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Mamabear- need help for new member- how did you get your husband to "get it"?Open in a New Window

For a month or so I have been talking with a woman and trying to give her helpful information and guidance in helping her 14 year old daughter beat ED.

She gave me permission to post here for her today. She has posted before- Amomof4

Her daughter has been in several treatment programs in the past year including inpatient and residential. They family did go to the week intensive at USDC. She was released from a 6 week residential stay at the end of the summer and started full-time school a few weeks later. She is at the "highest weight" she has ever been during this time (5 feet 6 inches and 134 pounds) but her ED behaviors are intense. She will not sit down. Won't stop fidgeting and moving etc. She has never had a period. (mom was a late bloomer).... so I have encouraged her to put on another 10 plus pounds and keep pushing until they see behavior changes and period etc. More fats...all of that. Also have given ideas to challenge standing etc. She has not had a helpful therapist thus far. She is in the process of switching. 

Anyway- what I am asking about is her husband. He is not "getting it". He wants the daughter to play sports again. (she was very involved in sports pre-ed). He thinks it will be helpful and that if she had more muscle, maybe she would be happier. The mom told him she may never fully recover then and he basically told her that well if she has to live with it her whole life, maybe she should "live" her life. 
He has started to read Brave Girl Eating. He has watched "Going Sane". He does not agree that she needs more weight. From the sounds of it the mom has been the primary caregiver to the ED daughter. The mom has been the primary parent in charge of making decisions regarding treatment etc. The mom goes to the therapy appointments. Dad has primarily stayed with other 3 younger kids. 

I told her I think her husband needs to go with her. They need to talk together to someone who understands this WITHOUT the daughter present. They need to be a united front together or he needs to get out of the way. I also sent them several podcasts and MN Starvation project video etc. 

So I am asking for those of you who had spouses that were not on did you get them to see the light? And for those who didn't get their spouse on board- how did you handle doing it on your own without that partner? 



'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Need documentation that weighing is important in preventing relapse, pleaseOpen in a New Window

This is so flipping stupid.  What's wrong with these "professionals"?

My d is at a large university so of course there are many ED sufferers there, and yet I'm really pretty sure there is NO professional in the area who understands the fundamental principles of evidence-based treatment for AN.  I found someone who does seem to use evidence-based treatment for anxiety, but somehow she seems to have missed the memo about helping head off relapse with AN.

My d has lost a little weight this first month.  Just a little.  She is still completely rational about food (e.g., "I hope there's dinner at home because I didn't have time to eat before I got on the bus"), and she's doing great in every other way.  

Please help me get her therapist on board with the need for proper, periodic weighing - I'm having trouble figuring out how to explain the obvious.

This is all I need.  It is all I have EVER needed from the "professionals," and yet.  What always happens is they side with my d (or ED) by making it harder for me to monitor her weight than it would be if these "professionals" didn't exist.

I belong to an email group of carers of depression sufferers - mostly bipolar.  ATDT is so much more upbeat because there is so much more HOPE here.  Many of our kids reach full and lasting recovery - everyone talks about how deadly AN is, but what also needs to be underscored is how TREATABLE it is.  Food is such great medicine - much more reliable than antidepressants or other meds for mental illness.

I know people are busy so I always try to limit my notes to professionals to one single page.  Please help me figure out what to say to this woman to help her understand that monitoring is essential during the tricky transition to university.

So ridiculous that she is no more rational about this than is my d.

Thanks. xx



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DBT group vs individual therapist that utilizes DBT and ACTOpen in a New Window

Hi. Quick update: D is 14, 4 month post WR. Back to her original percentile and more for weight. She is having huge body image issues. Because of that mood is not good, feeling sad and doesn't engage in social interaction as much as before. She can't go to the mall or any other place where is a lot of people, she constantly compares herself to others, can't enjoy birthdays, because there is always "other girls who are thinner". She never missed school though and get perfect grades. She has a couple of friends that she keeps friendship with. Weekends are tougher because it gives her more time to concentrate on her "imperfections". For food we are doing FBT, weekly weight ins, she eats lunch and snack at school unsupervised now. She definitely needs therapy for her body image issues. I am trying to decide what kind of therapy. ACT? DBT? Group DBT? Individual? Or maybe hypnotherapy? What worked best for your kids?

