Wednesday 19 April 2017

More from that ATDT first post in March 2010

When I uploaded that first post on the Around The Dinner Table Forum in March 2009 I was astonished at the incredible response I got from other parents who had 'been there, done it' or where 'still in there, but doing it' - from the UK and across the English speaking world. I finally felt that I had the support I craved and was amongst people who 'got it'. If you are a parent of a young person with an eating disorder I can't recommend this forum highly enough. It was a true life-saver for me. Here are a few of my responses to the replies I received following that first cry for help on 9th March 2009:

Wow, thanks everyone for your wonderful replies to my post. My son has slowly put on weight, but I'm in a battle with the dietitian over calories v portion sizes (I favour calories short-term because it's the only way to get his weight up; portion sizes did the opposite...)

The 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 the psych has gone off on her holidays for 3 weeks so we're all at sea... Last time we saw her she was all smiles and congratulations as my son reached a 'healthy weight' for the first time. My son took that to mean that he can maintain his weight now at what, to me, still looks very thin and not at all like the strapping sportsman he once was...

Things felt for a while as if they were going well but the last few days, without CAMHS' support, they've gone a bit pear-shaped as anorexic thoughts and behaviours creep back...

It's difficult to know if we should ditch CAMHS... it took so long to move up the waiting list... also for all I know the 'softly softly' approach might be the correct approach... Having been down the private route before CAMHS, I have no idea how we could find a suitable private therapist.

The trouble is... my son refuses to eat high calorie food (packed with "bad" fats, etc etc) so we end up with loads of bulk and one meal runs into another, fuelling the anorexia's control. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can wean him off the diet stuff (fat free yogurts, ultra low fat spread, etc) and onto high calorie stuff (e.g. normal yogurts, etc - he even has a problem with fat reduced cheese, you see... and of course any cake or pudding with fat in it... despite what the dietitian says about needing 30 percent of fat in daily diet... he just distorts her advice to suit his own twisted version of nutrition... HELP!!!!!!!)

Last night we had meltdown... total and utter emotional meltdown as my son 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...

My son said that all the improvements we'd noticed in his behaviour and mood were the anorexia and not the real son. It's been lying to us and 'pretending to be him'.

He confessed to cheating on portion sizes when he's made his own breakfast or snacks, doing secret exercising, etc. All he thinks about is food, all the time, and in between meal times are just times to fill in until the next all-important meal. (Mind you, I knew this... it doesn't come as a surprise.)

Having been off school for 3 weeks (couldn't cope with school, utter emotional breakdown) and remaining off school for the foreseeable future (probably until September), he's getting stir crazy and isolated. I've tried to take him out for nice walks, etc but last night he said he only does these to burn up calories.

I've been aware of the artificial situation of being off school and being so isolated (and bored, despite still studying for GCSE exams); I was waiting for an outburst of some kind. I really don't know what to do or how to handle the situation as he risks isolating himself more and more (though we did have a successfully sociable weekend last weekend). It's an ideal situation for the anorexia to take hold and control him.

Meanwhile we have an age until our next CAMHS meeting. Also he confessed to pulling the wool over CAMHS eyes and pretending to be fine when he obviously wasn't. They've obviously been taken in by this.

On the CAMHS subject... what happens when we go is that he gets whisked off to see the psych who then just drops him off and disappears so, apart from two initial consultations, we never get the chance to talk to her. We talk to a nurse, but I get the impression communications aren't brilliant between the nurse and the psych so very little gets passed on.

If we did decide to go private again, how do we find a good private therapist? Do we go for the full-on psych (at vast expense per hour), a psychologist or a CBT therapist (cheaper!)? Unfortunately money is an issue... Also, what if they were just as problematic as CAMHS?

I really feel "at sea" with all this... desperate for proper, healing care for my son and the feeling I'm not getting it, but don't know how or where to find good care...

Thanks everyone for your wonderful support. Much appreciated. Xxxx

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