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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Suzanne
hi.  
This is my first post:
we picked my son up from college 11 weeks ago.  He has anorexia. He was 118 lbs and 6 feet at pick up.  He’s been doing really well refeeding and has gained 25 lbs. he’s just past the weight that he had in his head would be recovery. And his anxiety and fear of being fat has taken over. Returning to his BMI would bring him closer to 160 lbs.  even I am feeling anxious about that amount of weight gain. Although I don’t think I’m showing it... I hope. 
Im struggling with watching him in so much physical and emotional pain. I feel like I’m tourcheribg him and it makes me question everything. He has no insight yet that this is an illness- only something that he has brought on himself.  His motivation to eat is that he will get to have his life back. 
I feel alone and scared tonight so I thought I’d post...
so there it is...
-Suzanne 
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scaredmom
Hello Suzannefarkas,
I welcome you to the forum. I do hope you find the support and information you need. 
You have done well with the weight gain!! You say that he has past the weight that he had in his head where he would recover? I am not sure what you mean by that, sorry if I have misunderstood. It is only 11 weeks and he may still need to gain more for brain healing. So I would push the weight. It takes at least about 4 months, I have seen here, to get the brain improvement. It is not a magic switch, though it takes time and small improvements alond the way. The fact he has a lot of anxiety and fear of the weight gain, tells me he is still affected by his ED. He cannot have insight at this time, I think he is still very ill, in my opinion. 
What help have you had so far? What can we help with? How is he eating? Is he in control of the food or you? 
It is still very early days, really early. It took my D age 12 to gain 10 pounds more than the original weight and at least 4 months after to see her get better. It was about a year after diagnosis with keeping her weight and or gaining, to see her real self back. It does get better. 

I am glad you posted. You are not alone. 
It can be a long journey, really but it does get better. You have done a great job getting him to this point. He did not do this to himself, it is a biological disease like, cancer, asthma, diabetes, etc... He may not be in the head space right now to understand that at all, but it may help you to see that it is no one's fault and he cannot will it away.

Please ask all the questions you have. I am glad you posted. We all wish to help. 
XXX

 P.S. You may wish to change your name as to not identify yourself or your son. This is a public forum. If you need help with that let us know.
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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scaredmom
Also, don't be afraid of the weight gain.  We say don't be afraid of what ED is afraid of ie eating and weight gain. He needs to gain to get healthy and more than the professionals may have thought too. 
Sending strength,
XXX
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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Suzanne
Hi scaredmom,
thanks for your kind words...
he had it in his head that 140 was a good weight for him: a “recovered weight” in his head. It’s not even close. He’s reached 144 so, So he’s flipping out...

we have been seeing an FBT therapist, MD and he starts with a psychiatrist in three weeks. I think that meds will really help him. He came out of the womb anxious and uncomfortable. 

I just feel like I run out of ways to reassure him and coax him. This is so scary... feeding my kiddo used to be a joy, and now it so torturous. that’s been very difficult for me. 

One meal at at a time...
PS my brain is so fogged up I can’t even edit my profile!!!😂
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Kali
Hi Suzannefarkus,

I feel for you as I brought my then college freshman daughter home with anorexia. 
It sounds as though you are doing all the right things, and the fact that he has gained those 25lbs in 11 weeks is truly excellent. 
He has a team, he has meal support and he is making progress. What sort of support do you have for yourself? 

Don't be afraid of the weight gain. It is best if he is returned to the weight on his normal growth curve. You are doing an amazing job. This is very hard on caregivers so please be kind to yourself and try to reframe a little. You are not torturing him. The eating disorder is what is torturing him. You are saving his life by making sure he is fully nourished.

If you are having trouble editing your username, the moderators can help you with that. Let us know what you would like to change it to.

warmly,
Kali

Food=Love
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Foodsupport_AUS
Hi scaredmom,
thanks for your kind words...
he had it in his head that 140 was a good weight for him: a “recovered weight” in his head. It’s not even close. He’s reached 144 so, So he’s flipping out...

we have been seeing an FBT therapist, MD and he starts with a psychiatrist in three weeks. I think that meds will really help him. He came out of the womb anxious and uncomfortable. 

