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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Yael826_
Really need help from online community tonight. Daughter had been pretty mellow for about 5 days, minimal resistance. Very upset this weekend because not able to go away to her sleepaway summer camp becuase of ED. This evening she went completely bonkers again. I still have one more snack to give her and she refuses to take it. She is absolutely blended with ED right now, Completely different then yesterday. How to I get her to have this f--ing last snack. She needs it to complete the 4000 calories and during her episode between trying to self harm she was doing burpies and jumping jacks. Should I give it a rest for tonight or keep pushing ahead?
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Yael826_
She's asleep finally. should I wake her and make her finish. I think I should but am so tired. what are chances that behavior will continue despite full weight restoration. What if FBT doesn't work for her. Than what. I'm so scarred. I just still can't get my brain around the fact that my seemly amazing, sturdy kid just several months ago now has this awful mental illness. 
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ValentinaGermania
Refusing a snack does not mean FBT does not work. It means that AN tries to fight FBT because it works. You will see such fights now and then and it is important to get through.

I would also add the calories to breakfast and tell her afterwards (not before she has eaten). I would tell her calm and with strict voice that all refused meals are added to the next ones so it is clear that not eating them in impossible. When my d realised that she will need to eat it anyway she started to fight less.
I hope tomorrow will be a better day. Come here again if we can help you.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Enn
I can understand how frightened you are and you are doing well. It is almost impossible to see at the moment, however this is normal in the World of ED.
If she is gaining that is the main thing. 
Do you feel you need some help with your worries right now? I know I was so anxious at the beginning I could not see straight! I wish I had had the mind to get professional help for myself at the time but I don’t think I could see it. It was only after that I did. Are you getting any support with the refeeding? Is there a another family member to help you? 
Today is another day. It does get better but it takes extraordinary effort on our parts as parents and it does takes its toll. Please ensure your health is taken care of as well.
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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Yael826_
Thanks so much for your reply. I gave her a sedative which finally calmed her down a bit.She fell asleep and I woke her and gave her a high calorie heated protein shake. Yes, we are seeing a very good FBT therapist and I'm seeing my own therapist now increased to twice weekly.  I've had my own anxiety dating back years on and off and this has clearly triggered a flare. We take our daughter to see a psychiatrist next week who will hopefully prescribe something to take edge off, although our FBT therapist says, food, food and more food is the medicine. My anxious mind says but what if it doesn't work. What if ED persists despite weight restoration. I was on line this evening and read a critique of FBT reported this year that reported some real issues with it.Still better than anything else but not a magic pill. I'm interested in how many of you out there got your child into therapy ( CBT or DBT) during refeeding stage or after. Our therapist recommends that we get her weight up which she is actually getting close to, from 83 to 96 pounds over last 2 1/2 months. Her prerestricting weight was 105 lbs. My husband helps a lot but tends to be less compassionate than I and this can escalate her rages. She generally is eating well, no fear foods, can eat outside home fine and has close friends who she can eat with as well and actually does best with friends. Her cutting and other self harm behaviors really freak me out. It's when I couldn't get her to stop exercising and pulling hair out, cutting, even lied on top of her to stop her from exercising that I went to the benzo. Will obviously discuss the use with the psychiatrist. Don't want companies because heard it can cause excessive weight gain and trigger and make it harder to control binges. My d was a bing/purger for a good 8 months before she started to restrict.I'm so in the thick of it So disappointing when she has a good stretch that ends with a massive freak out, I suspect triggered by her not being able to go to sleepaway camp with all her close friends. It's always been her happy place.It's so crazy it was less then one year ago that food/exercise was the last thing on her mind. 
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debra18
Just take it one meal at a time and keep going. There will be ups and downs.
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ValentinaGermania
Try not to think about all those what ifs. In most cases FBT works. In most cases the patients get better with WR. In many cases there is no therapy needed but food. Try to trust in the process then your d could do that too. Try to show her you are totally convinced that it works and that she will get better (fake it until you make it we say here).
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Yael826_
Thanks for response. I know she will get better but after intense and exhausting episode so easy to get discouraged. I’ve connected with about 3 local moms in our area, all who went through this and all with daughter’s fully recovered in college. Hearing her sob this morning in next room is just so unbearable for me. She won’t let me comfort me. In this state, when ED is super strong, their is no comforting her other than staying calm and close. I just want this to end.
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Yael826_
Sorry, new to this. What is WR.
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Yael826_
got it thanks.
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WeRnotdone
Yael826,
  I have anxiety too and mine goes through the roof when hers does. I even have to take the occasional benz.  I also worry about what if with FBT.  I am handling all of daughter’s re feeding. When I find it within myself to try to remain calm and be firm it helps her a lot. Not always easy though because I am human and make lots of mistakes. She is past the self harm now, so I also am learning that she has to work though her own anxiety. I can’t take it from her no matter how much I want to.
  Thinking about you.

