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

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santasdad
Hello.  Hoping to get some help.  Relatively new to this.  My daughter is still in the phase of trying to stabilize with her meds.  She started with depression, and we learned she had anorexia with a binge eating component to it.  She was in an in- patient program twice and is not being seen by a therapist 2 to 3 times a week.  The second time she was in the in patient facility, she started having obsessive thoughts of whether she had eaten food that was not hers.  The worst example was that there was a bird feeder outside of the window of the facility, and she was terrified she had eaten the birdseed and would not be gaining weight.  This followed after she came home with the dog's food.  Right now, she is obsessed every time she sees food with the idea that she had eaten it.  She genuinely cannot remember whether she has or not and needs constant reassurance that she has not eaten the food.  Last night we went out for dinner.  There were rolls on the table.  She became terrified that she had eaten a roll and needed us to reassure her that she did not.  If we are driving and having a snack and I am eating licorice pieces, she is terrified that I had given her the licorice.  She really believes she had eaten it though.  Has anyone else seen these symptoms before, and does any one know any effective ways to treat them? 


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Havanese
I haven’t heard of this so my ideas might not be effective. One possibility is that you could have her write down what she eats right after eating it so she can reassure herself. You could also try asking her what would happen if she had eaten it or why she thinks she may have eaten it. Try talking to her therapist, if they’re an ed therapist I’m sure they’ve seen this or something similar before.
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ACL
That sounds tough (for you and for her). 
A couple of thoughts: 
You might consider reading the book "Freeing Your Child From OCD " by Tamar Chansky. I agree this does sound OCD-like. It is not uncommon to have OCD symptoms with active anorexia, they often go away with re-feeding.
Keep working (as I am sure you are) on getting her weight up. OCD symptoms often go away as weight goes on. 
I am a parent of a child with RAN but also had anorexia as a teen, eventually developed issues with binge/purge.That was 25 + years ago but I still recall having dreams (nightmares) of overeating, eating fear foods, etc and waking up terrified. Personally, I think people binge because they restrict. I think of it this way: the body is crying out for food but the mind says no, you should not eat that. So the more you can take over and feed her what she needs the less her body will be crying out for food that she does not think she should eat. Then she will not feel out of control and like she wants to binge and then she will not be so scared. 
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santasdad
Thank you both for your thoughts, which were both helpful.  I will check out the book for sure and talk to her about writing down what she eats right after she eats it tomorrow.

  
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tina72
I too think that writing it down might help. She does not believe her eyes but she might believe her hands. Give her a block or a little book she can write in all she ate with a date so she can look at it if she struggles and you will know what she has eaten and what not.
Is she having any anxiety meds at the moment? Often OCD behaviour is worse when they are anxious.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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santasdad
as needed she can take anxiety meds.  It is still an issue of getting her initial meds rights and that is part of the problem.  If they are giving her anti psychotic drugs to treat this symptom, it may not be helping.  All I know is that the thoughts are not going away with any medicine she takes.
 
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scaredmom
It sounds pretty tough at the moment. How long have you all been at this? Is the treatment  team specialized in ED? Is her weight appropriate for her height? Sorry a lot of questions to help tease out  maybe the need for more weight to improve her state and to ensure you have the correct team in place. From what you have written above it seems that depression is a primary diagnosis?
it take at least 4 to 6 weeks to see if meds are working. 
What has the team said about these thoughts specifically, with respect to how to deal with them? Is she eating well? 
she is really frigthened. I wonder if validating the fear “ it must be frightening to think you have eaten that And in actuality your wise mind knows you have not eaten that...” helping her to get into her wise mind may help her. It does sound like a delusion so an antipsychotic may help when she is metabolically stable.
i am not sure if what I have written is at all helpful. Just some random thoughts that have come to mind.

Keep asking questions. We really wish to help.
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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ACL
What Scaredmom says makes sense to me. In "Freeing Your Child from OCD" Dr Chansky talks about helping your child separate their OCD thoughts from their valid thoughts rather than reinforcing their OCD thoughts by responding to them as if they were "normal worries" So, while being kind about the fact that your child is scared also helping her see that the fear is a brain trick, not a rational worry. 

And, as others have said, I would definitely make sure her team (both therapist and whoever prescribes her meds) knows about this. 

And, also as others have said, she might need more weight. 
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