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Teen son starving himself

(33 Posts)
scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 16:46:45

Name changed and posting here for traffic. Apologies that it's not AIBU but would like some general advice and just some support please..

Ds is 16. Has not n restricting food for some months, but not to a dangerous level. E.g. just not finishing his dinner, leaving half his lunch etc. Food hasnt been a problem in the past.. Now has a new girlfriend who is anorexic and since getting together with her a few weeks ago, has severely restricted food. Gave taken to the gp. Very very worried and I guess I just need some support and to know there's nothing else I can be doing. It feels like I'm losing my son.

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 16:47:41

*has been

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 16:48:25

*Have taken to gp

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 16:49:29

Having bloods done and seeing gp again next wk

PumpkinPie2013 Wed 08-Jul-15 16:54:18

I'm sorry to hear about your son - it must be very difficult for you to see him doing this sad

What did the GP say? Can you ask for a referral for some specialist help? Maybe CAHMS or similar.

Is he at school or college? If so, can the school nurse/pastoral team offer any help?

Does he talk to you about what he is doing and why? Or is there a friend or family member who could talk to him.

Definitely push the GP for further support if they haven't suggested much.

overmydeadbody Wed 08-Jul-15 16:55:30

Have you talked to him about your concerns? Is he able to say why he is restricting food? Does he admit himself that he has a problem or does he think it is all fine? Does he want to loose weight?

Twopennyduck Wed 08-Jul-15 16:56:10

My DS was similar when 16; not starving himself but eating less than me, DP and, I imagine, other teens. Also very conscious of eating healthy, low fat food and not snacking. However, he just seemed to grow out of it and thankfully eats a very normal diet now. I'm still not sure what was behind it but hopefully it will pass with your DS too.

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 17:01:34

Thank you Pumpkin. He's between school and college as has just finished gcses. Has a current camhs referral for another difficulty. Spoke to psychiatrist yest who advised us on how to monitor his food intake and advised to see gp, which we did today. When I speak to ds, he denies that there is a problem.

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 17:05:44

Thanks for replies. He states that there's no problem and that that he's "eating more now". Denied that there was a problem to gp.

LegoComplex Wed 08-Jul-15 17:06:56

you could try one of the many helplines which offer expert advice, i'm afraid im not knowledgeable on how to help but stay strong op and keep looking for ways to help him i hope he starts to recover soon.

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 17:08:17

Clothes are hanging off him. He's feeling faint and dizzy and not motivated to do anything. It's like his eyes are glazed

overmydeadbody Wed 08-Jul-15 17:09:54

Hopefully you will get some professional help and advice from the gp and Cahms then.

I don't know if it is even the right way of tackling the issue, but could you weigh him and tell him that, if he doesn't loose weight, then you will believe him that there is no problem, but if he does loose weight he has to admit that he needs some help? I have no idea about these things though so don't know if that would be good or not?

cheerfullady Wed 08-Jul-15 17:10:22

If you haven't already, take a look at FEAST.

overmydeadbody Wed 08-Jul-15 17:10:30

That sounds very scary for you.

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 17:11:19

Sorry for multiple msgs. The psych test said that he was to eat all meals with us and that we're to be very firm and explain the dangers and consequences of his behaviour. I.e. possible hospital admissions, restricting his activities....

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 17:13:41

Gp did bmi today and will be doing so next week. Thanks tho. Appreciate support. I know it's not about me, but it's a lonely place to be at the moment!

ollieplimsoles Wed 08-Jul-15 17:13:49

flowers Thank god you caught this early and got him to the gp. Some parents and teachers dont voice their concerns till its way too late.

My problems started at his age due to stress of GCSEs finishing and wanting to loose a few pounds to 'fit in' at college.

I hate to say it but being with this girl who also suffers may push him further into these destructive habits and they may enable each other as well.

Keep a close eye on his relationship with her- did you mention to gp/ pysch that he has a girlfriend with anorexia?

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 17:14:44

*the psych yest not test (autocorrect)

ThisTimeIAmMagic Wed 08-Jul-15 17:14:56

Well don't know how you would do it but getting him away from the new GF might be a starting point. It sounds like he's picking up tips and 'aspirations' from her. Is there a trusted relative he would listen to? Who could explain that his GF's anorexia is a mental illness and not a positive way of life? Someone who could encourage him to keep himself healthy to deal with life - even staying strong to support his GF in getting better?

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Definitely get expert advice ASAP. Eating disorders are bastards.

Goshthatsspicy Wed 08-Jul-15 17:16:27

My brother developed the same at about 17. To cut a long story short, l convinced him to eat sweet potatoes. They saved him,as l managed to convince him they didn't contain any fat! Sort of true l suppose. My brother has additional needs, and his control with food steamed from 'life changes'. I hope you get some help soon. It was very difficult for my parents.

Goshthatsspicy Wed 08-Jul-15 17:18:14

To give you hope, he is 6ft 4 and weighed about nine stone. Today, he eats a normal diet. smile

scribblescribble Wed 08-Jul-15 17:22:08

Thanks Ollie. Yes, the warning bells were ringing as soon as I realised she had an eating disorder. Sadly for her, she is in care. Very sad that no one is looking out for her, but my priority has to be ds. It's really not a good idea them being together, but I can't do anything. He is head over heels so it would drive him further away if I try to stop the relationship. It's all so complex. Thanks for repliesbrew

ImNotTheLadies Wed 08-Jul-15 17:36:56

Does your family have a history of eating disorders or other destructive addictions? There's often a genetic vulnerability which can easily be set of with a given trigger (perhaps a combination of exams and anorexic girlfriend?).

I can't even imagine what you're going through - I suffered both ana whole different ball game. To this day I feel guilt for putting my parents through it.

If it's his first run in with mental health issues he's likely to be in denial and reluctant to seek help but please keep insisting. Sometimes it just takes time. If he does go back to a GP, it's likely the GP will refer him to the CAMHS (children/adolescents mental health service) or similar, and from there he'll have to go through numerous evaluations before they organise a proper eating disorder team. It could take months before he begins any real treatment. If you can afford it I would look into private therapy (just for a few weeks, even).

I can't even imagine what you're going through - I suffered both anorexia and bulimia nervosa as a teen, but dealing with it as a mother must be a whole different ball game. To this day I feel guilt for putting my parents through it.

On another note, do you know much about his girlfriend or her family?

I'm really sorry for your situation and sending best wishes for ds xx

ImNotTheLadies Wed 08-Jul-15 17:38:16

sorry I moved some of my post around and it deleted a sentence, the second paragraph should say;
...anorexia and bulimia as a teen, but going through it as a parent must be a whole different ball game!

Lateswim16 Wed 08-Jul-15 17:53:57

Oh op that's so scary. Look you are aware and vigilant. He's obviously very keen in this girl who has issues and he may just be trying to be cool and impressing her or enjoying the drama all round.

Teenagers are the biggest drama queens out but what can start as attention seeking and fantasy play spirals into real problems like anorexia etc.

I think as it's early doors you need to be as firm as possible and insist on him eating a certain amount while you are with him.

How does he get money? Has he a job? I would withhold cash for 'going out' unless he complies. Don't nag or show you are worried even though that's so hard.

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