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beeessbee

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Reply with quote  #1 
I have been trying to refeed my 15 yr old D with AN (diagnosed mid-Dec 2017) for some weeks now. Last week I really struggled after some significant weight loss following the festive period. Since trying to get her back on track with the meal plan etc, she seems to have become very low, lost all interest in most things, and lost all motivation for school work - something she used to be really diligent about. She has started saying that she doesn't care anymore about anything. Are all these symptoms of AN? Will weight restoration eventually cause this depression to lift? Please please could someone tell me if they've experienced this and whether it gets better with refeeding? I tell her that I still care and that I love her, and she tells me it would be better if I could just stop caring and then things would be easier. Really very worried and wondering if I should be seeking additional help for the low mood?


deenl

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi beeessbee,

Yes this is normal for people who are severely underweight. As an example, serotonin, which is important for mood regulation among many other things, is produced in the body using the amino acids that are derived from protein foods. This is just one of the hormones and systems that go haywire without proper nourishment. Food is the very best psychological drug there is and adequate sleep a close second.

It absolutely gets better with increasing weight. But there is always a but... it can sometimes get worse before it gets better. The challenges of refeeding put a big strain on everyone and it takes the body a long time after full WR to get back to full functioning. There are also people who have struggled with anxiety, depression and other emotional issues before ED and continue to struggle after.

My son did become severely depressed, was working through his suicide plan and self harmed regularly when he was very underweight. He was in such a dangerous place that we were on full suicide watch and eventually he was admitted to a closed ward for a time for his own safety. The only thing that 'cured' him was food, time and love. So if you are worried please do contact the professionals, check the history on her internet and her room for pills, sharps, notes, etc. I looked up suicide prevention websites to figure out what to do and I actually just asked my son about his plans. You can obviously ease into it by asking things like does she feel that life is not worth living and depending on her answers ask if she is suicidal and does she have actual plans. If the answers are yes DO NOT LEAVE HER ALONE and urgently contact her mental health team or the mental health crises team or call an ambulance. I had my mobile in my pocket at all times with the relevant numbers and the car keys too.

If she is not actively suicidal but you are worried about her mood then, most certainly, contact her professional team for discussion and advice between appointments.

In this phase, better safe than sorry was my motto.

Best of luck,

D

__________________
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, tons of variety in food, stepping back into social life. Sept 2017, back to school full time for the first time in 2 years. Happy and relaxed, just usual non ED hassles. 

  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal. (but don't give up on the plan too soon, maybe it just needs a tweak or a bit more time and determination [wink] )
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
yellowcaty

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Beeessbee

Just sending you lots of love and hugs. As you know we are a couple of months along the line than you, but struggle with low moods most of the time. My D does have some good days/ times as well though. She is usually better when her sister is around. They are only a year apart and best friends. D lost all motivation for school work for about a month, which really worried me as she is so ambitious and a high achiever. The motivation has now returned, even though she is still very anxious around working. Not sure if the anxiety is contributing to the weight loss. I am beginning to see ED as a rollercoaster!
As far as pushing you away, I think it is because they are scared and need you so much.

Lots of hugs
Yellowcaty

Yellowcaty
kazi67

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hi Beeessbe
My D suffered terrible lows in the beginning, I would ask D to tell me what was going on in her head and try to get her to tell me what she was thinking, sometimes this helped, sometimes me just lying with her reassuring her everything would be ok and we all loved her helped, or playing with her kitten to distract her thoughts
On occasion when none of this helped and D expressed not wanting to live we took her to the doctors
With weight gain she is much better more interested in engaging with life/friends but sometimes she becomes moody/low
She is then not allowed out unless she can tell me what’s bothering her and we talk about it
This is a horrible illness what it does to our kids and us [frown] Rollercoaster that’s for sure!
But slowly it will get better, with lots of love and lots of food!
Trust your gut if you are concerned definately take D to doctors x
juditab

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Reply with quote  #5 
We are going through the same thing with our 13 yr old d. She was diagnosed in Aug 2017 and reached weight restoration in early Dec. We needed to put our d on antidepressants after WR but her depression preceded her ED.

