F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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chaoticlife
Hi everyone, 

Its been around a year since I last posted for help and I honestly wish I could say things were better...

My d is now 21, and for a while we thought everything was okay, she was on the waiting list for diagnosis and seeing her mental health worker regularly and seemed to be willing to recover. This all stopped in Summer and shes now seeing nobody. And I've been informed by one of her friends that shes definitely no longer in any state of recovery at all.

They managed to get a glimpse of her weight stats on an app she uses after being concerned about her weight, and shes down to 95lbs, which at 5ft 2 I know is not healthy at all... and she confided she only eats once a day and has been throwing up every food and any drinks that have calories that she consumes.

She's at university still so I'm at my wits end as to how on earth to help her because she refuses to tell me anything and lives 4 hours away. What would you do in this situation because I'm at a loss and trying to raise her younger siblings while still completely worried about her.

Any advice?
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scaredmom
chaoticlife,

I have a much younger child, however one thing that comes to mind is taking her out of school altogether. Many have done that. Are you paying for school? She not well right now and likely needs urgent intervention. 
I know many have tried the UCSD program for families when they felt stuck and it helped move them forward. Are you in any position to do that? It is 5 days I think.

i don’t think she can do this alone and likely needs you to step in and take over. 
I would get her home and get her help and no school. She does not seem fit to go.

Others with older kids will be here soon to share their experiences and thoughts.

Sending  you a hug.
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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chaoticlife
Hi Scaredmom, thank you for the reply!

Unfortunately she's not dependent on us financially at all, and we can barely convince her to visit so I'm not sure how we'd get her back here to stay. It's all just such a mess.
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Ocras68
I’m so sorry about this, it sounds really hard.  I’m afraid I can’t offer much advice as my daughter is younger but I just wanted you not to feel alone in this. 

You mentioned in a previous post a year ago that your daughter has a student loan so doesn’t depend on you financially.  Is this still the case?  Is there any leverage at all you could use to get her back home or even to see you?  Do you pay for her mobile phone for example?  Is there anyone else in the family who could go to see her to assess the situation if she won’t accept you?  Her dad or a trusted aunt or uncle?  I’m sure there will be lots of advice tonight/tomorrow once others come on line.  

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chaoticlife
Ocras68 wrote:
I’m so sorry about this, it sounds really hard.  I’m afraid I can’t offer much advice as my daughter is younger but I just wanted you not to feel alone in this. 

You mentioned in a previous post a year ago that your daughter has a student loan so doesn’t depend on you financially.  Is this still the case?  Is there any leverage at all you could use to get her back home or even to see you?  Do you pay for her mobile phone for example?  Is there anyone else in the family who could go to see her to assess the situation if she won’t accept you?  Her dad or a trusted aunt or uncle?  I’m sure there will be lots of advice tonight/tomorrow once others come on line.  


Thank you!

Unfortunately she pays for everything herself, we did at one point pay for her phone contract but she took one out herself a year ago to get the phone she wanted. The only thing we do is occasionally get food delivered to hers if she's tight on money, but I know us stopping that wouldn't bother her in the slightest.

Her dad has tried to speak to her, but he doesn't really understand it and she sort of brushed him off. And at this time of year her brother who lives closer than us is preparing for his exams so cant take time off to travel 2 hours to see her. 

It's such a disaster and I cant seem to solve it. I'm just one very worried momma right now 
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Ocras68
My post crossed with scaredmom’s and your reply to her which is why it looked like I was a bit crazy asking questions that you had answered.  

I can see that stopping food deliveries wouldn’t bother your daughter in the least.  Is her friend still her emergency contact?  Could you impress upon this friend the utter seriousness of this situation and that something radical needs to be done.  Does the university have any sort of pastoral care/mental health care department that you could speak to for advice about how to get your daughter away from university to enable recovery?  Do you have a sympathetic and ED-knowledgeable GP you could speak to and see if some sort of mental health section could be invoked and possibly forcibly return your d home?  I’m sorry for asking so many questions and not giving any useful advice, but maybe the answers to those questions will inspire wiser owls on this forum.

