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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We have been told that we caught it early as she has only been really restricting since April or so.  That said, she is entrenched.  We plan to do the FBT and are learning about it.  She is the shell of the person she used to be - she looks so sad when we tell her to eat. I can see this is going to be extremely hard. We are trying to just push on and come up with a solid plan and handle this.  But we feel so lost and sad too - we are not really telling people and feel like we have this "secret".  We don't want to stigmatize her and make anything worse.  This whole thing is just so overwhelming and scary. Any words of wisdom would be welcome.
Welcome to the forum, although I am sorry about the circumstances that have brought you here.
You are not alone. We have been there and wish to help support you to help your d. 
It is very hard at the beginning with re feeding and over time it does get better.
Please read around the forum
and look at the FEAST website for information and support. There is a live  chat button to speak in real time with a support person.
Please feel free to ask all the questions you have. We all wish to help! We have been there, we get it!
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)
Thank you for your words of comfort.   Thank you for having this forum.  It is good to hear from people who get it.  The few people we have told just don't understand - they seems to think it is a phase she will grow out of.  We now know that is nothing of the sort.

I am also fairly new to this journey-d was diagnosed with AN in May, and we immediately started FBT. When they say food=medicine, they aren’t kidding.  It really does get better-just keep feeding, educate yourself and take care of yourself.  I try to do something each day that makes me happy-especially in the beginning when things were challenging.  

Good luck to you. 
Oh AJmom,
i can relate. I realized with our friends they could not at all understand and so although they knew she was not well, I do not discuss it at all. I have not told our families either ( long story) and they live far enough away contact is minimal. Others have been able to get a lot of support from friends and family too. All are so different in their responsiveness, and willingness to listen and really hear what is going on. I must say, because of ED, I will have no issue jumping in to help and support if a friend needed it. It is a small gift ED can give, the compassion, empathy, and camaraderie, to give back to others.  
It can be so isolating. Some treatment centres do have supports for parents, ours does but it is for parents of adult kids, so I could not relate. Are you under a specialized ED team? 
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)
we started with a psych who does individual treatment (last week) and have since seen a specialized MD and just met with an FBT specialist.  I plan to stop the individual psych treatment - next week would be her second session as it seems useless at this point.  we plan to focus on the feeding now.

Dear Ajmom,

It is good you have reached out for support for yourself during this very difficult time. If I had to give any advice it would be:

* Read all you can about the illness and be well educated.
* Learn how to become a good meal support and how to get your daughter to eat. (Eva Musby has some good practical suggestions in her book) and on her website https://anorexiafamily.com/
• Put a team together on the ground of professionals who can help. (fbt therapist, psychiatrist if necessary, MD trained in ED) and when I say a team, the family is just as important as any of the professionals since a lot of the work to feed her is going to be done at home.
• Find support for yourself.

So here are a few books you could read if you wanted to: 

When Your Teen has an Eating Disorder by Dr. Lauren Mulheim
Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders by Eva Musby.

The feast family guides and the feast website also have good information: 



And know that you are not alone...there are many of us who have grappled with this illness. 




Just wanted to add a very warm welcome from Germany and say that we are all here to help you and to support you through the hard first time and we can be that village that is needed to save your child. We are open 24/7 and we look forward to all your 1 million questions you might have in the next hours/days/weeks.

It gets better. Food and love and time brings your d back.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
hello and sorry you are here.  The Lauren Mulheim book is very good and practical.  I think we missed a couple of opportunities at the start which have held us back:
- D went back to school too quickly and so we lost that leverage
- because our D was still eating dinner we underestimated how bad it was and did too much negotiation.  If you are able to better establish a non-negotiation policy/magic plate right at the start, I think that might help.
- we also didn't realise that the level of distress was normal and so thought we were making it worse

If I were at the start again I would make better use of that early leverage to try to enforce more control.
Currently no light; only tunnel 🙁
Hi Ajmom. Like you our D was also only recently diagnosed with AN. This website is a wonderful place to come for advice and support. I would recommend the following books;

“Anorexia and other eating disorders” by Eva Musby - practical advise from a parent who has done it

 “Help your teenager beat an eating disorder” -  James Lock - written for parents by an expert in FBT

“When you’re teen has an eating disorder” - Lauren Muhlheim 

Try to prioritise your research on understanding how FBT works, and how your clinical team are helping you to use the FBT method, there is plenty of information in these books about it, as this is the method which is going to get your D to start eating properly again and you will find that you will have to do 95% of the work yourself. So you  can see now how important it will be to educate yourself. 

