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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Leisya
my daughter who is 16 told me yesterday she has a eating problem.
tomorrow i will book an appointment with her pediatrician.
i join groups on Facebook and they recomend  me this site and gave me very good books and information.

im still in denial, but im also moving reading, learning searching how to help her, she is ok with getting help.

she do not know or is telling me what could be the reason she was always a very mature, inteligent and bright girl.

i think she is on the early stage as she has not lost a lot of weight, 
Im hoping to find a doctor in our hometown as money is really tight to travel but i will do all i can do to help her get thru this disease.
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scaredmom
Leisya, 
I welcome you to the forum I can understand how confusing this may be. I am glad she told you that she needs help. She will need a diagnosis first and then you will need to read up on it. You sound like you have a good plan in place to get her the help she needs. 
This forum is full of wonderful people and resources.
Please ask all the questions you have. 
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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Mamaroo
Hi Leisya and welcome from me as well, and sorry you need to find yourself here. It is great that your d was able to tell you that she had a problem. 

You wrote: "she do not know or is telling me what could be the reason she was always a very mature, inteligent and bright girl."
To get an eating disorder you would need the right genetic make up. In 2017 the genes most likely associated with anorexia were found and they were closely related to auto immune disorders (type 1 diabetes) and schizophrenia (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28494655). In addition, to trigger the genetic predisposition you would need weight loss, which can be due to dieting, illness, operation, stomach bug, exercising, religious fasting or even travelling to new destinations with unfamiliar food. That is all you need. Good recovery programs do not focus on the cause of the eating disorder as it does not help with recovery. A good analogy is a broken arm, it does not matter how the arm got broken, but to recover the arm needs a cast. You are now going to be the cast for your d during recovery. She will need lots and lots of food to gain back her weight, "food is medicine" as they say here.

We are always here for any questions or support you need. 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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mimi321
Hi Leisya and welcome! You have come to a good place. I was in your very shoes last March with my daughter who was 11 at the time and now she is doing very well so there is hope!

One very important thing I learned along the way was that my daughter did not choose this illness and I did not cause it. She is genetically predisposed and her eating disorder kicked in after she decided to start eating healthy and to be more fit and she lost a few lbs. Most people who decide to lose a few pounds or lose it by accident (illness, growth spurt) don't develop an eating disorder because they are not genetically predisposed. Knowing that helped me a lot. 

That is very good she has not lost a lot of weight yet. I think you will find that getting her to eat will be very challenging. We can help you with strategies to help in that process. 

I have some guidelines you might want to share with your doctor in what to consider when assessing for an eating disorder. Unless a specialist, doctors do not generally have a lot of training or knowledge in this area, or may still hold onto old stereotypes. I don't have the guidelines handy at the moment but will reply with them later unless someone else does so first.

One thing I would ask is that the doctor / nurse to blind weigh her so she doesn't see or know her weight, as they can become very fixated on that number and become determined not to go above it. I would also hide / get rid of any scales in the house. 

There is a big learning curve to this illness and this is a great place for information and support. We have all been in your shoes and want to help. Feel free to ask any questions you like. 

Take care. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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mimi321
Here is the Guide to Medical Care from the Academy of Eating Disorders.

https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/AEDWEB/05656ea0-59c9-4dd4-b832-07a3fea58f4c/UploadedImages/AED_Medical_Care_Guidelines_English_04_03_18_a.pdf

You might like to look through and highlight any symptoms you think might apply and mention them to the doctor. Early recognition signs are on pages 7 and 8. Do not feel bad if there are signs there you didn't recognize earlier, I was floored when my daughter told me she had problems eating as she had never previously once mentioned wanting to be thinner. Unless you are very familiar with eating disorders already, the signs can be easily missed or misunderstood.

One of the most important tests for them to do is the standing and lying blood pressure and heart rate (you will see on page 9, this is included in what the physical examination should include). They may check her bmi. One note about bmi, I was fooled early on as my daughter fell into what was supposedly a healthy bmi for her age, but she was in fact at least 30 lbs below what was her ideal bmi for her body type and stage of puberty (she developed early). If you have growth charts for her typical weight / height at various stages of her life, that might help paint a picture for your doctor as well. If her bmi is now below what has been typical for her growing up, that could be a concern, especially combined with the fact that she admitted she is having trouble with eating. Generally you need to compare her bmi from about two years ago and earlier, as sometimes these disorders develop unnoticed for a time. 