Thank you so much in advance.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


target weightOpen in a New Window

Hi everyone, My 13 year old son was diagnosed with anorexia and hospitalised for 3 weeks with NG feeding 4 months ago. The fight with this vicious ED demon has been exhausting, but I can now look back and see some progress. I have learned much from this forum that has been so practical (thankyou) that I didn't get from our community FBT therapist who we see weekly. For example from one thread I got the idea of making an incentive chart to eat within the 30 minutes and now we have had 2 weeks of eating everything within half an hour (we we often sitting around for hours of coaxing before this). I also prompted me to consider higher calorie, dense food and I've now discovered ghee, macadamia butter, pesto, cream and almond meal to boost meals/snacks. I've also had to buy myself new pants :-(

After a record breaking weekly gain a fortnight ago, according to the therapist he is now 'weight restored' so now he can excercise and just maintain the weight, but in his mind the grip of ED is still very strong. Everything I've educated myself with from what I've managed to dig up on this site makes me feel like we need to keep pushing to a higher weight. I think his height was stunted so though his BMI looks ok, I think he would have been taller if not for ED. Just going by the height and weight charts linked on this site, he is at 25th percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight, but before the eating disorder I would say he has been average or only a bit below. I tried to bring this up with the therapist and even emailed her various links but she didn't seem to get it, and now just says for me to talk to the community paediatrician about it in 3 weeks time.

My gut says to ignore the therapist and push to a higher weight (at least a few more kg), however my son has heard her now for 2 weeks say we are now maintaining, which means if I push a lot higher then when he gets weighed at therapy he'll have a meltdown. I feel like if I try to explain to her or email more things it will get nowhere. 

Do you think I should be pushing higher? If so then how do I deal with the weekly therapist (free service through govt) as I have tried to state my case already? If there are any threads about this or good links I'd love to see them.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Puppy - therapy or stress?Open in a New Window

My 19 year old son has accepted he needs some time at home to work on

His recovery and is keen on getting a puppy to be responsible for and as a companion. I feel a bit anxious that puppy training will Be another stress in an already anxious life. Any thoughts???


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Need support today please...Open in a New Window

Please tell me that they are immature with their social interactions, these kids with ED.
Bad weekend. She was jealous about two friends excluding her and then she texted some very bad things. The mother of one of the girls printed the texts out and I was horrified!! I know she may have lost these friends now, and I feel so ashamed- one of the mothers is in our social group. How could have  I have missed her behaviours!?  I thanked the one mother for telling me and I expressed that it was hard for her to tell me. We took away the phone, D wrote an apology letter to the girls- very sincere and very sorry on her own.  Never thought my D was a bully (so sad).
Feeling really anxious-we are all so socially isolated at this time.- feels like another big loss that I may not get through. 

But I am worried about her future. I know some of this is just her age etc... and H and I have really talked to her and she gets it. But I feel that I am being blamed as the bad parent in all of this.

I am sorry this may seem so trivial but to me it feels so horrid.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Point blank refusal to eat and FBTOpen in a New Window

I posted a while back not sure if my D has an ED. Well, she absolutely most certainly does and is continuing to lose weight  We have appointment at specialist clinic tomorrow thankfully which we've been waiting 4 weeks for). 
We had been doing OK with getting her to eat and backed off a little but wham! huge mistake and ED came roaring back with a vengeance.
And what's changed is that it's clicked wiht her that we actually can't force her to eat. Whereas before we had tears, screaming, hatred but eventual eating with persistence, now we just have calm denial and no or little food eaten. We've done YLSUE but she doesn't seem to care and I feel like I'm punishing her for something that's not her fault.
So this afternoon we said we'd go out and do something she's been looking forward to. But she hasn't finished her lunch. Just had a bit and picked off the parts she decided are fattening. She refused her snack before. She so wants to go but she can't eat, I feel so bad for her. 
Will she eat eventually? Do we just stick at this even though she's not eating? This feels hopeless. 


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Get our Daughter to Accept TreatmentOpen in a New Window

Our D is a freshman in college. She loves where she is, has wonderful roommates but is now in unstable medical condition, at 5"11 and  below 110. Her college outpatient services kicked her out, as their recommendation for inpatient treatment was not accepted by D. Her therapist bailed out. Another provider bailed out. We brought her twice to ER and she was twice released. What would you suggest we do to get her to accept a withdrawal and get treated? and before that, just get monitored to avoid any tragedy? As a young adult, the has now a power that we totally underestimated


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Maudsley ApproachOpen in a New Window

Help! We're trying the Maudsley approach for the first time today. We're entering hour 4 at the kitchen table. Do I scoot breakfast out of the way and move onto lunch? I feel like I'm doing this wrong. Instead of her at least eating something for breakfast, she's now not eating anything. I know I'm supposed to show that meals will not be negotiated, but I question my success when she's now not eating anything!!!


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Facing a diagnosisOpen in a New Window

I posted this quite awhile back. Maybe someone new can use some words of hope....

