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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Hello, I have posted before when our daughter was anorexic. She was detained under the mental health act and in patient for 6 months. She has never properly engaged with any professional or us about her illness. She is a young, very strong minded adult, and despite repeated attempts, family based treatment has not proved successful. Fortunately, she appears not to be anorexic any more. This seems to have been a natural evolution (for which we are very thankful, and which i hope gives some hope to other carers). But she still has very disordered eating. She binges often. We think she occassionally vomits (although not regularly), and sometimes starves herself for a day to compensate for a binge. She is medically stable, and a healthy weight but we are very concerned about her mental state. She is unable to do anything. She stays in her room most of the time watching films. She is unable to study or work, and refuses to see anyone other than us most of the time. We think this is because she feels she looks too bad for anyone to see. She has been discharged by the eating disorders service because she refused to engage. She has seen a psychiatrist and is on antidepressants. Occasionally she talks to us. She has taken an overdose in the past, and we are continually aware of the risk of suicide. Does anyone have any suggestions for things they have done to motivate and inspire someone in this situation? Does anyone have any suggestions for a high quality eating disorders service that we might get funding for or go privately? We are aware of services in London like the Maudsley, but aren't aware of anything nearer home (Lancashire). Thank-you. 
Hi from another mum of a young adult d. Although you write your d does not seem to be anorexic any more, she still seems to have an ED and suffer from that a lot. It is quite normal that AN develops into binge eating or purging type/bulemia if it is not treated. Does your d still have a team? Is she financially dependend from you? There are many tricks to get them out of their rooms and engage in real life again. But first and most important is that the eating behaviours are tackled and are going back to normal. Is she living and eating with you?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
I am sorry to hear that your D is living this way. It sounds like her health is out of physical danger but as Tina has mentioned she still has very disordered eating. 

In an ideal world it would be great if she was in treatment, however I know that services will be difficult for you to access. I could not comment on private services, I am in the wrong country. 

At the same time, being at a "normal" weight can be highly distressing to someone recovering from an eating disorder. My D was suicidal at this time too and also isolated herself a lot. 
Things that I found helped was to try to offer her regular activities/outings with me or whoever else she would engage with. Try to bring purpose to her life - could she volunteer somewhere to help others?
Insist on a daily walk or time outside, even though I know the weather is closing in. 
Regular meals are essential - three meals and three snacks or similar - partly because it stops bingeing, partly because it retrains the brain. 
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.
Thanks for your replies. She is financially dependent on us for her basic needs e.g. Buying food and housing her, but she gets benefits (PIP - " personal independent payment ") which means she can buy clothes and pay if she goes out. She does occasionally have use of our car, but if she does go out we are so pleased that we are reluctant to say she can't use it. Nice activities are limited because she finds going out so stressful that it outweighs any potential enjoyment. We try to do nice things at home, but it feels often that even being with us is a stressor. Sorry to be so negative! Occasionally she surprises us. She went to a music festival and met a boy who is now her boyfriend but lives 100s of miles away. At least she knows that someone finds her attractive. She also say she wants to go to university, so there is an incentive to get better even though that hasn't transformed into insight or action. 
I'm sorry to say this, but my guess is that she needs more weight.  I realize it makes no sense that the cure for feeling heavy and ugly is more weight, but we have seen just that so many times here on the forum.   My own d is one example.  

The last 5 pounds or kg can be extremely difficult and stressful for all involved and especially for the sufferer.  I'm grateful to have received the good advice here to keep pushing my d through until she regained ALL the weight she needed to live a full and happy life.  

The "experts" often get this wrong.  It is the most common error made by clinicians, stopping weight gain too early.

So I would encourage you to consider if you are SURE she is well and fully weight restored.  All the best to you and your d. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
The best way to deal with binges and the restriction which follows is to eat regularly and have protein and fat at every meal and snack time. This will also level her blood sugar level and subsequently moods as well so that it doesn't feel like a rollercoaster. My d ate 6 times a day: breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. Include fats such as full fat diary, nuts, avos, skin on the chicken, fat on meat etc. I gave my d lots of protein bars as snacks and also made my own. It would be best if you gave her all her snacks and meals as it might be difficult for her to choose food high in fat and protein. You can add supplements such as a multi vitamin, fish oil and calcium. Zinc is also good as out makes food tastes better and could lift her moods.

When she is eating better and at regular times, you can get her out of the house more often, make up excuses, such as needing her help to choose cushions for the living room,  or looking for a nice salt and pepper set or picking out clothes for granny. Just not grocery shopping. Can she volunteer at an animal shelter or something similar?

I know it's tough seeing your d like that, but perservere, you'll get through this. Sending you lots of hugs 🤗🤗🤗🤗
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
Here it helped to literally pull out my d from the house. I told her I need to go to the do-it-yourself store for example and I need her help there and she must accompany me. No negoation, no discussion.
Use of the car is here only when she has eaten properly. She knows that she is a danger for others when she has low blood sugar and can faint and so this is no threat or boundary but a need.

If she is financially dependend you set the rules. If you buy the food I would not buy any low calory or special diet food for her and cook normal food and present that plate. She needs to eat with you to get rid of all the odd ED rules in her head. Normal regular food every 3-4 hours to keep her blood sugar constan, that will improve her mood on the long run. Lots of fats and no restriction any more. I agree with Torie that it seems she needs more weight to get brain recovery started. Try to get more weight on and see if that changes her state slowly. Here it was only 2 kg more that made the difference. If we would have listend to the professionals and kept her on the obvioulsy too low weight she would be sick until today, I am sure.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.