I hope I'm not overwhelming you, just want you to be more knowledgeable than I was going in. Best of luck with your appointment. Let us know how things are going, we are here for you!
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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tina72
Hi Leisya,

just wanted to add my welcome from Germany although I am sorry that you need to join us. It is great that you found us, you will get a lot of help here.
I just want to give you some hope, we are 2 years into it and started refeeding and FBT at age 17 and my d is 19 now and off to University and living a nearly ED free life (still working on last 10%). Recovery is possible, if you catch it early you will see great progress in the next weeks/months.
Get her to GP for health check and then seak for a FBT therapist in your region. Although it takes time and money I would suggest to search a professional licenced FBT therapist because it is better to drive a bit longer and get good help than to get bad help just around the corner.
If you can tell us where you are located we can probably help you with that.

Come here to vent and to ask your 1 million questions, we are open 24/7.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Leisya
Thank you, i wish i knew how to reply personally but im new to this forum, your comments mean a lot to me.
it give me hope.
Like mimi321 she started being vegetarian when she was 14, then she went vegan when she was 15 so that maybe tigger the issue.
at this point I don’t know what she has.
today we have a pediatrician appoiment and i have contact 2 counselors. Also i was able to contac a clinic 3 hrs from us.
we live in Laredo Texas. A small city border with Mexico.
its like you dont know what road to start.
i been praying and praying for guidence.

Again thank you.!  Its like hugs to me!
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mimi321
Hi Leisya,

vegetarianism and veganism can be early signs of an eating disorder, with my daughter it was orthorexia, only wanting to eat very healthy, "clean" and unprocessed foods. All of these are a type of restricting that can get out of control with someone predisposed to an eating disorder as the range of foods they will eat becomes smaller and smaller, and becomes quite unhealthy. 

Just a note about the counselors. If she does have an eating disorder, it is best to go with someone who offers Family Based Treatment. This is not family therapy where they look at family relationships or try to get at the root cause of her illness. That type of approach is based on stereotypes that can be parent-blaming and are disempowering to parents, who are really in fact the best people who can help their child overcome their illness. We wouldn't offer therapy to find out why someone was diabetic or has cancer. An eating disorder is a neurobiological disorder. FBT is designed specifically for eating disorders and is evidence based treatment (most successful). You can read more about it here:  https://www.feast-ed.org/curious-about-family-based-treatment-sometimes-called-maudsley/

If you are unable to locate FBT in your area (our case as we live in a rural area), there is a book that can help you adopt the practises at home yourself and with support from us. It is called "WhenYour Teen Has an Eating Disorder," by Lauren Mulheim.  https://www.eatingdisordertherapyla.com/book/

There are lots of other great online resources to help with the eating. Generally speaking the first thing is to put in place scheduled and supervised eating which consists of three meals and two-three snacks, ideally with a gap of no more than three-four hours in between. If you go longer, the (possible) disorder gets stronger. Try to keep the mood light if possible and offer whatever distraction helps such as reading, watching t.v., etc, then supervision for a minimum of an hour following to ensure there us no purging (through vomiting, exercise, dieuretics). She may be overcome with a sense of guilt after eating and have a very strong desire to do something about it. Distraction sometimes helps. This can be pretty intense at first, but once you start to get into your routine and once she sees that you are not giving in, it will get a little easier. If at all possible, try to remain calm but firm. This is very scary for her. It will be bumpy at first while you try to find your groove and she resists this new approach, so don't worry about being perfect. If you feel yourself getting angry, it's okay, try to step back for a moment, take a breath and try again. Feedback, not failure, as we say here. This won't last forever. 

Good luck with your appointment. This is a lot to take in. One step at a time, but you are on your way. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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Leisya
We went to see a counselor and took my daughter to eat.
i can see her anxious, nervous trying to choose a meal.
she choose quinoa.! 
I can see she is in pain being force to eat.
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mimi321
Yes, the (possible) disorder makes it hard for them to eat, it makes them feel guilty. It can make them feel less guilty about eating if they feel they have no choice. I discovered after awhile that it made it easier for my daughter if I said something like,"I know this is hard but you have no choice, you have to eat." This way they can kind of say to their disorder, "See, I didn't want to eat it but I had to." It relieves them of a little guilt. Also, giving praise for eating made her feel worse, because it was as if the disorder heard that she agreed to eat something. It was better to stay matter of fact or we focused on other things, like reading or watching tv during meals.
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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Suzanne
Leisya,
I’m new-ish here, and have found great help and comfort from this amazing collection of warriors. Like you, my son told me that he thought he had an eating disorder. It’s a great sign.  For him, like having an addiction, there were/are only flashes of insight.... I’m told that gets better.  
He’s home from freshman year in college, 12 weeks into re-feeding, and making slow but good progress.  
Re your daughter not having lost a lot of weight yet: my son’s pediatrician egnored him drifting farther and farther away from his consistent  and healthy BMI for the past 2 years.  ( in my opinion) Pediatricians are so obsessed with the obisety problem and are terribly under educated about eating disorders.  Missed it!  If you can- Find a specialist in adolescent eating disorders.There may be a wait list... get on it.
Family Based Therapy is working.  
The book is very useful. ( muhlheim) 
past posts on this forum are very helpful
AND...
Please, please take care of yourself!  It’s emotionally one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced.
One meal at a time... read past posts when you can.  Post and reach out, ask questions. I’m telling you, this community is amazingly helpful. 