My FEAST community has been on my mind. When my child was diagnosed with an eating disorder it felt impossible to believe anyone that implied life would again seem O.K., and that I wouldn't feel despair as soon as I open my eyes in the morning and remembered. Remembered that my child has an eating disorder. Thought I'd re-share a post of mine from earlier this year.....

Long before my daughter developed an eating disorder she made me a plaque in her ceramics class. It was a favorite quote of mine "We can only lose that which we cling to". I have had to look at that message - so simple yet so difficult to heed.

There is a saying meant for those of us who find ourselves suddenly living in a world upended by a personal tragedy....."Life does not stop for your grief." Thank goodness! After being dealt a cruel hand of fate life does not provide a vacuum for you to exist in. It never does, and it's a truth that comes as a shock to anyone experiencing such an event. Rather, life goes on, within us and without us. The dark shadows of grief may get smudged a bit by the silly antics of our pets. Birthdays arrive one by one, and Christmas promises to loom. Eventually, you realize you are unable to hold your breath forever.

Most of us will yearn for a return to the familiar. On the other hand, it can seem too painful to do things that are from "before". We grieve the loss of what we had, that which was yanked away from us in such a cruel fashion. I have been taught by our experience that with an open heart it really is possible to move on. Each of us has the ability to heal. I am humbled by the kindness extended to us that helped us to do so. It took hard work, loyal friends and the love of our family. Life doesn't come without it's harsh moments. But, it will never exclude the joyful noise either. There will be a shift, and your shoulders will stop aching. Those of you gripped by fear and despair don't have to believe me. You only need to put one foot in front of the other, if that's all you are capable of.

The desire for a good life has propelled our girl forward. We began collecting small victories. I liken the small mundane tasks of daily life we were asked to perform, to the wooden blocks stored in our toy closet. When these building blocks were stacked together, they began to make life's ordinary moments the heroes of our story. A tragedy does change us, but it doesn't have to define us. At the worst of times you may feel like I did, the isolation as I became unable to relate to those around me. The world at large had the nerve to still throw silly moments my way, that in the past would have caused me to laugh. It felt alarming to be expected to turn my attention to activities others in my life were still engaged in. How could I turn my thoughts to others when I was using every bit of my waking hours to learning about eating disorders?! Despite fear that you'll never smile again, a mishap or foible will catch you off guard and laughter will escape from your clenched mouth. To the rescue life will send it's troops in to bring about your new normal, one moment at a time. Ordinary drudgery, routines, expectations, historical events, milestones, missing teeth and school plays. These moments insist on intruding not to be cruel, but to remind us life can still be good. As Charles Dickens so accurately stated in Tale of Two Cities, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". Humbled am I by the courage and grace my daughter showed while crossing her bridge of sorrow.

Don't get too stuck allowing yourself to think "our life pre-diagnosis" is the only one you can accept. It is possible for this new "normal" to some day provide your parental heart peace and happiness. I'm here to tell you you can fight this disorder and bring about a sense of wellness that will allow you to say "we're O.K.!" The most powerful tool was realizing we had to fight shoulder to shoulder - consistency is so very important! Remember, without weight restoration you are building a castle on quicksand. Keep your focus narrow until you reach physical healing - we didn't perceive a true shift in the psychological healing until months after weight restoration. Today we have a healthy daughter, who is happy, has a boyfriend, graduated university on time, landed her first post graduate job and on occasion allows herself treats and special event meals. She uses the Kartini meal plan most of the time because she is able to focus on life knowing her energy balance is being maintained. Plus, it is an incredibly versatile, delicious, healthy way to live.



A mother here to learn.....

D diagnosed/hospitalized for 2 weeks January 2013 --Accepted as a patient at Kartini Clinic-- IOP for 12 weeks--Discharged from Kartini summer 2014, WR June of 2013--Our daughter embraces recovery and is reclaiming her life with wins large and small!


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Anorexia - is all or nothing rigid thinking common ?Open in a New Window

Quick recap, 12 year old with Anorexia, diagnosed 4 months ago. Not yet WR but making consistent gains - GP and psychologist appointments weekly. Here's the thing, we have dealt with dangerous, fatalistic thinking and behavior recently and are mindful that this is a direct result of her illness. However, a very obvious and new kind of "black or white", all or nothing thinking has emerged.... there is virtually NO reasoning with her on anything - not just food related, but normal, trivial things as well....? Everything has to go her way, she is incapable of recognising anyone else's needs or opinions..... although a strong character before, there was still flexibility to her thinking and we could reason with her and make joint decisions about outings, what movie to watch etc..... now everything is a battle if it's not her choice, her way. Is this another "whack-a-mole" trait that is appearing due to her anorexia or have all the teenage years hit us all at once at 12??? My husband and I are at a loss here....


