Sunday 29 May 2011

The more I think about it, the more I'm angry about Fri's CAMHS session...

Seeing Ben and H go off cycling today spoke volumes about where Ben is in the weight recovery stakes. He may be within the first 6% centile of boys of his age, height, etc, but in my very strong opinion he is NOT Weight Restored...

In summer 2008 Ben and H did the Coast 2 Coast Cycle Ride across Northern England. Today Ben was wearing the same cycling gear he was wearing then and the contrast was pretty acute. Never forget, Ben was a strapping rugby player who also won the 1500 metre run in his school sports day in 2009. He is also a keen hiker. Yes, he is looking healthy and eats an extremely healthy and balanced diet which is BRILLIANT progress, but he is still too thin. Unfortunately CAMHS have put the idea into his head that he is now OK. To all intents and purposes he is Weight Restored, they implied. And, of course, ED loved this. Triumph! "See I told you so, Big Bad Mom was wrong all along, hey!" chuckles ED.

So where to go from here... How to undo the damage that CAMHS have done (or, rather, the psych's assistant as the psych is away on holiday)? How do I get Ben back on board and working towards his natural weight rather than have him fighting against me to stay where he is?

The first move will be to remove the assistant from the equation. I have already hinted to the psych that I don't feel we need both of them on our team. The second will be to write to the psych voicing my concerns and probably ask for a meeting.

Meanwhile Ben is utterly convinced he is now Weight Restored. And what right do I, a mere amateur and his mom, have to contradict "the professionals"?


  1. This is just a thought, but maybe explaining a little more of the science to Ben might help him understand? I don't think this would work with people who were very ill, but at an appropriate stage of recovery I believe that learning more about the biology behind eating disorders can be invaluable. I was always told by my therapists and doctors that I needed to gain weight because my health was at risk. I wasn't told why I should gain past the lowest acceptable weight. I thought that maintaining a low weight would make me less likely to relapse, because I was pacifying the ED thoughts and decreasing my anxiety. But what I was actually doing was keeping myself at that horrible point where my weight was too low for my brain to heal, but high enough that the NHS thought I was okay. I thought for a while that there was no point to trying to stay healthy if that was all I could hope for - a semi healthy body and a totally disordered mind. Setting my target weight ten pounds higher totally changed that.

    My point is that a lot of people with eating disorders are never told that reaching a truly healthy weight can make the difference between full remission and living with an eating disorder for the rest of their lives. I don't know if Ben is well enough yet for this to motivate him, but it might. He might not believe you, but the science is compelling and difficult to disagree with. I might be barking up the wrong tree entirely - I'm a science geek anyway so learning about ED science really helped me - but it couldn't hurt to show him that the research is on your side and not that of CAMHS?

  2. Thanks, GiantF, I appreciate your reply and hopefully Ben will listen to what you're saying...