Wednesday 19 April 2017

EMDR therapy: what we're working on at the moment

I'm receiving private EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy for the Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and we're gradually working our way through things that trigger it off. Over the past three weeks it's been flashbacks to various CAMHS sessions when things were said and done that, in my opinion, made my 16-year old son's eating disorder worse, not better. Amongst the strongest memories are those of the early CAMHS sessions which began 4 or 5 months after I first took my son to see our GP. Back then, CAMHS didn't seem to think the eating disorder was too bad. Ben was acting as if nothing was wrong and that it was just fussy, anxious mum worrying in the way mums do. He also looked pretty OK in their eyes (except they hadn't seen him as a big, burly rugby player).

This immediately makes the question / thought crash into my mind:

"They were eating disorder experts. They SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that you can't judge whether or not someone has an eating disorder just by looking at them. They SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that people with eating disorders could win an Oscar for play-acting in an attempt to ward off intervention. They SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that just because someone's BMI isn't too low it doesn't mean that an eating disorder isn't raging full pelt. They SHOULD HAVE KNOWN that telling someone to their face that they are doing just fine translates as telling them they are FAT and need to lose more weight."


And this is just one example.

We're working on this anger. This fury.

Yet in a strange way I don't want to lose it through EMDR.

I want to stay angry because, when I manage to get back into eating disorder advocacy again, being angry makes me more effective.

It gets stuff done.

It gets the word about.

Back in those early CAMHS days, I posted the following excerpts on the Around The Dinner Table Forum (for parents of young people with eating disorders):

CAMHS team really don't think he's seriously bad and it makes me mad because I know differently and he's pulling the wool over their eyes... now psych has gone off on her hols for 3 weeks so we're all at sea... Last time we saw her she was all smiles and congratulations as S reached a 'healthy weight' for the first time.

Last night we had meltdown... total and utter emotional meltdown as S went to complete pieces and became a weeping, distressed, emotional wreck. I guessed it was on its way due to him being very subdued throughout the day. All hell broke loose at dinner...

We had another meltdown last night with S bashing his fist on the plate so all the food went everywhere followed by 5ft 3 inches me trying to physically restrain all 5ft 11 inches of him from breaking down the door and flying out into the street, me confiscating the house keys and barring the living room doorway... (My husband doesn't get back until late evening as he commutes 100 miles to work and back.)

This afternoon we have a brief session at CAMHS for a weigh-in with the nurse. At the last count the psych felt fortnightly sessions would be appropriate now rather than weekly (!!!!!!!!) now that he's come just within the 'healthy' weight range...

Of course my son is convinced he's ballooning out into a huge fat flabby monster, pinching the skin on his abs to "prove" it.

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