We are beginning to see some slight improvement in her moods, concentration and her ability to reconnect with friends has made some pretty good strides. In short, I think what you are going through is normal but vigilance is needed too. My daughter has expressed suicidal thoughts and self harmed during refeeding so we keep very close tabs on her and had to remove knives, scissors, meds etc.
beeessbee

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thank you everyone for your support and advice. So glad to know there are people to turn to and who understand. ED is definitely a roller coaster. I will try to ask her about any suicidal thoughts. Her specialist nurse asks her at each of our appointments each week and she never expressed these types of emotions to her previously. All of it is so terrifying.
Torie

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Reply with quote  #7 
Like many others here, my d felt so low that she begged us to let her die.  Honestly, it's hard to even think about those days.  But she's doing SO much better now - off at university, embracing life.

As the others said, remove sharps and medications just to be sure.  And keep plugging along.  xx

-Torie

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"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
tammy

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Posts: 47
Reply with quote  #8 
I would agree that it definitely is a rollercoaster ride. We have been through many ups and downs since August 17. The worst was hearing my eight your old son begging me to kill him. He has been distraught, withdrawn and tried to hurt himself on many occasions. We managed to get his weight up fairly quickly and seen improvement in his behaviour then he has struggled a few times more. It is only in the past few weeks I have seen my real son come back. Still a long way to go with fear foods etc but so much happier, content and interacting better with his sister. Keep faith .
yellowcaty

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Reply with quote  #9 
Can really sympathise with low moods today. After tackling D over evidence of her binging to make herself sick (something that she used to do at the beginning) she did the usual "I hate you and you are ruining my life" and then deleated me from her contacts on her phone. She hasn't spoken to me since and I have found out that she has been sending horrible texts about me to her friends. After a complete melt down I am now in Costa feeling sorry for myself. Trying to get it together before she gets home from school and I have to act like none of it gets to me and tackle feeding her. I really hate this ED and just want my daughter back.
beeessbee

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Reply with quote  #10 
yellowcaty - So sorry to hear all this. Sending you lots of love, hugs, and positive vibes. We are at the start of these painful journeys, but based on things people have been saying on here it seems she will come back to you. It is just really hard in the moment. Be kind to yourself and hang in there.

Beeessbee


beeessbee

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Reply with quote  #11 
Melting down myself here now. After weigh in today (to discover no weight gain but also no loss), my D has been all over the place. She said she couldn't do this (i.e. eat according to a meal plan) and didn't care anymore and was threatening to discharge herself from CAMHS (not sure she can at age 15 but it had me worried). Despite all that, she ate most of what she would call a "difficult" meal - but then was very low, refused to play any games (typically what we would do after a meal to distract her) just wanting to be on her own and then hugely resistant to evening snack. Wanting my daughter back too - none of this is her. 
yellowcaty

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi beeessbee

The only thing I can say as any comfort is that it must be quite common if we are both going through the same kind of thing. Sorry about the no weight gain. Take comfort from there being no loss as it must mean you are getting more food into her. Tried to talk to my D tonight, but she is obviously still angry with me. She says that the eating is getting harder. We have however managed all of it for the last 2 days, which is a small triumph. Going to speak to the doctor tomorrow as I feel like I am sinking. Scared of going back to work even though she is at school. This is definitely the hardest thing I have had to face in my life, but the support from this forum is keeping me going.
Try to take care of yourself.
Sending lots of hugs and love.
kazi67

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Reply with quote  #13 
beeessbee
No gains are hard but better than a loss
We have all been there
Keep at it your doing great
It does get better, I can remember feeling the same way as u on many occasions
Don’t give up

Yellowcaty
Going back to work was the hardest thing I had to do, im on break now so home with D
in hindsight would I have stayed home longer?
I don’t know some days I think I should have but it’s hard to know what’s best in your situation
Trust your gut and do what you can do, if you think you D needs you and u can get the time off do it
What’s more important
than your D health?
I had this torment in my mind everyday when I went back to work but also had in mind if she was to go backwards to badly I would take more time off
Take care of yourself and get whatever support you can
Something I didn’t have the luxury of and the cracks are starting to appear with me now
However my D is on the road to recovery
However it is important to look after yourself too
Food = medicine
Don’t give up xx
Torie

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Reply with quote  #14 
I'm so sorry that ED is tormenting both of you along with your d's.  Ugh.  It helped me (a little) to remember that it was ED who hated me; not my real d.