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Too young for DBT?Open in a New Window

I'm wondering if anyone has an opinion, based on their experiences, if Dialectical Behavior Therapy is realistic for a 13 year old who won't engage.

With thanks in advance.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


So hardOpen in a New Window

This is my first post here, but I have been reading for a few weeks. I fluctuate from being reassured to terrified by what I read!
My D 15 was diagnosed with ED in late April after she lost 13kgs in only 2.5 mths, we lucked on to a very fast acting GP (who had herself recovered from an ED as a teen).
D has always being a very active person and had previously had no problems, but over her christmas holidays a thoughtless comment from a "friend" telling her she looked fat in her bikini at the beach! She said this started her dieting to lose the weight (my girl has never been anywhere near fat!), she now says she wishes she could pinpoint the period in time where it went from just trying to lose a kilo to being something else.
We think we got onto it relatively quickly, and her blood levels and ECGs have always been good, she never actually stopped eating, was just skipping lunches and breakfast only when not watched (and upping her exercise secretly), her evening meals were always good, we have always eaten as a family. Because of this she was not admitted to hospital at any stage and we moved into FBT from the start - however if she had been admitted I have been told we would have been referred to a specific ED clinic but instead are being handled through our local CAMHS org, not ED specialists - our team have handled ED's before, but I'm not sure they have dealt too much with someone who has an exercise compulsion, they seem to not believe us when we tell them how much food she is eating but her weight gain is sooooo slow! We have managed 3 kg since starting!
D still attends school, and I meet her for lunch, she eats all meals supervised and copes reasonably well with them her snacks however is a bit more of a struggle. She was initially stopped from any sport, however this just led to her hiding out to exercise, after a few months of this hubby and I have decided that it is better she do her school sport which is supervised rather than her exercising in private (doctors were happy with this, CAMHS not so), it seemed to improve her compulsion for a little while, but it has recently come back - she is rather honest about it to me and her dad and expresses how unhappy she is that she can't control it.
With the small weight gain she is feeling much healthier and thinks she should be able to jump back into everything and is getting increasingly frustrated that we won't let her - this leads to the screaming, throwing things, breaking things arguments, that in turn frustrates everyone else in the household, her 17 year old sister shuts herself in her room whenever an argument looms.
I am madly reading as much information as I can get my hands on in order to see if there is anything we can do to help her more. She hates her weekly appointments with a passion and the 2 days leading up to them become hellish at home even if the rest of the week has been good, we were told at the start that the appointments were not about passing judgements, but we all come away from them feeling totally judged! Most weeks weight has been maintained so we get asked what went wrong this week? Then when weight goes on they quiz us over and over could D have water loaded or anything?
There is so much more I could add, but I think this essay is probably enough for now
I just want to thank everyone here for the post and honesty within them you have helped me see that there are others going through the same hell - and especially those who have come out the other side - I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THAT LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL TOO!



'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Anyone have any experience of food avoidance emotional disorder?Open in a New Window


A friend of mine is very concerned about her daughter (7), who is showing all the signs of food avoidance emotional disorder. As far as I recall this isn't in the DSM-5 categorisation system, but has been a recognised condition. A recent referral to CAMHS for her daughter was turned down. She hasn't lost any weight yet, but this is clearly a worry to her parents.

Another friend contacted me yesterday about a 9 yr-old boy she knows who also seems to fit the description. He's eating nothing but lettuce and losing weight. I've highlighted to her the physical risks and advised that he gets thouroughly checked out by the GP asap.

I've hardly read anything about FAED and what I have read suggests treating the cause of the anxiety primarily. This makes sense, but not if the wait list for CAMHS is 18 months, which it is where I work (we're meeting our 7 day/28 day ED requirement I believe at least). I presume FAED can morph into anorexia in some cases.

Does anyone know much about this condition?

Thanks as always x


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Whinge!Open in a New Window

So this isn't anything I expect anyone to help with . . .  just a complaint that I know you all will understand and my friends won't.

Today I met with my younger one's (not D w/ED) elementary school teacher.  Little one struggles at school sometimes and I wanted to chat with her new teacher about it.  Teacher says she thinks attention (or lack thereof) is the problem.  She may be right.  But then she goes right into how diet and/or too much screen time can be the problem.  She gives me a 10 year old article about diet and ADD/ADHD that refers to "studies" but cites none.  She starts talking to me about removing all added sugar, all refined sugar, all additives from my D's diet.  I zoned out.  Please do not preach to me about food.  She said not all families are willing to make such a big lifestyle change.  (There's a healthy helping of judgment.)  I changed the subject.

She may be right that a change in diet may help someone with ADD/ADHD.  But my little D has not been diagnosed with anything yet!!!!!!!  We're getting ahead of ourselves.  



'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers

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