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Member 6 posts
Posted 4 months ago
Like you I was new to this forum a few months ago and in the first few weeks I was at a loss as to what to do and this forum has been amazing.
My D was diagnosed with AN and Depression in October 17, she was prescribed 25mg Setraline (which we she and we have found helped her) could this be an option for your D.
We were advised by our Phsychologist that our D was not strong enough to be at school and we had to keep her home and start re-feeding. She was prescribed a multi vitamin (Forceval) to prevent her heart from going into a possible cardiac arrest or suffering a heart arrithmia.. We took her for her 1st weigh in and we were told that if she had a loss she would have been admitted to a specialist unit :( 2hrs away.
We persevered with the meal plans given to us by CAMHS and sat for as long as it took to get her to eat a meal (we were signed off work by our GP) and now nearly 4 months since re-feeding began she is back at school and enjoying life (it seems ED had made her soo unhappy and worthless that she didn't want to do anything and also she was probably so tired most of the time). We do still get the odd flare up but have learnt to look out for these and talk to her more than we used to.
Keep strong and good luck
Member 4 posts
Thank you so much for your reply. It has made me feel better to hear from people who have been and are going through the same emotions. My daughter was out of school for 3 weeks and then when given the option, chose to go back to school on a part-time basis. It clearly impacts her ability to cope with her ED and also her mood definitely dips which makes home life trickier but she wants to be there and is physically able to manage now, just not so ready emotionally. I think she worries about falling behind though and I want her to have the ability to choose whether she should be there but I am keeping a close eye as if it impacts her too much, I will request for her to be at home again. She has told me this week that she doesn't want to get better which breaks my heart but I also think we are still so early into the diagnosis and therapy process that she is still at war with her thoughts. She is eating when asked to and there is less resistance than we had at first. I am so glad to hear that your daughter is recovering and also that you see the times when she struggles as that worries me too. Everything you wrote has truly touched my heart and helped me so thank you very much. Wishing you and your family all the best.
I am new to the forum and relatively new to the world of anorexia. My 14 yr old daughter started seeing CAMHS mid January and was off school for almost three weeks and it seemed to be going well...she followed the eating plan and engaged quietly but fairly well in our weekly sessions. Since returning to school part-time (home at lunch) her mood has become extremely low and I just don't know how to support her as we seemed to be such a good team in the first few weeks and now I feel as if I am the 'bad guy' for implementing the plan etc and struggle to have any positive interaction with her. In the last week I have found out that she has lied about eating her snack at school and she has been trying (unsuccessfully thankfully) to make herself sick. She is also secretly exercising despite me watching her for most of her waking hours. I am exhausted and feel as if I am failing every day. I don't really have a specific question but just wondered if anyone can share some hope/words of encouragement to help me. She only sees fat and so is just looking for ways to get rid of the food. Her weight gain has been good since we started the eating plan with CAMHS so physically she is doing okay but emotionally not so much. It just breaks my heart. How can I help her to see how beautiful she is inside and out?
Admin 153 posts
Dear Sharon, everything that you say resonates with me. You do feel as if you are on duty literally 24/7 with my own child I didn't properly sleep at night, I took all the keys because I really didn't know what she would do next nor how far she would go. First of all I wanted to say be kind to yourself you are doing a good job that is why you are exhausted. Recovery from anorexia takes time and so you will need to pace yourself, can you enlist families and friends to help a bit and give you some time for yourself - although you will probably spend it all worrying about your daughter you do need to keep yourself together so that you can do that.
Another thing to share is that the body recovers before the mind, I have heard that it takes about 6 months for the emotions to restore. But it seems that there is something at school that is worrying your daughter. Poor mental health in school children is growing it's terrible everyone is under pressure and it all lands on the children's shoulders. Do you think that it may have been a bit early for her to go back to school?
I spent a lot of time not saying things and going along with her wishes because I didn't want to upset her - and for the most part that worked, but I feel with things like the exercising you need to be clearer that that is not acceptable. People develop ED's because it gives them a feeling of control when they feel out of control in other areas of their lives. Try to get her to talk to you about how she is feeling what is worrying her.
You asked for hopefulness and can tell you that that lovely daughter is still there, you will feel as if you have lost her, but she is still there, she is just very fearful and trying to calm her fears and using controlling eating to numb her feelings.
My own daughter does not remember all of the things that she said to me in the depths of her illness, so I would suggest to you that you let any harsh words go. Start each day afresh and when this don't go right try not to see it as a failure, it can just be the way of things that day.
For encouragement my daughter is now very far down the recovery route, it has brought us closer and given us a strong bond. Hold out for her because you are being a tremendous support for her.
Thank you so much for your reply. It has made me feel better to know that everything I am seeing and feeling is normal (whatever that is now!)
I actually managed to get my daughter to open up a little earlier in the week and now have a fuller understanding of some of the triggers for her ED and also how she feels most of the time at the moment. I have referred myself for counselling too as I think if I can offload to someone who isn't emotionally involved that might give me the strength to help my daughter. I haven't once felt angry or frustrated with her but just feel so helpless and useless to her but some of the things she has said to me recently have helped me to understand that is not how she views me. Things have been slightly better as we have been snowed in so she is more compliant at home and her mood has lifted. School (and certain friends) are indeed a major factor in her ED but she has told me she wants to stay in school - she is only part-time and I won't push for her to be full-time. I think the anxiety of falling behind, even though she works at home is too much for her so she prefers to be in. I am expecting her mood to drop once she returns next week but will address this with our CAMHS nurse to see if I can work more closely with the school to support her. They have been fairly good on the whole but as my daughter doesn't want many people to know, I am not sure the understanding is there with all staff and certainly not with some of her friends. I think this forum may be a lifeline for me so thank you very much.
