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cm72

 My daughter (the one with the eating disorder that’s recovered) is 12 years old and the attached picture is her room. She destroys it every week and every Saturday I make her clean it up. It’s actually gotten a lot worst since I took this picture. Painting everywhere, even on the walls. Plates, cups. Just pure destruction. Is this a typical teenager thing or the signs of someone mentally unstable? She doesn’t take care of herself either. I have to push her to shower. She never brushes her hair or teeth unless I tell her. I’m not sure what to do next. Any guidance?


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Lulu1981
Hi my daughter 14 in a couple of weeks did the exact same thing, and she does it when I try an put ground rules in with the ed. She wouldn't eat the brekkie I made her and she had a all day meltdown because I would not let her do a workout. It was horrific smashed up everything and pulled the door of the hinges. Also cut herself aswell. It truly is a horrible but we need more support so we can tackle the ed!   Big hugs 
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Foodsupport_AUS
This reminds me very much of my brother as a teen, non ED. He said he didn't need a shower as his system cleansed itself!. He is now tidy and clean. 

I think it may be a mix of things. I would work hard at not having cups/plates/food in the room. To me this is a place for ED to hide, as well as the hygiene issues. 
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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Enn

I have a few thoughts.

If she cleans it properly when you ask, I am not concerned too much.
If she gets really mad and destroys things there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Does she purposely do this? Or is it just a by product of living in the place and not picking up after herself? Could be a normal messy teenage room, really. My older two had rooms like that when younger. And my son had to be told often he needed to shower.

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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salmy
Our 16 year old ED D does not keep a tidy room
and it is connected to her sense of overwhelm and mental health. She can’t keep it picked up and gets overwhelmed when it gets messy and kind of paralyzed by the mess. She cleans it when it is required for something she wants (is: having a friend over), but for a long time and especially in the early days of treatment would let us haul out her room - which is decidedly not normal teen behavior. As for taking care of herself a lot of that is normal teen stuff... but for our ED D she had rules around face washing, hand washing and teeth brushing that have diminished some with brain healing. I think she is now working on finding a non ED version of keeping herself clean... and it is taking some time. 
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
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Kali

CM72,

Sometimes the ED makes our kids behave as though they are younger than they really are.
When you say she destroys her room, does she do it in a fit of rage, or is she just very sloppy and doesn't care if it looks nice or not?

Maybe you can get her interested in making her room nicer by trying to "redecorate" it with her. I don't mean going out and spending a lot of money but just some simple things or changes.

You mention she has paint on the walls. Can you encourage her to paint a wall mural and let her know which part of the room she can use for that? Or a large painting which can hang on the wall if you cannot do that? Or if she likes to paint ( I see her palette there) can you give her a place somewhere else if you have room and set up a "studio" for her to paint in?

Place some photos of friends and family or pictures she has created on the shelf, with her. (in plastic or cardboard frames, lol) Help her clean out her dresser so she only has things she needs and likes there. Fill a bulletin board with photos of friends, places she has been and liked, and anything else she might like to post there. Talk to her about making it a peaceful place of refuge where she enjoys being and see what ideas she come up with. Is there anything you can do to freshen up the rug like shampooing it? Or replacing it and painting the walls with a new color she chooses if you can afford that? You could try taking a look with her at the IKEA catalog and see if anything inspires her there.

Have her pick out some nice sheets she might like or duvet covers which are pretty.
Either offer to sew some new curtains for her and have her pick out the materials, or maybe teach her how to sew them? or shop for them with her. Maybe if she participates in making her room look nicer she will feel more responsibility to keep it nice because it will be something she has chosen and worked on to create. She is also at the age where she is going from a child to a teen...so maybe her room is due for some changes? 

I did make sure my daughter's room was vacuumed and bedsheets washed when she was a teenager. She was responsible for washing her own clothes from the age of 12. And yes her room was a mess. She rarely listened when I asked her to straighten up so you are already one step ahead of where we were. Just as an fyi at the age of 22 her room is neat and she keeps it nicely. She had a friend help her who is good at organizing when she moved home after college, and they did a great job. it may be easier to reorganize with the two of you working together on it.

