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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Boysmum
I didn’t think this could happen to us again but after a long period of wellness from the end of 2016, my son has lost weight again, he says with no intention to restrict, but he is now 175cms and only 57.4kg. He is very, very angry and aggressive with us if we mention eating more, and says that we are making the Anorexia come back and if we just leave him alone he will eat more.
The thing is he is now 16, and much stronger than me, much more independent than he was. I’m so scared we can’t do the same as we did before because we just don’t have the same level of control.
He definitely doesn’t voice the same thoughts as before, but he is out and about so much more he could be lying to us and skipping meals.
So scared and just not feeling strong enough for all of what’s to come.
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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scaredmom
Hi Boysmum,
I am sorry that you are here again. I know it is so hard and this illness is yucky. Would you be able to get him to the same ED team he worked with before?
So what incentives do you have? Car, cell phone, school etc...?
I understand it is different now and I think you need to rally the troops and get going on it. Are you able to get him medically assessed? I think that would be the first thing I would suggest to ensure medical safety. Please ensure you are safe in the home as well as the rest of the family (ie his anger that you mention above).

I know it is not what you need right now and I know that you can do this. You know what needs to be done. I give you all my support.
I know others will be here very soon with their support too.
XXX


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
Sorry that you have had to come back here. There is no doubt that the older they are the harder it can be to turn things around as it takes a much larger change in the day to day lives for everyone. Is there a risk he is medically unstable? You don't mention how much weight he has lost. 

I know that you know that you are right and he has restricted his eating enough to lose weight. Teens should not be losing weight and if there is a significant amount it really doesn't matter what has driven him to this behaviour. His opposition and threat that you pushing things is producing an eating disorder is most likely due to an eating disorder present. You are on the right path. 

It is scary and overwhelming to have to think of going backwards but you do have the skills at this stage to insist on treatment and weight restoration, as hard as it may be. Do you have other supports, husband? family? who can help you work on this together?
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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tina72
Hi, I am so sorry that you need to be here again.

"he says with no intention to restrict, but he is now 175cms and only 57.4kg"
You know that this cannot be true. No boy that is eating normally and not overexercising or purging will lose so much weight.

It is much harder when they are older but the longer you weight the harder it will get. Gather around a team again and start refeeding asap. Make a plan. Give independece, car, cellphone, internet as incentives.

We started refeeding with age 17 d and it worked. We did hurry to get her back on track before she got 18 (thanks to all the great advices with that here) and it was good that we did that.

You know what you need to do and you "just" need to think about how to do it and who can help. You can do that again. You just need to dare to start.

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Boysmum
Thank you both. We went to the doctor today. He had lost another kg and resting pulse was 43 raising to 63 on standing. He had an ECG and blood tests. Dr very concerned about his physical health. ECG showed low heart rate. ED came out hugely today when we started to insist on reasonable meals. Swearing, shouting, pleading, begging, crying, punching walls. It’s all my fault, I made the doctor say those things, he doesn’t have an eating disorder, he will eat as long as we don’t make him, we are trying to control him, we are giving him panic attacks, we are making it worse. Over eating 2 rather than 1 sandwich. Snack is next..
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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scaredmom

You are doing the right thing. I am rooting for you. Please also take time for yourself and know that you are not alone. 

We get it. 

XXX

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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Mcmum
Hi, just wanted to say that I too am thinking about you. Really rotten for it to rear its head again in such an ugly way but you know what to do and you know that every bit of aggression is ed fighting back. Wishing you all the best. Do keep posting. Our s is young and in a better place but we are fully expecting a bumpy ride. Anticipating it doesn't make it any easier though. Do take care of yourself and pull in all the support you can get. xx
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tina72
"It’s all my fault, I made the doctor say those things, he doesn’t have an eating disorder, he will eat as long as we don’t make him, we are trying to control him, we are giving him panic attacks, we are making it worse. Over eating 2 rather than 1 sandwich."

Sad enough but you know that all well and you know it is not true and it is not your fault. So try to get out big girl pants and fight that bastard out of the house again (and hopefully for the last time now!). We are here and we are with you and if you need any advice or just need to vent please come here.