Posted 3 months ago
HI Sharon, I was just wondering how you and your daughter are getting on?
Sorry for the delay in replying. Things are very up and down as I am sure you will understand. My daughter is following her eating plan with less resistance at the moment but emotionally there is no change at all. She is still struggling with school. I didn't send her in at all today as could it was too much - she finds it hard to be with people a lot of the time. She wants to remain part-time even though I have suggested that she stays off. I think she is anxious about missing out on academic work so half days usually seem to work. I have a fabulous teacher in school who meets her for her morning snack but this is still very much hit and miss as my daughter often doesn't go...staff do generally go and find her though.
I guess we are all just learning to live with it. I am attending a support group for parents which is giving me some helpful hints and tips and a couple have helped at home. It is hard for my older daughter to deal with as she is in 6th form and so has enough stress but I am trying my best to maintain a good relationship with her.
My husband is struggling as he feels sidelined. My daughter doesn't want him to be the one to sit with her when she eats although we all sit together for main meals so I am trying to make sure he feels a part of it all but hard when he is out of the house at work for 12+ hours a day.
It feels as if it will never get better but I have had the odd times when I see my daughter again and not anorexia (or Annie as I have named it).
It is just learning to live with a new normal isn't it? And keeping it together whilst hoping that one day it will be better and different. Thank you for thinking of me. It's nice to know there is someone there whenever needed.
thank you for your reply, everything that you say sounds so familiar and first of all, I do want to go straight to the end of your post where you talk about the new normal. It is so true each day has it's character and each day is about coping and hoping for a better day that will come. I can remember the first time that I had one of those better days it was as if I had woken from a bad dream and those deep feelings of dread were not so much there and there were true glimpses of my real daughter - of course there will still many bad days to come, but gradually there were fewer - and as they restore they trust you more and communication improves and so it is all easier and more truthful. It will happen for you
It is great to read of the support that your school is giving not all schools are so good. It is also good to read that you have a local group. I wonder if you would mind sharing some of those tips with the users of this forum as everything helps.
It must be very tough for your eldest daughter especially as she has her own exam pressure with her approaching A levels, don't be afraid to give her time, maybe spend 30 minutes testing her on something or buying her favourite crisps or drink or nail polish just something for her. It is so difficult you do feel cut in half and even then the biggest worry dominates but do your best, I was hopeless at first my other 2 children were very good at the time, but it did leave them with anger issues. I wonder if there is anything that the ED team could offer your eldest daughter in term sof therapy? or even just a chance to talk
Speaking personally and not in any authoritative capacity I think that dads get a very raw deal, I don't want to offent any dads but just going by my own experience my husband could deal with the factual aspect of the illness but found the emotional outbursts very difficult to deal with. She seemed to absolutely hate him, and then ask me why he doesn't seem to care. From observing my own family dads can play a very important role in recovery just by being there despite her attempts to side line him and her frustrations at his seeming lack of response. In truth she had more or less painted him into an emotional corner. But she has always been close to her dad and as she recovered they have rebuilt and in a way strengthened their relationship. Maybe encourage your husband to post on here in the parents category to share with other dads, when he ahs time that is.
I wish you and your family continuing positive recovery let us know how you are doing when you can or when you need our support
Member 2 posts
I am reading a lot of the posts on this forum and many experiences of parents do resonate with my (15yrs) daughter's situation although there is never an exact fit because of the many different and variable situations that present themselves daily.
My daughter was diagnosed with AN last December so my wife and I have had to learn how to push her towards recovery. We have made mistakes along the way and we are still making mistakes (not noticing that she has hidden food, allowing her not to finish her plate, not giving her a snack in the evening because we are too tired, not backing each other up, loosing my temper..it goes on).
She is quite clear in telling us that if she eats she will get fat and no amount of logic and explanation from professionals or me seem able to change her mind. The penny, I hope, will drop one day. We have been on a bumpy journey feeding her and she is getting to her weight slowly however the introduction of Sertraline six weeks ago appears to have made a big difference to her mood. Her mood on recent occasions can drop like a stone saying that she just wants to be allowed to die - a low point for any parent. It does make me wonder why Sertraline wasn't introduced earlier however I'm no expert. The mornings are the most difficult but she eventually eats but often anything that is planned (work, school) gets delayed or cancelled. You and your family, like ours, must always feel that there is hope for a full recovery. I wish you the very best. Simon
It does sound as if you and your wife are doing your very best to support your daughter and to read that her weight is going up. I just wanted to say that my own daughter would constantly push timings back move things around, before she went into the unit I was a complete push over however the unit instilled a timetable and when she came out I found that insisting that she stuck to the timetable meant that to an extent the battles were about timetables more than food. You mention sertraline it does seem a popular anti depressant and I have read of a few young people for whom it is working. For my own child she had to try a few anti depressants before she found one that worked with her and then after a bit of time it had to change again.
I hope that you daughter continues to recover, and send you strength to continue