AIBU to think it isn't fair that the NHS won't help my daughter?(16 Posts)
My daughter is 13. She once weighed just under 16 st. She was always unhappy with her weight, I tried things with her, but she just didn't want to do it. 1 day, it's like something switched. I wasn't sure if I was happy for her to be healthier or a bit worried about why there was sudden change. Anyway, cut a long story short, weight was dropping off her... People did complement her (family even) which I don't blame them but honestly, it worried me at how strict she was with herself. She would say she was having a chocolate bar for dinner, so not exactly healthy stuff, but not many calories or food. She is now just over 8 st the thing is, she has been losing about a stone and a half a month... She is physically unwell from it IMHO. She doesn't have a healthy relationship with food and I believe she has an ED. She finally agreed to see the GP with me, to which the GP explained that she was making a healthy life for herself saying that he doesn't think I should worry as there's nothing at all worrying about her weight and practically praised her I'm still incredibly worried. I'd love to go private but have no money. Has anyone ever been able to get help for an eating disorder without being underweight?
See a different GP?
Might be hard to get her to go but the restrictive eating triggers alarm bells. Is she vomiting/bingeing?
You don't have to to have an eating disorder but they are another symptom??
I think you need a new GP, she sounds like a healthy weight, which is clearly all your GP was looking at. However ED are mental health issues and it sounds like she needs to address that. Is there another GP at your practice?
The school probably has one, if not, contact the school and ask for a referral. They take potential eating disorders very seriously.
And i'd consider a complaint against GP too.
We couldn't get any help for my DD who, at that point, was dx with bulimia and overweight. We found a eating disorder counsellor who works privately but also at a NHS ED inpatient clinic and she said there isn't any funding unless you are below your lowest BMI! Ridiculous
Bloody hell OP that GP has reinforced that what she is doing is ok. Some of them are so concerned about obesity that their judgement is clouded even when her weight has swung the other way far too quickly. Fast weight loss can cause gallstones I used to be very overweight and it happened to me. This was not common knowledge 14 years ago but it damn well is now.
She might have accidentally hit a healthy weight at the point she saw the GP but she clearly has a really unhealthy relationship with food. I can see why you are very worried. YANBU.
It ultimately comes down to money. Mental health services are massively underfunded. Eating disorder services tend to only accept referrals once bmi is dangerously low. Even if all the signs are pointing towards it heading that way the money just isn't there to accept people sooner. It's shit and makes no sense to act only when people hit proper crisis bit that's the system we have.
My advice would be to get a different gp and pester the shit out of them. Also as pp mentioned see the school nurse if possible, they can do their own referrals to camhs.
I hope your daughter gets help.
That's how anorexia started for me. Massively overweight to start with, ended up with a BMI of 13. My parents had to pay for me to be seen privately, but that was 10 years ago.
Trust your instincts and see a different doctor. So unhelpful your Gp reinforced what she's doing. Treating early is so important with eating disorders
Has anyone ever been able to get help for an eating disorder without being underweight?
Telling my GP about my eating disorder of 20+ years was one of the hardest things I ever did. His response? 'Well, you're neither over- nor underweight, so unfortunately you don't really qualify for any ED programs. I can put you on the waiting list, but you'll be there forever as other serious cases will always take priority'.
Bollocks. I subsequently got a referral through a different GP to a specialist ED clinic. When I told the ED psych at my first appointment, she said that the first GP was completely misguided and incorrect, that your weight does not necessarily correlate with the severity of your ED, and that it's not how the waiting list works.
That clinic was awesome, and I had free weekly 1:1 appointments for months.
Please, please try to see someone else who will help your daughter while she's still young.
Like Koala above, I had a similar experience when I went to the GP about my eating disorder when I was 21. At that point I was in a bad place mentally and had been restricting/ binging since j was 16. He told me 'well, there's still plenty of meat on you so there's nothing we can do at the moment'. Obviously it was very damaging and as a result I starved myself for a further five years before getting help for something that that by then was much more serious. I would advise seeing a private Ed specialist and yes, speak to the school nurse if there is one. The earlier you get a handle on this the better. for you and your daughter.
Just because her weight may be ok the rest of the situation isnt.
Some GPs are useless. A friends ds had a worrying obsession with knives. Talked about killing himself. My friend was told that its fine because he hasnt actually harmed himself, until then they wouldnt help. The boy is 8yrs old. That is not normal behaviour.
My former GP was useless and totally lacking in compassion when I was in crisis. The things he said to me were outrageous and I'd rather not repeat them as this will make me relive both experiences. The ignorance of some very intelligent people can be frightening. On the last occasion I saw him, I left his office feeling emotionally abused. I refused to see him after that. He has since left.
Please don't be deterred. You will find help.
Huh, I've just seen my old doctor on an episode of Panorama, the one about diabetes (Dr. Schuppler) and he's the one who refused to give me any contraception when I was 16 because I smoked, and also crushed me when I finally approached him for help after years of depression and suicide attempts by saying I had to go out and find some friends. So even supposedly good doctors can talk some utter crap.
Persevere. You know there's something wrong, find someone who will listen and take you seriously.
I thought there was a rule if you have lost more than a third of your bodyweight in sixth months it would qualify as anorexia. You don't say how long she has been dieting for though.
Such fast weight loss as this can mean the weight is coming off important muscles, like the heart, as well as from fatty areas.
I would make an appointment by myself and say "I've come to talk about DD, she has lost a lot of weight but the truth is she is starving herself and I fear this may be affecting her health."
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