Has he got a driving license? A car? Is he driving yours? That was a big incentive here, we offered driving hours for every good eaten day and after 6 months maintaining weight we offered a car (which she got). Cellphone and internet access are good incentives, too at that age. Think about what he is keen on and what you can use as leverage. You need to be more a team with him now at this age (which is not possible at his state now but will be when he is WR). Read the parts about older teeanagers in Eva Musbys book to give you more ideas how to "get" him.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Boysmum
Thank you have just bought Eva’s book on Amazon Prime. Terrible raging day, my fridge has a dent in it from a punch and his wardrobe door has a massive hole in it from a punch. We’ve all cried, and the consultant psychiatrist rang and said she wanted him to be admitted because of his low heart rate. So scary. Anyway in the end it was decided to leave him with me over the weekend, although the consultant didn’t agree. He spent some time with his girlfriend and came back much calmer. Ate dinner and a snack with some negotiation attempts but it went down. No driving licence yet, just phone and PlayStation. Hopefully we have done enough and his heart rate will start to increase.
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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Boysmum
tina72 wrote:
"It’s all my fault, I made the doctor say those things, he doesn’t have an eating disorder, he will eat as long as we don’t make him, we are trying to control him, we are giving him panic attacks, we are making it worse. Over eating 2 rather than 1 sandwich."

Sad enough but you know that all well and you know it is not true and it is not your fault. .


It is literally unbelievable how convincing he is when he rants. You start second guessing yourself (maybe I am making it worse?) (should I give him a break and try again later?) (is he fine, just a bit thin, me doing this is giving him an eating disorder)
It’s bizarre! Only the FBT therapist we had previously’s voice inside me saying don’t give up makes me keep going!
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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Ronson
The second guessing is hard - I did that a bit at the start (it’s just a teenage girl thing, they are all a bit faddy with their eating etc). I think a lot of it is a bit of not wanting there to be anything wrong (we were a relapse too and part of you just thinks - believe them - I can’t face it all again.

I hope he eats well over the weekend and his heart rate improves x
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Baja
Boysmum this is exactly word by word what our d said today. But in comparison she is peanuts and what you face this weekend is a lot, that is really really brave! Do you check his heart rate?
Be strong, and listen to the FBT memories, you know how to do this!
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scaredmom
I too am concerned about the heart rate. When does he get checked again? It does sound like you have some incentives especially the girlfriend. Would she come over to eat with him? He may be calmer too?
Please know that IP is not a bad thing. We needed that to get us started and the weight going up quick.
I hope the weekend goes well.
I would suggest that you have plans in place in case he does not eat enough. Ie liquid supplements or a visit to the hospital. If he is raging please make sure you have plans in place to keep everyone safe. (Hide sharps, Medications, poisonous products) also consider plastic plates and cups and hide the breakables.
I am wishing only good things for you.
XXX
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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LaurieW
Low heart rate is concerning. 

For what its worth, my experience with an older kid with ED leads me to endorse IP/Residential treatment for older teens/young 20's far more often than with younger patients.  Older teens/young adults are stronger, smarter, can use knowledge and logic, have more resources (such as money, friends with cars, phones they pay for themselves, transit passes) than younger kids. My D is a smart kid who totally gaslighted me with fabulously convincing arguments during her freshman year of college when one of her friends called me with concerns about my Ds ED behaviors.  They can act like Academy Award Winners! 

Often the "neutral" authority figures at a hospital or treatment center can break through better than a parent.  It is natural for an older teen to push back against parents on all kinds of things. In this context that natural rebellion against parental authority can life threatening. Of course, your mileage may vary- you know your son.  

