Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you need professional help, please see our mental health webguide

4 CAMHS appts in - is this good progress?

(11 Posts)
AutumnshadesofGold Wed 06-Jan-16 23:40:33

Hi, first time on this board & have been putting it off for too long. Dd1 is 16, suffers from anxiety and anorexia. They seem to be completely intertwined - not sure if this is a usual situation or not? She's been seeing a Primary Mental Health Worker for about 1yr now, and was referred to CAMHS back in October as he thought the anorexia needed addressed and he wasn't in a position to do this (out with his remit).

1st appt at beg Dec - we've had our 4th appt today. But, & here's where I have no idea - we haven't got anywhere!! I know it will be a long, long road but she hasn't been given any techniques to manage get anxiety, no literature to read, no websites to look at, nothing. Neither have I. So, she is actually getting worse ( we think) as having to address the issues and talk about but we have no guidance on how to help her.
If anyone has any info or reassurance I'd really appreciate it (or hand me a grip if more appropriate blush)

Haggisfish Wed 06-Jan-16 23:44:45

This, sadly, doesn't surprise me. Have you found this website? I think you need to be really proactive in reading up and trying to find out as much as you can. Anorexia is often a control issue-can you identify if dd feels 'out of control' over any part of her life, even things like impending gcses, having to make what she feels are huge, once in a lifetime decisions? Anxiety and anorexia often go together. I'm no expert, but have a personal and prof interest in teenage mental health. www.b-eat.co.uk/

AutumnshadesofGold Thu 07-Jan-16 00:00:29

Hi Haggis, thanks for replying so quickly. Yes, she feels powerless over everything & terrified of being a failure - the only thing she can control is her eating. I've been reading up and have looked briefly at b-eat but wasn't sure whether to focus on the anxiety or the eating, it's a bit of a chicken & egg situation I think!
We ' re in Scotland and I have to admit I was surprised we got seen so quickly, but now we just feel stagnant which is scaring all of us. She's got prelims next week ( but she missed so much school last term this may be irrelevant) so she's worrying about sitting them but worrying about not sitting them too! My poor girl is just a shadow of herself and is turning herself inside out with worry. Urgh, this sucks angry

Haggisfish Thu 07-Jan-16 00:06:40

It does. If you pm an email address I can send you a PowerPoint I did for my students about anxiety. I think the key is to try and find ways for her to feel in control and less pressure. For example, she can resit her exams, or there are numerous access courses she could do later on. Her whole future does not depend on these exams, despite what some will say. Does she have any hobbies or past times? She could try jewellery making or deco patch -something relatively easy but that will enable her to feel good about herself.

Haggisfish Thu 07-Jan-16 00:08:00

Also, I would be more forward at the camhs appts. Ask what things are helpful and what sort of time do they anticipate seeing an improvement? Ime they were utterly hopeless-sorry.

AutumnshadesofGold Thu 07-Jan-16 00:28:53

Oh that would be fantastic thank you, will pm you my email blush.
School are being quite good and there's certainly no pressure from us re exams - having her healthy & happy is our priority.
I promise myself before each appt that I will speak up, but then I think "they know what they're doing, keep quiet!". But then we get home & im kicking myself for not speaking up.
Think I will email them tmw although have appt next wed. I had been hesitant in searching for info as didn't want to choose the wrong ones but something is better than nothing.

Clare1971 Mon 11-Jan-16 21:13:26

I've just downloaded 'Skills-based Learning for Caring for a Loved One with an Eating Disorder: The New Maudsley Method' for my kindle off amazon. My daughter has on and off eating issues and I put off buying this as she hasn't got a diagnosed eating disorder and I thought it would be all about how to get them to eat but I wish I'd got it sooner. I'm only half way through but it has quite a bit of information about what skills they need to be more resilient generally, and how you can encourage them to get those skills in order to improve. It's not cheap but it's made me feel that at least I can be doing something useful.

Haggisfish Mon 11-Jan-16 21:25:03

I had on off anorexia for about give years-I had two bad bouts where I lost a lot of weight. I desperately wanted to eat but just couldn't. I has some 'safe' foods which were bananas and weetabix and lived off those for a while! It was all about feeling out of control at different ages-once when I started uni and once when I got engaged. I'll always be the sort of person to lie my appetite with stress but I spot the warning signs much more quickly now and hope I wi never be that bad again. I took anti depressants last time and they helped me. It might be of some reassurance. Autumn I haven't had a pm -do send me one if you'd like the PowerPoint.

anotherbusymum14 Mon 11-Jan-16 21:29:38

Yes that book mentioned ^^ above by Janet Treasure is probably one of the best and worth getting stuck into. Our Doctor tried to explain to me the anxiety around eating, and tried to help me understand it more and that help even though I found it frustrating, which I found helpful about cutting good up into small amounts and needing to eat with others around - to distract.
Try and reduce her anxiety by letting her do what she needs to do to eat, and what is appropriate though.
So like if she agrees to eat something and wants to make the food herself get her to show you how she wants it made, then try and say now it's my turn and let her watch you make it, with the idea that you start to make and prepare her food for her so you take back the control - that is the aim in the early stages.
Try and get her to eat and eat more obviously. This depends on how much influence you have over her too. But you need to increase her diet slowly but surely. When she is eating more the brain gets healthier and the anxiety levels goes down. Basically if she was an anxious child before anorexia, the brain in its deprived state lives in a more highly anxious state when it is starved of food. So increasing her food intake will reduce the anxiety eventually - it does too.
If she eats say 600 cals per day try and say right let's aim to up your daily meals to 1000 cals per day.
Then next week lets do 1200 cals.
Next week 1400. Then probably go to 2400 when you start seeing her food intake increases. You need to get to something like that to get her healthy again.
The sooner you can get food into her, the sooner her body recovers and the sooner you can start talking more sensibly with her about getting healthy again. I am not trying to be mean. I know it's a struggle and it is really hard and painful to see this in your kid. We had so many issues and problems around food. When mine was in control and say having 1000 cals per day (and in charge of her meals) rather than discussing and fighting about her food and getting emotive (about food), I got mine to message me by phone what she was eating or how many cals she had. That was our record or tally. This helped us because we had so many arguments about food. It took the stres away and then I don't know we just set a limit each day and pushed when we could to say (by text message) oh there's only 800 cals have 200 more please. I'll Coke by and see it in a minute. If she spoke to me I'd say text me - as our conversations got really crazy and intense around food.
Don't be surprised to have fights and stress and loads of upsets around food. This is normal. Keeo hanging in there though. It's worth it in the end.
This may or may not help you, but I am hoping some of it is helpful. Best of luck.

anotherbusymum14 Mon 11-Jan-16 21:31:13

I'll come* by - sorry typo ^^

Haggisfish Mon 11-Jan-16 21:47:27

My mum dealt with it differently-no calorie counting or demanding I are a certain amount. Once I stabilised at about 7.5 stone (was ok for me-just), I went no lower, then I kept a diary of food and weighed myself to reassure myself I wasn't losing weight. I was a bit odd though-I def did not want to lose weight and did want to eat-it was anorexia in it's truest sense I think. Not suggesting other forms aren't, but just it was all about external life control and def not weight with me. We focused more on trying to resolve that, than the eating. It would have been different if I continued to lose weight.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now