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scaredmom
I think the biggest hurdle would be to get her near you to get help or you go there. Are any of her friends able to persuade her to get professional help? They have contacted you to let you know what is happening and they are obviously concerned. Could you and/or her dad go to her and spend time with her? I think in these situations we need to be creative in our thinking and what may seem to be impossible to do may be the "right" thing to do. 

I have found a few threads that may or may not be helpful.


http://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/leverage-versus-incentive-for-young-adults-adults-7352722?pid=1286711216&highlight=adult+children
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/adult-daughter-6877874?pid=1282600448&highlight=adult+children
http://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/leverage-versus-incentive-for-young-adults-adults-7352722?highlight=adult+children&trail=25

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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chaoticlife
Ocras68 wrote:
My post crossed with scaredmom’s and your reply to her which is why it looked like I was a bit crazy asking questions that you had answered.  

I can see that stopping food deliveries wouldn’t bother your daughter in the least.  Is her friend still her emergency contact?  Could you impress upon this friend the utter seriousness of this situation and that something radical needs to be done.  Does the university have any sort of pastoral care/mental health care department that you could speak to for advice about how to get your daughter away from university to enable recovery?  Do you have a sympathetic and ED-knowledgeable GP you could speak to and see if some sort of mental health section could be invoked and possibly forcibly return your d home?  I’m sorry for asking so many questions and not giving any useful advice, but maybe the answers to those questions will inspire wiser owls on this forum.



Yes as far as I'm aware he's still her contact, and he did say he's been nudging her towards seeing the mental health team again, but so far that hasn't worked.

It's a fairly small campus so theres not much in the way of help there, and they refuse to speak to me because my daughter specifically told them not too last year and they hate parents phoning regardless. 

As for the GP, my youngest son has a medication review next week (he's autistic) so I'll see if I can bring up the subject then. 

Thank you for taking the time to reply at all, it's nice to know I'm not alone in this 
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chaoticlife
scaredmom wrote:
I think the biggest hurdle would be to get her near you to get help or you go there. Are any of her friends able to persuade her to get professional help? They have contacted you to let you know what is happening and they are obviously concerned. Could you and/or her dad go to her and spend time with her? I think in these situations we need to be creative in our thinking and what may seem to be impossible to do may be the "right" thing to do. 

I have found a few threads that may or may not be helpful.


http://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/leverage-versus-incentive-for-young-adults-adults-7352722?pid=1286711216&highlight=adult+children
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/adult-daughter-6877874?pid=1282600448&highlight=adult+children
http://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/leverage-versus-incentive-for-young-adults-adults-7352722?highlight=adult+children&trail=25

XXX


Thank you for your help!

Her friend has been nudging her to get help but so far she isn't budging.

My husband works full time and as my youngest is autistic it's hard to be away for more than a few days at a time, which I think is probably working in her favour 
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tina72
Is there a mental heath support on the campus you could contact?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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chaoticlife
tina72 wrote:
Is there a mental heath support on the campus you could contact?


Not that I'm aware of, they have a counselor which she saw in her first year but they only focused on exam and essay related stress. And while she does have a student advisor I dont know who it is and as far as I'm aware she hasn't seen her since the beginning of second year (shes now almost finished 3rd year).

Because shes keeping up with work and passing exams the university dont seem too bothered by anything because I guess it's not their problem.
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tina72
Normally the Universities in UK and US have such a mental heath support. Check that on internet and get in contact with them. I think the University can ask her to have a health break semester if her state is really bad. They will not give you any information about her but they can listen to your concerns.

Do you think her friend can take her to a GP to check if she actually is in medical danger? He might be able to admit her if that is the case.
Here in Germany there is a legal right that if the GP thinks the patient is in medical danger and the patient itself does not see that they can be admitted against their will if needed. With AN that is quite often the case that they do not see how sick they are (anosognosia). Our GP told my d at the first appointment after IP that he will not watch any patient die and that he will use that right if she is not compliant. A bit shocking then for her but I was glad that he said that.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
It is unfortunate that she is an "adult". Unless she seeks out help for herself, no one will step in.