I am sorry to hear you are back in the fight again.  Put on your game face a fight this monster. Please let us know how it is going.  Wishing you the best.
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Boysmum
I’m really worried about his low heart rate as well. The consultant psychiatrist who he saw on an out paitent basis immediately said she couldn’t look after him on that basis anymore and called the GP to request he be put into hospital. The GP called the oncall peadiatrican who said that since his ECG, blood pressure and bloods that were back seemed ok, he could stay home over the weekend and they would try and admit him on Monday to the eating disorders unit. We’ve checked his heart rate at home informally and it’s over 50 now which is better.
It’s so stressful. My husband thinks I’m over reacting and that he’s fine. He doesn’t seem to realise that there is a difference between a healthy athlete’s heart which is low, and an anorexic heart which is low for quite different reasons.
He has eaten breakfast and snack, and now has gone to his girlfriends for lunch. I feel so alone in this.
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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scaredmom
You are not alone. You are thinking about this properly. He needs to eat and gain again. The Heart rate is a concern. Just keep feeding.
Thinking of you,
XXX
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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Boysmum
scaredmom wrote:
You are not alone. You are thinking about this properly. He needs to eat and gain again. The Heart rate is a concern. Just keep feeding.
Thinking of you,
XXX


Thank you. We also have a younger son who has autism to manage (only diagnosed in November) and I’m finishing up a post graduate special education qualification (writing an essay now). It’s A LOT [wink]
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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scaredmom
You DO have a lot on your plate!
Can you get a bit of help from a friend or family member to do stuff around the house that needs doing? Laundry, shopping, making a meal or two so you can do your essay or have a nap? 

XXX
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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atdt31_US
Sorry for the current set back for your son. I wondered if he is still on Prozac and if not, if you think restarting would help.
Mom of either pre-diagnosis or non-ed underweight 12 yoa (as of March 2018) kid here to learn how to achieve weight gain.  BMI steadily in the mid 12's for nearly her entire life.  Born 2006. UPDATE:  April 2018 diagnosed ARFID, based solely on weight being less than 75% of Ideal Body Weight.  Mildly picky, but mostly the problem is a volume/early satiety issue, along with abdominal discomfort and chronic constipation, all present since birth. FWIW ED-D is a fraternal twin and we have no other kids.
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scaredmom
Hi Boysmum, 
i have been wondering how you are doing. Best wishes,
XXX
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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Boysmum
scaredmom wrote:
Hi Boysmum, 
i have been wondering how you are doing. Best wishes,
XXX
scaredmom wrote:
Hi Boysmum, 
i have been wondering how you are doing. Best wishes,
XXX


We were referred back to the Community Eating Disorders Team. We had our first appointment today. It lasted 10 minutes as they weighed him and he has lost again, and heart rate 44. So sent to A&E for 4 hours, where they did ECG, blood tests and said we could go home. Massive waste of time!! Now he’s convinced that all adults make things up to try and get him to eat. 
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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scaredmom
Oh that sounds so frustrating!!
Did the team give clear guidelines on what to do when he does not eat?
I really hope they see how serious things are. 
Let us know how we can support you best.
XXX
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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Boysmum
scaredmom wrote:
Oh that sounds so frustrating!!
Did the team give clear guidelines on what to do when he does not eat?
I really hope they see how serious things are. 
Let us know how we can support you best.
XXX


We were given NO advice at all by A&E. Just that they had spoken to the consultant and were told they didn’t need to admit him. The dr said hopefully we won’t see you again and I said you will because all this has done has convinced him that he’s right and we are all wrong! 
13 yr old son diagnosed April 2015 with Anorexia.
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Mamaroo
Boysmum wrote:

 The dr said hopefully we won’t see you again and I said you will because all this has done has convinced him that he’s right and we are all wrong! 

Good onya!!!!! I'm very glad you said that. My d was also send home the first time we went to emergency. A couple of weeks later she was admitted for her heart. If your son is dizzy or faints, take him back immediately. Even when she was admitted to IP, she still thought that she didn't belong there and we, her parents and the doctors, were crazy. So, every day I would take her to the emergency department and showed her how full it was and that they would not keep her IP if she was not really sick.

Sending you lots of hugs!!!!!!!!!!!!
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. 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. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her.
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tina72
I would go back there and hope there is another team there. Unbelievable. Did I get that right, the Community ED team send you to A&E and the consultant (yours???) said they do not need to admit him? Is the consultant a child cardiologist? Is he a med? Does he take responsibility if something happens to him at home?
Did you tell your Community ED team what happened? What did they say.

So sorry what has happened, it is always the same thing, we need to fight that disease AND in addition the healthy system, that is so much lost power and time! We all have had such experiences, that should not be "normal"!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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