I find that reading as much as I can about it, together with seeking advice from the very wise and loving members on this site, has been far more helpful than anything and the clinical team could do for me. 

good luck
I'm so sorry that you find yourself here. We felt exactly as you describe when a year ago our s was diagnosed with an. It can and does get better for many though.  We read the books already suggested, put life on hold for a while and went to ground for a time whilst we got our heads around this illness.  
This forum is a life saver. Although our children are all different and the severity of an varies, there is much commonality so ask away and take comfort from people on here.  
Wishing you strength and love x
Sending you a huge hug.
I wish we had introduced home-made smoothies starting out as many have found these really great way to add calories. I started but D refused. If I knew then what I know now, I would have persisted with smoothies. Xx
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is rather the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair
Hi Ajmom
our d is also new to Anorexia  we saw a gp 2 weeks ago and then saw a ED consultant and nurse last week. The consultant sat down with our daughter and told her straight she had AN what is was doing to her body and what she has to do. 
It was like someone switched on a light. 
You must get a good team around her. A psychologist won't help yet but if you can get a referral to CAMHS the team will be set up for the family. 
My d struggles but is eating more. She is on some medication and has to have at least 3 fortisips a day which are all her vitamins and other essentials. 
We were told it would be like having a toddler to wean and it is. We have to constantly know where she is. Make sure she rests. Cut out all activities. 
We have told all the family and close friends and we found this of great support not only to my daughter but also to us. 
Stay calm and don't give up hope. 
I really wish you all the best. At the moment it must feel devastating but with the right support and keeping positive you can overcome it all. 
This forum has been brilliant for me. I've found it a great support and picked up lots of useful tips. The EVa Musby book is great and the BEAT website has been helpful. 
Welcome from me as well. This is a hard journey and here are some things, which helped us:

Eva Musby's book "Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders: How to Help Your Child Eat Well and be Well: Practical Solutions, Compassionate Communication Tools and Emotional Support for Parents of Children and Teenagers" and videos:

We placed a weekly mealplan on the fridge and would follow it religiously. It still took my d 7 weeks before she was able to have everything on the meal plan. As long as she is have more than the last meal you're making progress. I've attached a sample meal plan for you.

Wishing you all the best!
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and 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. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
This was us pretty much exactly 2 years ago. Our S started restricting in May due to anxiety about a dance show and a teacher pushing him too hard and then got constipated which resulted in more restriction. By July he was way below where he should be and was starting to develop all the classic AN behaviors and lots of tummy pain to avoid eating. We tried FBT at home and had some success in terms of numbers on the scale, but ED had taken hold and we hit a wall. Eventually we moved with him to Chicago for 5 weeks to do FBT with some support from ERC. The support really helped us to take a hard line and get him eating all his snacks and completing all his meals (there was also the promise of a puppy involved...totally my fault, but the puppy is amazing!). We brought him home and back to school and continued to support him and plate his meals. His anxiety dropped every 6 months and he learned to love sitting still and playing video games (and with the puppy). He started back with his activities for real after about a year with close supervision and us constantly checking for signs of ED behaviors. Two years later (this summer) we let him go away to a ballet intensive for 5 weeks as long as he promised to go to weekly meetings with a nutritionist for weigh ins. He has had a great time, made friends, kept his weight up (even with increased exercise), and prepared snacks and even lunches, went out to brunch and desserts with friends, etc...  My point being, we had some really horrible times fighting ED (I remember one day in particular when he destroyed his beautiful artwork which his dad and I treasured because we wanted him to eat a snack), but we fought through and showed him that no matter how bad he got, both in terms of behavior and emotional breakdown, we were there for him and would do whatever it took to get him well. In sum, you can do this! It gets really bad at times, but the worse it gets the closer you are to getting rid of this disease and the thought patterns that accompany it. Act fast and aggressively and you'll be fine. Hugs!
everyone has given you such great advice thus far. 

I wanted to provide you with huge hope. 

My d was diagnosed fall of 2010 at 10.5 years old. She was an incredibly ill child. She was inpatient for 27 days in a locked ED unit . It was a horrific experience. I learned about FEAST, got in this forum, we took her out AMA, and started refeeding on our own. It was hell on earth. My d had a severe exercise compulsion involving OCD rituals, anxiety, depression, constant talk of death, panic  attacks, and even auditory and visual hallucinations. 

It ALL went away with massive amounts of food. Very high calories and fats for years. She grew 9 inches, went through puberty, and doubled her diagnosis weight by 9th grade. 

She is now 19 and in a total 💯 recovery. She has thrived 8 hours from home at college! 

But it took years of persistent, consistent vigilance to get her there. 

Stay the course. Don’t back down. She will need to gain for years. ❤️
Persistent, consistent vigilance!