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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deenl
Since our son went into hospital he will not shower. He never had a problem with it before. He just gets all worked up and stressed when I ask him to. Will have to push him on it before he starts to smell [rolleyes]
Hey, maybe I should just threaten to call a nurse for a sponge bath [idea] He'd either run to the shower or run from the hospital (Sigh)

Any tips or similar stories?
D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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K63
Hi deemi , am just wondering would it be that it's a strange place would he be frightened of locking door . Maybe if you took him some nice shower gel and next time you visit bring it to him and tell him you will wait outside the door while he showers . Sorry haven't had experience of this sure there will be people who have had this too .
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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Colleen
Mirrors? At home you can cover them or remove them.

Anxiety provoked by his own naked body? You might want to consider some exposure-type therapy. Either insist on showering ("flooding") or try a baby step approach ("laddering") like having him slip a washcloth under his clothes. Or ignore it until he's got a lot more weight on - it's possible this will resolve on its own. If not, he might be more receptive to change.

Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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IrishUp
Yes, self-care can become seriously problematic for all kinds of reasons. It's often not very valuable to find out what specifically the hangup is causing the no showering - I've seen either at home or here also: wearing the same clothes EVERY DAY, not brushing hair, not wearing clothes that aren't hugely baggy, won't put on weather appropriate clothes, et cetera, ad nauseum - because SPOILER ALERT: the reason is something that ED is now perseverating on and torturing your kid with. Maybe ED says he "doesn't deserve to be clean", maybe "he's too fat" maybe "too ugly" maybe a germ phobia in the new setting. The thing is, it's not rational, and trying to reason him out of it is likely only going to be hard on both of you, without changing the behavior.

I'd take advantage of having hospital staff on hand to do the dirty work (heh) for you - bring it to his care team, and work with them to address it, and if possible, have THEM tell your s what the hygiene expectations are and/or what consequences will arise if he's not able to meet those expectation.


IrishUp
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Bottle
Yes the "doesn't deserve to be clean" rings true with lots of the kids we've met through the service we go to -as well as "must not use any water at all when other more deserving people around the world have no clean water" and a disgust for the amount of water and power the service they are using uses.
Bottle
D2 RAN as part of Pervasive Refusal Syndrome with a history of not walking for a year and being non verbal for a short while too. Considered to be Aspergers by everyone that has worked with her and by us but still awaiting a diagnosis that'll help us access support services she needs.
D1 recovered RAN and D3 doing pretty well considering the mayhem around here!
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Tali97
When we had a similar problem in the hospital. His father took him to the shower and helped him. He was on bed rest at the time so there was many limitations put on him and a supervised shower was required.
18 year old boy (Gluten Free/Dairy Free 2005)
 IP - March/April 2014.  ARFID.
 2015 - Gastroparisis
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deenl
I just had a shower myself and my face felt dry and tight until I put on moisturizer. I imagine with their skin a shower doesn't really feel good and of course, he won't use a cream. That's where we really see the lack of self care that seems very much of the 'I'm not worth it' vibe.

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Sotired
What about a moisturising liquid soap like dove or jonson&johnsons moisturising liquid soap?my kids prefer it to soap bars,doesn't dry out the skin.although my d tried this one on me,I cannot stand bad smells of any description-I'm so bad that I will guide their friends into the bathroom and give them a facecloth and soap if they smell!i had to say that it was non negotiable,that we don't put deodorant and shower for ourselves,but as a courtesy to those who have to be around us!it may sound a harsh way to put it,but perhaps that explanation will get it past ed reasoning that he doesn't deserve to be clean.with my d in hospital I just presented it very matter of factly.i came in half an hour before lunch and wheel chaired her to the bathroom.then I just said it was important to me that she be clean.end of story.then if necessary I would do the point about it being for the people around us.all else failed I said she didn't have to like it but she did have to do it.and that I would get a nurse to assist if necessary.that usually got the job done when all else failed!
Sotired42
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PuddleduckNZ
My Son went through something similar, he said the water hurt his skin (hypersensitive) at the height of his illness, he would just freak out completely, I think some of it was due to not wanting to see himself. IP I found a bath and actually ran him a bath instead, until he could shower, but he wanted someone in there with him, he was scared.

He also wore the same few sets of clothes and was very rigid about this.

Baby steps.
Son 9yrs when he became unwell 2013, ED slide from April 2014, dx at 10yrs July 2014, 2 hospitalisations - dx so many times Behavioural Anorexia, EDNOS, ARFID. FBT from August 2014. Anxiety, Emetophobia. 13.5yrs old now! In recovery, gets better every day with constant vigilance, life returns.
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deenl
Good point puddleduck.

Now that you say it he has been having baths at home for the last few months. Hmmm. Love this forum where people say something and it brings something you knew at the back of your mind into your conscious mind!!!

Will try to find a bath at the hosp or get him just to wash himself down with a cloth.

Thanks,

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly gaining at home, seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight. 2020 Off to university, healthy and happy.
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Juno
My d wouldn't shower at her sickest because she was convinced that her body would absorb the water and make her fatter.  The same went for lotion, drinking water, and even swallowing her own spit.  Could that be it? Fortunately, this went away a few weeks into re-feeding.
Mom of a younger outpatient
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lorpat
My daughter is 16 and was wr a few months ago and still only showers "against her will" 2X/week (or she loses phone and computer for 24 hours).  It got the point that she was really disgusting. 

I have tried to figure out the issue too.  I don't get it.  We also have to have rules and consequences for brushing teeth and hair and clipping nails.  She was diagnosed 8/2016 and is just now wearing normal clothing.  And, now, she almost seems to want to shower - but she now takes her computer in, puts it on a chair and watches a movie while taking a bath!  I think she doesn't like being alone with her thoughts and her own body.  Don't know why - makes no sense whatsoever - but she is gradually getting more comfortable.

At first, I would wash her hair in the kitchen sink and help her wash her face and hands just so she could be less "homeless" looking.  But, then I simply made a rule about it because it was getting crazy - and hygiene is part of health.  In the middle of it, she contracted lice (her hair was really long and thick ), had some skin infections like boils, got bad acne - there are health problems related to not cleaning yourself! Our doctor said 1X/week full body wash is sufficient for avoiding diseases, etc.

Good luck - may need to force the issue a little bit.
One day at a time...

daughter diagnosed 8/15 when she was 16,
wr through maudesly method 1/16,
currently in potential first relapse
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ed_newbie
Similar issues here. We are 8 weeks into 're-feeding and d still balks at showering. She says she is too lazy. Her hair is quite long and takes time to wash and dry and she says she'd rather be doing other things but I think it's more than this since she had a panic attack in the shower not long ago. I brought it up to d 's therapist who suggested she play music and set a timer so she focuses on getting her business done instead of thinking of other things. We tried this and it worked well.

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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PuddleduckNZ
Same with teeth here too, he would just have a massive crying fit and refuse with no real reason articulated as to why......these things go way in time, keep going.
Son 9yrs when he became unwell 2013, ED slide from April 2014, dx at 10yrs July 2014, 2 hospitalisations - dx so many times Behavioural Anorexia, EDNOS, ARFID. FBT from August 2014. Anxiety, Emetophobia. 13.5yrs old now! In recovery, gets better every day with constant vigilance, life returns.
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