I'm confused by this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowcaty
After tackling D over evidence of her binging to make herself sick (something that she used to do at the beginning)


I'm not sure if this is a terminology difference or a misunderstanding or a unique d, but generally bingeing does not make a person sick, although it might cause an urge to purge.

Hang in there.  xx

-Torie

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"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
mjkz

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Can really sympathise with low moods today. After tackling D over evidence of her binging to make herself sick (something that she used to do at the beginning) she did the usual "I hate you and you are ruining my life" and then deleated me from her contacts on her phone. She hasn't spoken to me since and I have found out that she has been sending horrible texts about me to her friends. After a complete melt down I am now in Costa feeling sorry for myself. Trying to get it together before she gets home from school and I have to act like none of it gets to me and tackle feeding her. I really hate this ED and just want my daughter back.


You do realize that you have control over that.  She doesn't have to have a phone or texting availability.  My rule of thumb with my daughter was if she abused the privilege, she lost it.  Deleting you from her contacts and then sending horrible texts about you at least to me would be abusing the privilege.  Yes, she is struggling but that doesn't excuse bad behavior nor should you have to put up with it.
Seabird

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Reply with quote  #16 
Just as Deenl wrote, which I agree fully with.

Son's despairing low moods were heart-wrenching for me, and it was a prolonged period of months.    Unfortunately medication isn't effective if a person is very underweight and so it's a catch-22, to get the weight back up to a point where your child's psychiatrist might recommend medication to help relieve depression and anxiety.

Our clinical team were blunt and told us quite frankly that the moods and self harm, and "behaviour" would ease as recovery progressed.  That much was true but they didn't quite get their conclusions right as they completely missed the suicidality potential, and their ears were blocked when all the signs of withdrawal started to show.

Their ears were blocked because my son had physically recovered and was by all appearances blooming in good health physically.   How wrong they were.

Food and prolonged good nutrition is the only medicine, that much we do know.  But in the meantime, in those challenging months of refeeding, self harm and emotional deregulation, supervision and vigilance are incredibly important.  This is the time that parents need better support, not clinicians with blocked ears.

I was the only one who was seriously concerned for my son's safety, when he left my home & became withdrawn and sullen, really really in a bad way mentally.  I took it all the way to the Family Court and had my application rejected because the court-appointed lawyer believed my son who apparently said I was an overbearing mother.   I am a qualified animal health professional with 2 university degrees, and yet this ignorant arrogant misogynist senior lawyer took my son's word over my lengthy application.  

These mood and behaviour issues can be managed and challenged and medicated but it isn't straightforward and parents who are already stretched to the max with re-feeding need professional guidance in this area.

The last thing you want is to be in my shoes when 6 weeks after the Family Court case, he took an overdose big enough to kill him, and his dad then found stacks of evidence of suicidality in his bedroom (diaries, a letter, drawings).   He was aged 16.  He survived due to having vomited some of the drugs back up, and that his dad came home, found him in a bad way and took him straight to emergency dept. 

After that episode I refused to be ignored by any further health professional and funnily enough they started to unblock their ears then too.   

Suicidality can definitely follow periods of self-harm and prolonged low moods, so be vigilant and keep reading and getting advice.   

And also know that you are definitely not alone in this. 

Seabird 




__________________
Mother of 20 y.o. male diagnosed at age 16 with RAN, exercise compulsion, anxiety, depression & SH, FBT 4-5 mths to WR, WR now 3 yrs; suicide attempt 4-6 wks after WR,  IP 4 weeks.  Steady progressive recovery over past 3 years including support from psychologist on general wellbeing. Slow steady steps to success!! 

When your last bow is broken and your last arrow spent, then shoot, shoot with your whole heart
 [Zen saying}
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