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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yourmomismad
Hi, this is my first post.

I've suspected my daughter of developing/having an eating disorder for the past eight months. She started therapy willingly, as soon as I started having suspicions. She said it was the best decision of 2019.  I've confronted her about it and talked about it without accusing her of having an ED and also without receiving any true confession. "I think you're a careful and conscious eater, but I don't think your getting enough calories to sustain yourself." I've shared my concerns with her pediatrician and her therapist at on-set of my suspicious.  Then things got better, seeing her eat, compliments of lunch, and she's happy to see a plate of cookies on the counter. Her moods started improving, energy too - or so I thought.  And then things started to decline again. First, she decided to become a vegetarian, and it the cooking battle even harder. And then stopped eating dinner with family and instead opting for a low-cal vegie frozen burrito or the like after everyone was gone.

Yesterday I found her journal and couldn't help but read it. She talked about restricting her calorie to 500 per day, that she is fat and ugly. She said the pain of being hungry is a good alternative to cutting. She enjoys the pain of starvation, it makes her feel "pretty." I've sent messages to both her pediatrician and therapist and waiting for a response. In the meantime, I really don't know what to do or what to expect from here. What is diagnosis like? What if my daughter continues to deny the problem, I mean after-all she seems to want to continue this? Will she still be able to get a diagnosis? Assuming she receives a diagnosis, how do they evaluate how ill she is and how much treatment is necessary? How do I evaluate that? 

Thank you.
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Enn

Welcome! I am sorry that you needed to find us and hope you will find the information you need to help your child.
here is a nice tool to help discern if your child has an ED. It does however seem as if she may have an ED and she needs to get assessed quickly.

Are you able to take her to a doctor to get a formal assessment? Are you able to self refer to an eating disorder clinic where you live?
How old is your d? 

I will post some emergency guidelines for you for medical assessment. 

Please read around the forum there is a wealth of information.
anorexiafamily.com
feast-Ed.org
Are good places to start.
I know all of us wish to help. 

please ask all your questions. I think right now the first priority would be to get your child medically assessed ,diagnosed and a treatment plan organized.
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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Foodsupport_AUS
Welcome to the forum, sorry that you have had to find your way here. It does very much sound like your daughter has a problem. It is also extremely common for those with eating disorders to deny or downplay their illness. If you haven't already I would suggest reading the FEAST family guides which will give you some great information about eating disorders and where to go from here. 

When taking her to the paediatrician for diagnosis it is important that you go with some firm information in mind. It is common if not normal for those with eating disorders to deny their illness even when on death's door. For this reason diagnosis is often based on observation, change in weight, blood pressure, pulse, discussion about thoughts. Many doctors have little training in eating disorders so it is really important to be clear about what has been happening and what testing should be done. The AED guide is useful to take along . There is also a very useful Australian page called FeedYourInstinct  which asks parents for their observations and gives you a print out page to take along when looking for a diagnosis. 

As to treatment - the most important part of treatment is to get her eating normally again. You don't mention her age, but for most teens and children the first line treatment for restrictive eating disorders is FBT or Family based treatment. This means that you will need take over her feeding as she at present is unable to feed herself. The family guides again talk about what to expect when starting to feed her. 

Good reads include "When your teen has an eating disorder" which will give you a lot of information and also talk you through some of the conflicts you will encounter along the way. 
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
Foodsupport has posted the AED guidelines. There are great to have in hand when you see the doctor. 
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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Torie
Hello, and welcome.  We're not doctors, and we can't diagnose, but we can confirm something you already know: 500 calories per day is not nearly enough.  With or without a diagnosis, it's important to increase that.  If you would be willing to tell us a little more about your situation, we are happy to help brainstorm ideas to increase her intake.

Another thing I learned here is to make sure she doesn't start purging when the calories start increasing.  I always told my d to use the bathroom before each meal so that she could stay with me for at least an hour after the meal.  She hated that, but when you hear about the difficulties involved in dealing with purging, well, it is well worth the inconvenience and unhappiness.

Please feel free to ask all the questions you like. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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HopeE
Please trust your gut! If you suspect this don't wait for some "expert" to confirm. If her therapist is not an eating disorder specialist, consider finding one as soon as you can. The difference in treatment is significant--most therapists don't have the knowledge and background. 
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yourmomismad
Hi, It's been extremely helpful and heart-warming to hear such great feedback. Thank you. It feels like this new deep dark secret of mine, that I can't share with anyone and yet it consuming everything from me. It's heart-breaking. The resources are invaluable, and equipped me best to have a good conversation with my daughter last night. She is 15.  The great guidance I received from all of you helped me understand that I need to separate her eating disorder from her, and see them as separate. She greeted with me with the avoidance of eye-contact, denial and lots of excuses. In the process, I learned her peers have been calling her anorexic. Rather than accepting the truth of her self imposed restriction. she claimed to just not be hungry. I'm just not buying it this time. Her doctor wants to have her evaluated by a psychologist. But, here's my next dilemma. If she knows she's going to the doctor for these reasons, I expect that she's going to manipulate her answers and not speak from truth. Heck, she couldn't even do that with me.  But I have had her in with a therapist who she does like and trust for the past 8 months. I'd rather see her evaluated from that psychologist, who will likely be more successful. I can see that I have a lot of learning ahead and also a journey. Thank you all so much. 
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ValentinaGermania
She needs to learn that she has to eat every 3-4 hours although she does not feel hungry.

A psychologist that is professional with EDs (and I would not chose another one) must normally know that ED patients lie a lot and are in denial and have a 1000 excuses for not eating.
It would be a good idea to contact that therapist before the first appointment via email or phone and tell her/him how you see the situation.

In that early state normal psychotherapy often does not work because they do not want to get better. Ask for a trained FBT specialist if possible.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Torie
Her doctor wants to have her evaluated by a psychologist. But, here's my next dilemma. If she knows she's going to the doctor for these reasons, I expect that she's going to manipulate her answers and not speak from truth.

Is it possible to take her to an ED expert?  I think that is what you need, if possible. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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Enn
yourmomismad,
I understand your concerns about her lying to the medical professionals. She does need to see an ED specialist. 
You as the parent can tell the specialist EVERYTHING and you should. Anyone treating ED is very aware of ED logic and how they always come across as believable. 
A true specialist should understand every aspect of ED. 
Did your doctor refer to an ED specialist team? If not then you have every right to demand and expect that referral. 
I cannot recall where you are located but if you tell us where you live, I am sure there is someone here that is near you and can offer some advice on where to go.
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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Enn
Hello yourmomismad,
How is it going? Just thinking about you.
xx
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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