If she does not go for help, even if you call someone, they have no authority to call her in, or have her take a break. Only if she gets help can anyone intervene if they felt she was unsafe. That is only IF she goes herself. 

 
tina72 wrote:
Normally the Universities in UK and US have such a mental heath support. Check that on internet and get in contact with them. I think the University can ask her to have a health break semester if her state is really bad. They will not give you any information about her but they can listen to your concerns.


I don't think that would work to be honest, as unless she is in contact with them to begin with, they won't have file on her medical health and would not have any  legal power. 
Only if she initiates contact, could they help her and they would be bound legally and ethically to take her issues on and not the parent's. Also even if a parent calls to leave messages, how would they even know you were her parent? Anyone could call and "pretend", sad but true. 

I am sorry, chaoticlife, this is very hard. 
I hope that there is a creative way for you to step in and help her yourself. I don't think anyone else can, even her friends, as they have tried and it does not seem to be motivating her. 
I know it is difficult with other kids that you have to care for, but I am not sure there would be another way with the current situation as it is.
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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tina72
"And at this time of year her brother who lives closer than us is preparing for his exams so cant take time off to travel 2 hours to see her."

Can her brother maybe after the exams go to visit her and get her to a GP?
Is she living alone and is there a risk that she can faint in the flat and nobody will find her? If that is the case, can you ask a neighbor to phone you if he has not seen her for longer?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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melstevUK
Hi chaoticlife,

What a nightmare for you.  I see you are in Scotland - and I assume that the university has a student healthcentre.  It would be worth locating the closest eating disorders service to your d and asking her to go and see a GP and ask for a referral.  She may well of course refuse - but setting things up to make the process as easy as possible may be a way forward.  Also,  I would tell her straight that she is seriously ill, that if she doesn't seek help at some stage she will land up in hospital, that you do not want that because you want her to be able to carry on with her life.  And that you want her to seek help now instead of being in denial.  Ask what else you can do to help - but have the location of the eating disorders service ready to give her.  If she slams the phone down, don't take it as rejection, keep perservering.  If you can get her to agree to see a GP, you can phone the eating disorders service ahead and express your concern and that you are hoping to get a fast referral for your d. They may try to avoid speaking about it - but as your d is not yet in their system, you just need to alert them that she needs help and ask if they will see her quickly. 
Trying to get an arrangement in place may help so that you are ready to 'go' if you can get your d to accept the seriousness of the situation.  She must be losing weight rapidly at the moment if she is only eating once a day and purging as well.

Email me separately if you need help locating the nearest service to your d's university.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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Kali

Yes this is a nightmare and I'm sorry your daughter is ill. I brought my daughter home from university and she went into treatment. I made the appointments and took her to them. And she was not happy about any of it but I insisted. If your d. is eating one meal a day and purging and is at a low weight, and is not in any sort of treatment or home with her family, she is most likely not going to be able to turn this around on her own. After our d. finished intensive treatment and went back to school a year later, we made it clear that she could not be away from home unless she was eating enough and weighed enough and stayed in outpatient treatment for as long as she needed to. I kept a close eye on her with frequent visits (we are also 4 hours away) and if she lost weight, which she did a few times, I worked with her to put it back on until she was finally able to do that herself. My d. is the same age as yours and I would not hesitate for a single moment to bring her home again if her weight were to plummet and she were to resume purging. I think that because we have set firm limits it has helped make it clear that she needs to take care of herself so that she can stay at university because she really does want to get an education and she knows I am serious. I am a gentle person by nature so this kind of parenting was out of character for me, however her health had to come first and when she was unable to turn things around on her own I stepped in. 

You could certainly go up and visit and let her know that you are concerned and discuss the options with her. That might be the place to start. Then you can better judge how to proceed.

Let us know if there is some way we can help.

warmly,

Kali

 

 

Food=Love
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tina72
"I am a gentle person by nature so this kind of parenting was out of character for me, however her health had to come first and when she was unable to turn things around on her own I stepped in."

I think you could be my twin, Kali 🙂.
I was the same. Never liked discussions, seaking for harmony, not want to have argue with her. That was totally wrong. I would also not hesitate one minute to take her home and get her to the GP. It is a life threatening disease and they cannot make good decisions on their own. If she had cancer and would refuse treatment you would go there and get her to treatment, too.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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chaoticlife
Update everyone!