I just feel like I run out of ways to reassure him and coax him. This is so scary... feeding my kiddo used to be a joy, and now it so torturous. that’s been very difficult for me. 

One meal at at a time...
PS my brain is so fogged up I can’t even edit my profile!!!😂


Welcome to the forum. You have done wonderful job so far. Most of our kids have very deluded eating disorder ideas as to what is the correct weight for them. Very few young men would healthy at his "goal weight". It is quite likely he is going to need to go up to or at least close to his previous weight for recovery. Unfortunately yes there will be more pushback at this stage.

One thing I would like to add is that one thing we as parents of anxious kids need to learn is that reassuring anxiety as a rule is not particularly helpful. We should acknowledge the anxiety, name it but also help them to move on. Ultimately the anxious brain is wired to see issues where there may be nothing, or perceives more risk than there actually is. Us telling them it is all right, don't worry, can give the anxiety more power, clearly if they need reassuring then there is something to worry about. 
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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Mcmum
Hi there. Just wanted to say hello and that we're all with you. I too have a son though much younger. There's great advice and support on here from people who have really walked in your shoes. Keep reaching out. This is a tough, tough illness and you can't do it on your own. 
Hate those numbers that our kids get fixated with - they are an absolute curse. Wishing you lots of strength xx
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tina72
Hi and welcome from Germany in that club nobody wants to be member of!
You are for sure not alone. There are some parents with young adults here at the moment and we can help you a lot. My d is 19 now, 2 years after we started FBT in good recovery and off to University at the moment (but still living at home because she still needs help now and then with food).

First: to delete the name in your post (bottom) you can use the "edit" button, a pencil that appears if you click on the red arrow on the right side of each post.
Second: to change your Username please contact a moderator and tell them to what name they should change it.

It is great that you picked him up from college and it is also great that you made him gain in the last 11 weeks but he will need to gain much more to see brain recovery starting. You are still very early days.
The physical and emotional pain will not stop until he is proper WR and his brain recovery starts. So as long as he is in that malnurished and underweight state as long he must stand that pain. The faster you get the weight on the better for you both.

"He’s reached 144 so, So he’s flipping out..."
That means you do open weighing and he knows the weight? I would ask the team to change to blind weighing. I had so much problems to get my d weight restorated because every time we tried to hit the target weight she started to fight that and restricted again. Once I fought that through and she was blind weight that stopped and I could get her back to a healthy weight. 4 months later we saw brain recovery starting and today she is a happy young woman and not even asking what her weight is any more.

"He came out of the womb anxious and uncomfortable."
That is the character of many ED kids and that is why there risk to develop AN is 35 times higher than without that. Therapy might help when he is WR but might not be useful before. Make sure that the therapist knows something about FBT and does not destroy all your good work by telling him he must decide what he wants to eat at age 18...

Do you have historical growth/weight charts? That would help you to see where he needs to go. If he was on 50% percentile all his life then this is a first target. If it was 75%, than this. If high and weight is very different with percentiles, talk about that with the doc. Some kids have been underweight for a long time before AN moved in. Normally 50% high should be also 50% weight.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
Hi Suzanne,
How are you?
Just thinking about you and your son.
XXX
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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Suzanne
Hi,
i think I’ve noticed that the ED rears it’s head and is very loud, right before a step forward in recovery.  Like a creature in a horror movie.  Kind words and validation here, have been very helpful just in managing my emotions and not second guessing myself. 

Thanks!!! 
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scaredmom
Yes. Please look up extinction burst on the forum. This is quite common to see. The trick is pushing through and getting through and getting better. I hope he continues to eat well and gain. 
Hope you are getting some rest and nurturing.
XXX
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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Suzanne
Another reason this forum is amazing!!
xx
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Mamaroo
Welcome from me as well. Here is an excellent thread on extinction burst:
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/some-rather-long-musings-on-extinction-burst-relapse-and-recovery-6462360?highlight=extinction+burst&trail=25#gsc.tab=0
It is one of the last big humps to get over.Just keep swimming. Sending you lots of hugs!!!!
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
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