D is 17 diagnosed AN 12/2017. Been doing FBT. First relapse 5/2018, Second relapse 1/2019 with self harm and suicidal thoughts. Finally fighting our way out of 2nd relapse. Trying to get to weight restoration.
D Diagnosed with AN age 15 around 9/2017. First regression close to WW wanting to eat healthier. 2nd regression started self harm with inpatient stay for suicidal thoughts. 18 now and fighting to get out of 3rd down slide.
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Yael826_
thanks for your reply. Yes, her anxiety is so triggering for me. It’s so crazy like nothing I’ve ever seen. Just so upsetting particularly after several days of normalcy. The crazy thing is eating has been the least of hour troubles. She’s gaining weight pretty nicely she just hates the quantities that we’re shoving done her. Can i ask you regarding relapse, has your daughter been in therapy (CBT) or anything. What do you think triggered relapse?
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ValentinaGermania
Try to seperate your d and ED. It is ED that is anxious because you fight him. It is ED that goes through the roof. Your d inside wants to be normal and have a normal life back again.
RE comforting her: there is nothing really that you can do but offer company and be there. It gets better.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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cwebster
2 years into this horrible disease with 13 year old son-weight has gone up but state of mind remains ill. We are close to wr but realizing this is forever going to be a moving target. My s needs 5000+ calories per day..he was on a hunger strike for >2 weeks. Working back up in his caloric needs-has nj tube in place. Set firm boundaries but realize you can’t always achieve perfection. Reset is a common word used in our house. It can be hard to separate Ed from your child particularly when they are out of control...hijacked 100% by this monster...they even can look possessed! Carrots-hopefully there will always be something he wants such as friends, school, going for a quick swim...who knew I would have to barter with my child! He remains in hospital but doing weekend passes-hospital presents its own challenges with the contagion effect. No easy solution-unconditional ❤️ 
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WeRnotdone
Yael826,
  I think my daughter’s relapses were both caused by giving her some control back before she was ready. The first one the Dr said she was at the low end of a healthy weight. She wanted to eat healthier and I did do, I put on weight with her. I made the huge mistake of cutting back her calories by a few hundred. She rapidly lost weight and her behavior was horrible, demon possessed. Worse then first refeeding. Maybe because she had some strength.
   The second happened around Christmas. I let her eat one meal, lunch at school. She started leaving parts of it. OMG this relapse, at first I was not sure was a relapse. Bad depression, she cut herself for one week and was planning to kill herself. Thankfully, something inside me told me to look at her arms. I almost passed out and she told me how she was feeling. She decided to visit a treatment center for suicidal thoughts. She spent a week there and lost weight. It was Rodgers and I told them she had an eating disorder but they did not monitor her food. She was not in the eating disorders unit. She lost weight rapidly.
   Since Feb I had been fighting tooth and nail to get her to eat more. She finally agreed this June after a treat of a treatment center in Denver.
   Now she is gaining regularly. Complains often she is now a fine weight and does not need to gain more. Points out fat on her body, argues with me most days off and on. This is where I don’t want to make another mistake. No cutbacks on food and I try not to engage in her weight gain worries. Things have improved with her weight gain. I my daughter needs more weight then most. She is tall 5’9”.
  Hang in there😊
D Diagnosed with AN age 15 around 9/2017. First regression close to WW wanting to eat healthier. 2nd regression started self harm with inpatient stay for suicidal thoughts. 18 now and fighting to get out of 3rd down slide.
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sk8r31
It is SO upsetting to see the pain and anguish of our kids as they struggle to overcome ED.  I had a couple of mantras that I kept in mind when it all was going sideways,  and the anxiety levels for everyone in the family were through the roof.  Winston Churchill's "when you're going through hell, keep going" and 'you may lose a battle, but will win the war' were two sayings that helped me along.
It's great to have on-the-ground peer support,  and of course, whatever professional support for yourself that you can find.  I did need meds and my own therapy during our darkest times.
Distress tolerance skills are really so helpful for parents, to be able to tolerate our kids' distress around eating and overcoming their ED.  This is a distress tolerance skills handout that might be useful to look at for some ideas on how to manage during those episodes of extreme distress.
Sending warm support,
sk8r31
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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mnmomUSA
My experience is that any form of "therapy" (other than FBT, which isn't therapy so much as getting her to eat food) was absolutely useless until my daughter was well and truly weight restored.   Before that point, her brain was simply not functioning, so what was the point?  She got NOTHING out of any therapy until her brain was fully healed.  I know this is FRUSTRATING when you are in the trenches, because you just want her to be well and be "fixed."  I'm here to tell you that the ONLY thing that works in that regard is getting the weight back on and as quickly as you possibly can.  Then, keep feeding until you see glimmers that your real daughter is back.  Keep feeding more until she is fully back.  If entrenched thoughts/ED behaviors persist after you are SURE she is weight restored (bearing in mind that providers often set this number too low), then you can explore other forms of therapy.  My daughter did CBT-Enhanced, but only after two years (yes, you read that right) of FBT.  It was very useful in getting us over the last hurdles.  She is doing very well today, living independently....going to college and working her summer job at an overnight camp for girls.  

The hardest thing for me during those days was managing my daughter's upset at being "forced" to eat.  I wanted so badly to ease her pain and distress...and clearly eating was causing that.  But, I had to buck up and carry on.  Faking it until I felt more confident.  HAD TO!  So hard.  So very very hard.  And to do it, meal after meal, day after day, month after month for literally years was exhausting.  Oh so worth it though.

Keep going.  Your daughter needs you to be the strong one.  
D, age 18, first diagnosed March 20, 2013, RAN, at age 13 Hospitalized 3 weeks for medical stability. FBT at home since.  UCSD Multi-family Intensive June 2015. We've arrived on the other side.  :-)  D at college and doing great!
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