As far as personal hygiene, perhaps a simple trip to the store together where you have her pick out her favorite shampoos and soaps, as well as any other personal hygiene things which could pique her interest might be a place to start.

just trying to throw out some ideas.

warmly,

Kali


Food=Love
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cm72
Thank you for all of your replies. It does sound like some teenagers are like this and that is a sigh of relief. I'm constantly worried that there is a larger psychological issue going on. A couple of responses to questions:
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Does she purposely do this? Or is it just a by product of living in the place and not picking up after herself?

She doesn't do it on purpose or in fits of rage, I don't think. My husband and I always have said she is 2-3 years below her age. Very immature. 

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Maybe you can get her interested in making her room nicer by trying to "redecorate" it with her.

The sad thing is, we recently redecorated her room. It was so cute. She has destroyed everything. Her new bed she did destroy in a fit of rage but kicking the sides off. The beautiful table she had is covered in makeup. The walls, which were recently painted, she is now using as her own art studio. A desk chair has been torn apart. Now that I think about this, maybe she is in rage during destruction. I just don't know as i'm not in there with her when it's happening. It's usually when I go in there once a week that I see the destruction.

I've offered to buy her new things to help her take care of herself and her room. She is just not interested. 
I don't know if I should just close the door and give up the screaming and yelling. Or if I should continue to battle this fight. Either way it's absolutely exhausting.
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Enn

You know @cm72, As long as it does not become a health hazard, why not just let it go for a bit and see? Distress tolerance is what I am thinking here. 

It is exhausting! Still trying to get all kids to do their bit with some chores here! 

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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Barberton
@cm72

This is interesting. I agree with what has been said about ED behaviours being not age appropriate.

Could it also be that ED is telling your d that she doesn't deserve a nice room? Is messing it up her way of fighting against the ED voice? My interpretation of what you have told us is that she is NOT "just not interested", but in fact fighting the ED in the only way she knows how (short of starving herself). Just a thought.

I'd really advise to not bother with "yelling and screaming" - I know from personal experience that it has zero impact.

Do you think you could sit down with your d in her room (when it's a mess) and say, "Wow. This is a mess." Say it as a thoughtful expression of fact, not a criticism. Then be quiet and see if she says anything. If not, then try saying, "Is it nice/helpful to live in a room this messy?" or "I can see that you must be really upset about something to have done this to your room. Do you want to tell me about it?" And just go gently, gently thought a chat with her about the state of her room. If she is not willing to engage in conversation about it, be sure to conclude on something like, "It really hurts my feelings when I see your room like this because we took all that time to make it look nice. I think you deserve a nice room." What I have learned with my d is that she carries a massive load of guilt with her. Once I tapped into the fact that she needed a lot of reassurance from me that she is good enough, she does deserve to be loved, it helped calm her angst and her internal fight with ED.

Hope this helps.
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
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MKR
Hi @cm72,

My daughter at the very beginning of AN, months before diagnosis, had one occasion where she knocked furniture around. She was a tiny thing, I don't know where she got the power to move heavy objects. It was out of frustration, she felt overwhelmed. I thought at the time it was teen behaviour and feel bad knowing it was ED. It happened only once. We did swap her to a bigger room and she helped decorate etc. And we put boundaries (expectations and consequences) around looking after things respectfully.

Now she is keeping things simple and tidy (except for still hoarding snacks). 
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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cm72
@MKR
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And we put boundaries (expectations and consequences) around looking after things respectfully.


Curious about this. Can you give me an example of the consequence you used? I didn't think about going about it this way.
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cm72
@Barberton

I loved the way you handled this with your daughter. Great idea.
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MKR
Hi @cm72,

The expectation is that time and money should not be spent on replacing the essentials that were destroyed for no good reason, and that time and money should be spent on making life enjoyable for all.

The consequence is putting all on hold until the room is put back together. The more she helps, the sooner we can do something fun together.

Once she has calmed down, I am able to tell her that if this were someone else's property, things would have been far more serious. Her is her chance to practice putting things right.

After that first Incredible Hulk moment, the incidents shifted to food and plates, during refeeding. But I maintained the expectations.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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