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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AmyA
Hello all, my 22-year-old son recently relapsed with anorexia. He was first diagnosed at 15 and was hospitalized first at the heart unit then in the adolescent unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. About five months ago he refused to continue to see the psychiatrist to have cared for him since then. He also chose to go off his medication. Since that time his weight has gone down by 25 pounds. Being at home during the pandemic has made this more difficult. Before we finished with his psychiatrist she had told us about legal guardianship as a route  to get some control over his treatment. We have threatened this with him to get him to work with an outpatient therapist and a nutritionist, but we are not in the loop. He has also since last February become a vegan. His OCD behaviors have increased substantially and his anxiety around eating is so intense. Does anyone have experience with pursuing legal guardianship? We are wondering if we shouldn’t just go ahead and do this at this time in the event he continues to lose weight. Thank you
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Enn

hi there, sorry that things are not going so well. I am sorry you have had to find us. COVID has really not helped many of our kids with ED. I do hope he is getting medical monitoring. The weight loss is concerning.  In answer to your question I  would strongly suggest a legal opinion. 

sending my best.

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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AmyA
Thank you very much for your thoughts.  We did take him to the pediatrician last month, we still don’t have an adult doctor for him. His heart rate was OK his blood pressure was low. We also did talk to our lawyer already. So we are ready to go. Our son has talked about how depressed he will be if we do this because he is so hyper focused on applying to Graduate school and applying for jobs. I just don’t know what kind of future he has if he is so wrapped up with this illness. He is so hostile towards us. You are right, we really need to take him back to the doctor to get his vitals taken again.
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Enn

I am glad you have spoken with a lawyer. He sounds quite ill with stopping meds and resumption/worsening of the OCD and low blood pressure. Did the doctor do orthostatic vitals heart rate and blood pressure lying and standing? Did the low blood pressure worry the doctor? It might be an issue. I think getting all the legal ducks  in a row just to be ultra prepared is a good idea. If he refuses later it will be harder for you. Keeping as much control so you can help him,  would be a top priority. 

I agree with you that if he is that ill he may not be able to go to grad school yet, but that may be an incentive for him to work hard to get better?
Is he living with you now? Let us know how we can help. There are some members with adult children who may have more ideas as well. Do you think that what you did when he was 15 may be tweaked a bit to help him now to get the weight up? 

Ask all the questions you have we all wish to help!

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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Foodsupport_AUS
I am sorry to hear that your son has gone backwards. 
It sounds like although your son is now seeing a therapist again and nutritionist that so far things are not moving forward. A good therapist, and eating disorder dietitian would be encouraging your son to have you in the loop of care and to be involved in supporting him since it sounds as though he is currently being treated at home. 

Of course he is angry and his mood and OCD issues are expected if he is starving. 

I am not sure how many times or how long he has seen the therapist/ nutritionist?

Working on medical guardianship does sound like a good idea, but of course you used this as a bargaining tool to get him into treatment. Have you set any guidelines for when you would still move forward with this? I would imagine it would only be granted against his will if he was continuing to deteriorate in health. How is this going to be assessed? 

I would be working hard on trying to get feed back from the therapist and nutritionist about how things are going. Who is weighing him? Have you been included in all of that information? That would then give you an idea of the best next steps forward. Your lawyer can of course advise you of your local requirements for guardianship and what powers that may give you, since it would vary again for location. 

So much to think about. 
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.
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AmyA
Thank you very much for all of your thoughts. It has given us so much to consider.
He has only only started with the therapist and nutritionist for three weeks. We have been weighing him but he admitted he was loading up before weigh ins and this past week his weight was lower by 8 lbs.  He is 5’10 and 121 lbs. When he was 15 we did the Maudsley approach with all food planning and presenting food to him. Now he prepares all meals himself and eats alone. He has become a vegan and he eats tiny portions of different foods. He crumbles some of it to throw away which he did back when he was 15.
My husband and I are planning to tell him we need to be included in the treatment team with the nutritionist and therapist and that he needs to do weekly vitals checks including orthostatic blood pressures and heart rate checks with the doctor. Also he cannot take a job away from home or attend graduate school until he reaches a weight determined by the team together. If he refuses then we will pursue medical guardianship. 
I dread the conversation with him but his safety is the priority. You have given me some strength.
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