Wednesday 31 October 2012

In two minds, need to have a chat with Ben...

Okay so Dr J "got it" very quickly the other day but I've been mulling things over and keep going back to the time when, near the end of Ben's CAMHS treatment, when I felt as if the therapists were simply opening can after can of worms rather than actually helping to move things forward.

Monday 29 October 2012

Dr J gets to the heart of the matter

So far I like everything about Dr Joanne (except the fact she is so expensive!). Her background is CAMHS - not from our city but from a neighbouring town. I only wish we'd had her as Ben's therapist from Day One. Within 20 minutes or so of our (second) session with her today she'd got right to the heart of the matter i.e. the key problems that still remain from the eating disorder.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Why do I attend Ben's new psych sessions?

Once we'd arranged to see Dr Joanne, the new psych, I asked Ben if he'd like me to sit in on sessions "as an observer and occasional contributor" or if he'd like to see her alone. Frankly I didn't mind which. Since Ben turned a corner in October 2010 we'd always seen CAMHS together because, as Ben said, we were working on this "as a team". And Family Based Treatment has been proven to be more effective than individual therapy. But, at this stage and at his age, I recognise that he needs to become more independent - indeed it's essential that he does.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Phab is a success

Last night Ben went to his first Phab meeting (the disabled / physically handicapped club where he's helping out as a volunteer) and had a really great time - which is excellent news when our #1 priority over the current 12 months is to get him out there into the community and help him re-learn all those social skills he used to have before the anorexia hit.

Monday 22 October 2012

Moving forwards still...

Last night I looked at Ben and, for the first time for years, I felt I was looking at the 'old Ben'. And, thankfully, he seems to have come to terms with the slight weight gain and appears to be continuing to eat as normal. He didn't get the Games Workshop paid job, but he's agreed to volunteer as a helper at the Phab club on a Friday night.

Thursday 18 October 2012

If it worked for me, it might work for him...

Back in 1975 when I was in the Lower Sixth Form at school my own mental health took a nose dive, although in those days it went undiagnosed. For two whole terms I hid from the world, unable to interact with my peers. I was rock bottom depressed, suicidal at times, and used to self-harm (not a lot, but a bit).

Wednesday 17 October 2012

This is what I used to think in the olden days...

I used to think: Maybe we should watch more news reports about children starving in Africa? Children who would do anything to be able to get food? Or get him involved in Good Deeds like working with the disabled or underprivileged? Maybe that'll make him realise that some people have more to worry about in life than whether or not they might have put on a nano-kilogram and - pow! - their life suddenly isn't worth living.

Damn those scales!

It's a month since he was last weighed and he's continuing to very gradually put on weight. Now, to you and me, that's a Good Thing. It's a blooming BRILLIANT thing. But - surprise, surprise - it's not Good News to Ben.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Friday 12 October 2012

Clocking up more successes...

Good news - Ben did go to his Warhammer gaming club last night and enjoyed it. (And then came home for a plateful of M&S fish'n'chips with peas followed by 2 puddings.) Today he's talking to a local museum about volunteering. Then tomorrow evening he's going to see one of his friend's bands in the city centre. Meanwhile we've arranged to see a former CAMHS (eating disorder specialist) psychologist next week to tidy up all the loose ends.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Points are still winning prizes!

Ben says that the #1 thing that helped him the most over the last 18 months or so has been the Recovery Contract which we set up in March 2011. And, albeit much tweaked over the months, it's still going strong - at Ben's request. We don't do it as often... maybe once a week at the most... but it's still proving to be useful.

Woo hoo! It's what makes this all worthwhile...

It's fantastic when I get an email or message from a parent of a young person with an eating disorder, or the young person themselves, about how my blog and / or website have contributed in some way towards their recovery from anorexia or another ED. I'm not saying this to boast. Not in the slightest! It's just that this kind of message makes my day, especially when I'm not feeling very motivated or a bit down.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Jobs, voluntary work and social activities...

Ben's doing really well with setting up activities for his impromptu gap year. This morning was the second Tuesday morning he helped out at school, doing a bit of teaching practice with the sixth form history and politics groups and loving every minute.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Driving to a strangely familiar place...

Ben's been in touch with his school to see if they need any help over the coming year - and today he's gone in to lend a hand. So it was kind of strange driving back to the old place with Ben dressed in his sixth form suit, just like last year. Except it wasn't just like last year...