Wednesday 16 January 2013

"If you don't want treatment then I can't insist you have it," she said...

...Which is true, I suppose. And, yet again, there we were... Ben and me... sitting in front of a clinician with me looking like the over-protective, "pushy" mother and in reality wasting my time and energy, first taking Ben to see the GP and then to get this assessment. Not to mention all the trips to the private dietician and psychologists.

But if Ben insists he's fine as he is, then what can I do?

I've always said that I'll fight tooth and nail to get Ben one hundred per cent fully recovered and back to the boy he was three-and-a-half years ago before the eating disorder struck.

But, in reality, how can you fight when your child insists they don't want any further help and they can "sort things out" on their own.

Maybe he can sort things out on his own and maybe it is time for me to back off completely and just let him get along with his life, however he chooses to live that life. Maybe he will be able to shed the remnants of the anorexia and all the distressing baggage that came with it. If so, I will jump up and down with delight.

Basically I have done as much as I can do.

I have helped him to leave university because he couldn't face it and felt suicidal.

I have helped him find things to do in his eleventh hour "gap year".

I have found some of the region's best private eating disorder therapists for him to see.

I took action when he felt suicidal and unable to cope just before Christmas by taking him to see the GP.

And, today, I took him for the assessment with the local Mental Health team.

But he's not interested. And he told the clinician this, saying he was simply there because his mum wanted him to be.

So maybe I'll just back off completely and let him get on with it. I've already made the decision that, if he does want to go to university (and from what he said this morning I'm not entirely sure he does), then he can set the wheels in motion himself. 19 year old men don't have their mothers organising stuff for them.

But I hope that one day he will realise that the only reason I did any of the above wasn't because I was being "fussy" or "nagging". It was purely and simply because I want him to get his Real Life back.

One hundred per cent.


  1. Arrrgh that must have been so frustrating! Did the clinician end up doing the assessment? Did she think treatment was needed (if he had agreed)?

    I don't think you're being fussy or nagging at all. He's lucky to have you fighting for actual Real Life for him.

    1. It was, but as Laura points out below, it's probably not a bad thing, all things considered...

  2. I was under the CMHT for a while and they did more harm than good. They made comments like "BMI 15 isn't that bad" (my BMI at the time) and things then spiralled. They also gave me a meal plan that started at 500 calories a day for a week. It completely depends on who you get there. They often have literally no experience with eating disorders. If I didn't eat the things I planned with them they'd say they couldn't help me if I didn't keep my side of the bargain. If I could keep my side of the bargain I wouldn't have needed any help! I found them harmful and I find it more positive for my life not to see them. They can potentially make some very damaging comments about weight being "fine" at a level it isn't and reinforce EDs so it might be no bad thing that he isn't going. That's just my option on it anyway and I know I'm probably biased due to the experiences I had.

    1. Funny, Laura, I was thinking the same this morning. Ben always said he felt worse during and after a session, mainly because they were opening up cans of worms and taking him back to places he'd rather not go. So, yes, not a bad thing. xx