We were going to go up and see her next week as my husband has holiday dates already booked off for a hospital appointment of my son's that got cancelled... HOWEVER my eldest son ended up in hospital at the weekend with appendicitis so we went up to visit him and she was there as well. (We just cant seem to catch a break)

And she doesn't look exactly well. Shes so pale and smaller than when I saw her last. I know with her small frame the weight loss probably isn't as visable than if she were taller, but it's definitely noticeable. I practically begged her to come home with us, but she dismissed me and told me to stop "overreacting". By the looks of things and the sheer amount of growling from her stomach, I think shes stopped eating all together.

I tried coaxing her into the var as we were leaving so I could maybe just drive her to ours, but she refused and said she would walk to the station herself. I made sure to order her a food shop delivery of non perishables so I at least know she has access to food, but I'm at a loss as to what else to do now. She just looked so small and broken and it killed me to see her like that.

Her friend is continuing to support her and try and push her to seek help, and he told me last night she had a complete breakdown to him about how difficult it is for her because her mind just wont let her eat. So fingers crossed she decides it's time to finally get help!
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tina72
When you go up try to make some GP appointment for her before you go and try to take her there. Inform the GP ahead that you think she is not eating any more and that you are concerned about her health and especially heart problems.
If she refuses and say you are overreacting, say "you can just go with me and proof that if you think I am overreacting". Tell her you will not stop to be concerned about her health until she prooved that all is o.k.

And I hope your eldest son is well again soon, what a shock with the appendicitis!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
I think you and h going to her is the best!

I hope your older son recovers quickly.

I understand from some of your previous posts she has little contact with you overall.
So I see this as a beginning and it may take a few visits and a lot of work on your part to get her to a clinic for proper assessment.

Does she have a diagnosis yet? I seem to recall that she was waiting for assessment.

I hope things go well when you see her. I think the stars aligned for you. The cancellation of your other son’s appointment and your h having time off was meant to happen so that you could go to your d! 

Big hug,
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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melstevUK
Hi chaoticlife,

To be honest, the situation now seems quite critical.  If your d stops eating and/or drinking for more than a 24 hour period the friend needs to take her to A and E.  It is good that he is in touch with you.  It is also good that d is recognising now that she simply cannot allow herself to eat.  
If you cannot go with h to bring her home - then I would organise a GP appointment near her university and try and organise for her to be referred to the local eds as soon as possible.  She sounds as if she could require hospitalisation and the friend is highly unlikely now to be able to turn this around on his own.  
Please take action to ensure that she is seen be a GP either at university or at home.  Her weight will be dropping very quickly now and some intervention is required which goes beyond just trying to support her to eat.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
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chaoticlife
scaredmom wrote:
I think you and h going to her is the best!

I hope your older son recovers quickly.

I understand from some of your previous posts she has little contact with you overall.
So I see this as a beginning and it may take a few visits and a lot of work on your part to get her to a clinic for proper assessment.

Does she have a diagnosis yet? I seem to recall that she was waiting for assessment.

I hope things go well when you see her. I think the stars aligned for you. The cancellation of your other son’s appointment and your h having time off was meant to happen so that you could go to your d! 

Big hug,
XXX


Unfortunately shes currently undiagnosed as she pulled out just before the referral to the specialist went through

I know she does have a medication review with the mental health team for her personality disorder coming up as she mentioned it a few hours ago when asking us what date her brother's birthday party is so she can let them know she cant do that day. So with a bit of luck they'll have the notes and can fast track a referral for at least a diagnosis!
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scaredmom
Oh I hope they can move her quickly to get medically assessed.
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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tina72
chaoticlife wrote:


Unfortunately shes currently undiagnosed as she pulled out just before the referral to the specialist went through

I know she does have a medication review with the mental health team for her personality disorder coming up as she mentioned it a few hours ago when asking us what date her brother's birthday party is so she can let them know she cant do that day. So with a bit of luck they'll have the notes and can fast track a referral for at least a diagnosis!


Can you contact that team before her appointment and tell them your concerns?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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