The bad news is that, probably due to the gastric flu-ish bug Ben had the other week, he'd lost weight when we came to weigh him this weekend. As a result his weight is hovering around a too low level. Any lower and things could get tricky. The good news is that he is actively working on re-gaining the weight plus the extra kilos he needs to gain as he approaches the age of 20 in a couple of weeks' time. Because we are all well aware that a further drop could prove tricky, all of us (Ben, Paul and me) have agreed an ultimatum.
If Ben doesn't reach a given weight by the end of term in two weeks' time, he will apply for 12 months Leave of Absence from university. We will then embark on an intensive weight gain regime whilst working on the other bits and pieces that Ben is finding difficult, primarily social anxiety / social skills, probably with the help of a therapist.
He will then return to university in January 2015 and pick up where he left off. If that's what he wants to do.
He may decide to take a Leave of Absence anyway, but I trust him to push for the weight gain he needs to get him back to a safe level.
Thankfully there are no eating disorder behaviours, thinking, etc going on. Also, we all discussed this rationally and sensibly without any yelling.
The reason he may decide to do it anyway is that university is proving a tad too difficult for him at the moment. Not the academic work, but the social side of things - and his low mood. Despite the fact that, before the eating disorder, Ben was 'top dog' in his enormous circle of friends, the eating disorder robbed him of all of this - and it has proved the #1 most difficult thing to sort out in his life.
And, to be honest, the university experience isn't working very well. Especially when coupled with the low mood / depression.
But I am keeping an emotional distance making it clear to Ben that he needs to help himself nowadays. And, if he sees a therapist, then he is responsible for sticking it out, independent of me.