Love and light. 
Xoxo
suzanne 
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scaredmom
Leisya,
what type of counsellor was this?
Did you see the doctor? And what were their thoughts?
I do hope you were able to express your concerns that she may have an eating disorder.
Let us know how we may help.
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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Leisya
Thank you all, the pediatrician visit was terrible.
he in front of her told us(after we explain the issue of the visit) ohhh she just lost 5 pounds.! That us not a lot.
i wanted to kill him.! Come on.!! We are here for ED and you say loosing 5 pounds its not a lot.
still he recoment therapy. 
(Glad i have you girls as you already advise me about this)
thank you for all the comments.
a question outside the topic.
how do i reply to someone especific.? I read the post from my phone.
i feel soo grateful with each one that has reply.
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scaredmom
You can reply to them here in your thread just as you are doing. I am not sure exactly if that is what you mean.
if you wish to quote them hit the quote button on the bottom right corner of their reply and it will quote in your reply box.
and then you can edit out what you don’t want.
hope that helps. Otherwise let one of the mods know and we can help.
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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mimi321
Sorry it went this way at the pediatrician's office. Sadly this is typical and we've had unhelpful doctor visits in the beginning, too. If you can get referred to a specialist that would be ideal. Otherwise an understanding doctor who listens to your concerns and is willing to learn can be helpful, too. We had no specialists in the area but the third doctor we tried would confer with the specialist and became more helpful after I explained how her comments, while well-meaning, would cause a lot of stress and made it extremely difficult to get my daughter to return. Sorry it was a rough start. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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Mamaroo
We had the same experience with our doctor, it is very common, sadly. I hope you will be able to see a therapist soon. Eva Musby has a great website and here is a video from her as well:
https://anorexiafamily.com/

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
Leisya wrote:
We went to see a counselor and took my daughter to eat.
i can see her anxious, nervous trying to choose a meal.
she choose quinoa.! 
I can see she is in pain being force to eat.


Let her not chose the food, that is too hard in that state.
You chose and she just has to eat it.

Ask for a counselor that is experienced with ED and offers Family based threatment (licenced!). That is not normal family therapy as your family is not the problem. Be careful - when the counselor says something about underlying issues and that your d must be in charge of what to eat and that she needs to want to get healthy - take your feet and RUN!

Better drive a bit more and get good help than bad help just around the corner...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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tina72
These are licenced FBT therapists in Texas: If they are too far, ask for Skype-sessions.

TEXAS

Susan Cowden, MS, LMFT
262 Union Street
New Braunfels, Texas 78130
susancowden@gmail.com
http://www.susancowden.com

Susan Cowden is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in New Braunfels.  Her primary interests are eating disorders, body-image issues, disordered eating and chronic dieting, depression and anxiety.  She sees adolescents and adults in her practice. She has attended the training offered by the FBT training institute at the University of Chicago (not yet certified).


Theresa Fassihi, PhD, PLLC

3730 Kirby Drive, Suite 925
Houston, Texas 77098
832-794-1280
terryfassihi@earthlink.net
Dr. Fassihi has ten years of experience treating eating disorders, in inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Fassihi is a licensed clinical psychologist and works with 
Family Based Therapy on an outpatient, private practice basis.  She works collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary treatment team that includes a dietitian, internist and psychiatrist.   As treatment progresses, other treatment modalities including  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and other Evidence-Based Practices are utilized for continued support, as necessary. “I believe it is important to include the family in treatment so that they can be supportive of the individual’s recovery, whenever possible.”

Allison K. Chase, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychologist
2525 Wallingwood Drive, Building 7, Suite 7D
Austin, TX 78746
PH 512.347.9992
email: info@drallisonchase.com

Karyn D. Hall, Ph.D.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy Center
820 Gessner, Suite 750
Houston, TX 77024
713-973-2800
713-973-0104 Fax
http://www.karynhallphd.com

Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
Hi Leisya,
You and your d have been on my mind. Hope  things are moving in a positive direction.
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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