a dialogue. So maybe you just need to find another way to communicate?
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
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ValentinaGermania
A lot of parents see mood swings in ED recovery. It is often a rollercoaster, one day they are feeling better and the mood is better and next day they beat themselves up for having a nice day yesterday and all is bad again. We saw that very often until about 1 year after WR.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Ruby3
As everyone says, it's hard to say. But just to give you my experience - once my daughter started treatment for AN she went through a period of really struggling with depression. This was particularly difficult at the weekends (which is common on this thread, where perhaps the loss of structure is very difficult to deal with). She would find it impossible to get up in the morning at the weekends, be crying much of the day - especially if i wasn't with her. Couldn't shower, could barely watch tv. could find no pleasure in anything. Occasionally she'd shift mood and be ok once she'd got moving. Then come Monday would be able to get going to school. I felt like she'd been using restricting her eating as a way to shore up her mental state and that we'd taken that crutch away from her, so she went into total collapse. She was able to keep going at school, but this effort was mentally exhausting and would lead to collapse at weekends (and sometimes after school). It was a truly awful and alarming period. We tried anti-depressants, but actually by the time they were likely to be kicking in, she was already slightly recovering - although I think they did work by giving her hope that there was a road out. She stopped taking them after a few months.
She slowly came out of the depression. Helped in part I think by my taking her away for the weekend to kind of break the spell of the inevitable descent come Saturday morning. She was a bit resistant - said she'd just be crying on the sofa there - but I just insisted that at least it would be a different sofa and somehow that did seem to make a difference. 
The AN has made me realise that she may have serious mental health issues going alongside and contributing, but I think the jury is out until she's totally recovered. She still struggles sometimes, but nowhere near the kind of depressive downs she had for perhaps a month or so at the start.
So perhaps you just have to hold on in there for a bit longer before you draw any conclusions. there's been a long struggle and build-up for the child before we notice anything is wrong and then something that appears to be working for them is taken away which causes more distress so perhaps this is a reaction to all of that. It may naturally ease. But it's horrendous to go through as a parent as well. I think you just have to keep feeding and showing love. 
I hope the therapists are also keeping an eye out for suicidal thoughts as this is obviously also critical.
Hope she comes through the other end too. Even when my daughter is feeling bad now, I feel/hope it's never as bad as the first time as she's known that she can feel that and then recover - which is something she didn't believe at the time. 
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Scaredmom2019
Wow, Ruby3, you put into words exactly what's happening. Exactly. I'm glad to know someone else has experienced this and come out alive! 🙂

I think as a 17 year old she also struggles immensely with feeling so different from others her age. Now today, Monday, as you said went off without too much of a hitch. Like the lack of structure on weekends is just idle time for the mind to obsess and ruminate on the struggles. I'm going to have to break it up. Send her to her to grandmas etc, even if just a change of scenery..

Thank you for sharing this with me. It gives me some hope and realization. 
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ValentinaGermania
Try to have a routine and a schedule on weekends too. No sleep ins, that makes it harder to get the food in, and no time for bad AN thoughts. Distraction, distraction, distraction. Like having a 2 year old toddler around...

"I think as a 17 year old she also struggles immensely with feeling so different from others her age."
This is a big problem of many AN kids. Inside they feel emotionally 3-4 years behind their peers. In their brain they are often up to 5 years older then their peers. Very difficult to handle if you are healthy but a big drama with AN in addition.
It gets better with the years and with a change to University. Mine is now together with friends that are 3-4 years older than her and that fits perfectly now.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Ruby3
Glad it helped!
I think it's a combination of trying to do nice stuff to distract and change it up, but also perhaps recognising that she's doing something very difficult and some periods of inaction and depression might just have to be endured. We had weekend routines (music Saturday morning etc) which she usually enjoyed, but they became impossible for a bit. So yes, plan some nice things, but perhaps make sure the stakes aren't too high if it all goes array. Otherwise this can only increase the pressure and tension and guilt which is a big issue for my daughter at least.
I spent a lot of time just holding my daughter which I really wasn't sure was the right thing to do - might be a regression too far -  but her therapist felt we should just go with it. And sure enough, as she got slowly better, the clingy-ness has reduced. she wasn't choosing to be in that state and moved away from it as soon as she could. Here's hoping there's light at the end of the tunnel!
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Scaredmom2019
Both such helpful advice!! Huge thank you!!I already feel better and more prepared to handle the moods. 

My D doesn't really voice concerns about weight or body - she tells me she doesn't really care about that anymore - she has accepted the inevitable body changes so this mood thing could very well be those feelings coming out in other ways. So sad. Shes 17 and I do lay her head in my lap and just rub her head and hair which seems to always calm her down. ❤
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mjkz
I would be really leery of any kind of diagnosis until she is fully weight restored and has had some time of full nutrition under her belt.  I've seen too many practitioners rush to the borderline personality diagnosis and make things so much worse.  My daughter during refeeding had several moods swings per day like that and because she was underweight for so long and totally resistant to going into triple digit numbers (and manipulated and did whatever she had to keep her weight down) she got saddled with the diagnosis and all the stigma that came with it.  While it might be nice to have something to call it, it might not be the best thing overall.
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Scaredmom2019
I know what a  borderline diagnosis can do. No one wants to work with it. In the US it is considered a severe and persistent mental illness that is very hard to treat. Huge stigma. I agree with you. I would never diagnosis borderline without meeting all the criteria for it and I would want to know the person for a longer period of time to evaluate long standing behavioral patterns
 
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ValentinaGermania
I think ED can have so many faces that no good professional should diagnose any other mental disease before WR and at least 6 months after that.
We saw so many strange behaviour, OCD, tics, borderline symptoms here and all fades slowly with WR.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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