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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StrongButScared Show full post »
Hi StrongbutScared,

Welcome to the forum and I am also too so very sorry that you have had to deal with the loss of a child and now have an eating disorder thrown at you too.  I really understand the unfairness of a 'double whammy' of heartache and hugely difficult journey to face when you have already had one such experience.  This was my experience too and it took a lot out of me along the way.

However, with this illness knowledge really is power and all the parents here can answer every question you have.

In terms of the suicidal feelings - while it is incredibly scary for us as parents, I genuinely believe that we can do as much to help as any therapist.   We have to be understanding of the suffering, but reassuring that things will get easier as she gets older, that it is very common in the teenage years to want to run away from everything and get away from pain, that suicide is never the answer, and that you and the family love her and are there to support her through these feelings.  At the moment the suffering in facing down the eating disorder and eating is likely to be overpowering - again, you can reassure her that it is going to get easier as weight starts to go on.  She won't believe you and may even get angry that you are telling her that she has to gain weight but she has to learn to accept it.  Standing calm but kind and firm through all of her despair and struggles are essential - although at times you will want to scream with frustration yourself.  It is also a good idea to have a few therapy sessions for yourself, to get the support you need to find the strength, acceptance and determination to get yourself and your d and family through this.  You have already had such a lot of pain and it has taken me many years to accept the unfairness of my lot but I am still able to count my blessings at the end of it all and my d has made a full recovery.  

In terms of the transition from hospital to home - there is really only one principle involved.  You need to get the team to get the message loud and clear to your d that you will be in charge of what she eats and that she has to be accepting of that situation.  If you can also get agreement from the team that you can take her straight back in if she does not comply - that will be a good backup.  I don't know a lot about Australia's approach with IP placements - how long ed patients can stay in hospital, for example.  Long stays don't seem to be the norm in the US but they are very much the norm in the UK.  What you need is that your d is already eating solids and putting on weight before she leaves hospital so that at least she is in a much better place.  From what you are saying, she apears to need months rather than weeks to get her to that place but that is not really an assessment for me to make.

It would be worth considering anti-anxiety medication - Olanzapine is generally used for low weight anorexic patients as it can help with anxiety, improve sleep and sometimes improve appetite but patient response is individual.  I would definitely discuss the possibility of medication with your clinical team, however.

Big hugs - you have a tough journey ahead but 'food is medicine' is the simplest way to see it.  That medicine has to go in and you will get there.  There are so many parents who can help you along the way.  
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
Dear teecee, 
ok so I just have to wait it out. I alerted the nurses and she now is being watched 24/7 so now I feel safe.. ish for her. But good advice re locking things up, as when she was home and losing it, I could see us all scanning around for sharp scissors or knives left out. X

Yes pretty much 🙁 it does get better as the nutrition fuels the brain. 

We got used to putting knives and sharps etc away. We only kept those that we used on a daily basis in the cupboard and the rest were bagged up and locked away in the garage. 

the first time I heard her thoughts I was numb with shock which helped looking back as I didn’t freak out and hence shut her down from talking. Dialogue is so important. We also found that when we text her we got complete honesty as it was difficult for her to articulate her thoughts and feelings...

I agree, it is sadly very common. My D was intensely suicidal for several years. It is important to pay attention to the thoughts as teecee has mentioned. Since she is IP at present I would mention it to the team caring for her as well. They should be asking but it is good if everyone knows the strength of her feelings at the moment. It does get better with time, but unfortunately it an take some time to get to that place. It is very hard to see our loved ones so distressed. Thinking of you. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.

Hi there,
when questioned about food and ingredients our rote response has been “I hear you and can see that this is hard. This meal is just exactly the nutrition you need.” We also had to go with close to 4,000/
day to get weight gain started, though now (6 months in) we are working our way closer to 3000 now after fully WR +10%.
Here were my added nutrition favorites: fruit, peanut butter and protein smoothie plus up to 1/4 c canola oil, 1 TBS butter and 2 TBS peanut butter mixed together and put on waffles/pancakes, a full TBS butter on any veggies, scrambled eggs cooked in 2 TBS butter, mashed potatoes with sour cream, butter and heavy cream mixed in. 

Our D hated magic plate, but it wasn't long before it was a relief to her to not have to worry about her food. That happened once she accepted that eating was a non negotiable. Now we are moving into phase 2 and there is all kinds of anxiety around having to make food choices and plating for herself!


D16 diagnosed AN October 2019 -25% of body weight, but still "healthy weight" per Dr.
Started FBT Dec 2019
July 2020 Fully WR + 10%
2 Months in to Phase 2