12/13 yr old DD refusing to eat(48 Posts)
Hi, I need some advise on how to deal with this. DD will be 13 in March, in the last few months I think hormones have hit with a vengeance but since before xmas she has stopped eating. Today she had barely a mouthful of her dinner (shepherds pie and veg), ate one broccoli floret and a mouthful of cabbage, also today she has had a glass of premade smoothie and one of my slimming world sausages that were in the fridge (pre-cooked). Today has been a good day! She has lost a lot of weight over xmas and is looking and feeling terrible as a result. She says she feels sick, which I am sure is because she has not eaten. We were due to go out for a walk today but when she got ready she felt sick so did not come. She fainted on a family walk over xmas and was violently sick on the car journey home. Possibly due to car sickness or that she had a hot chocolate and biscuit which we took on the walk and insisted she eat due to fainting.
The thing is I really do not know how to deal with this, she did this once before in Year 6, refused to eat for about 3 weeks, and then started again and was fine. I tried then to not make a big deal of it, and we seemed to get through it, I'm trying to do the same now - not making a huge fuss, gentle encouragement, lots of healthy food snacks in the house. Inside I am panicking that this isn't. "Phase" again. Has anyone got experience of this? What else should I be doing, should I be playing it down? She does not sleep well either. I have rang the school where she does see a counsellor and am hoping she will call me so I can make her aware of the food issues. I am not aware of any other issues at school. She is hugely body and fashion conscious, always watching fashion and makeup blogs etc so starting to limit internet. Any other suggestions? I am panicking this will develop in to a full blown eating disorder!
This is already a fully blown eating disorder.
No school, you can't risk her fainting in class
She needs an urgent Camhs appt as she is at red for several risk factors
Weight loss, current intake, low blood pressure and her thoughts about her body.
Get on the phone now......
I work in an ed community service , we would see her today or tomorrow.
She is really poorly and needs urgent help.
You need to be really tough and get her to a GP today.......
Thank you for your response, made me cry at the thought this is so serious and it's not a phase. I thought we would have a good day today, she helped make her own packed lunch - tuna salad and made herself some "fruit kebabs", it all came back home again because she said she was not hungry. Tonight is the first time she would talk to me, she says she feels fat against her friends and started off by wanting to lose weight but does not know how to stop now as she does not see the point in eating if she is not hungry. She has agreed to come to the GP with me who I will contact tomorrow. Her school counsellor has told her she has mental health problems which I am angry about as she has latched on to this and now believes she does, I know she does but I think telling her this has done more damage than good! Will speak with them tomorrow as she only works tues to Thursday. What do you think the GP will do? What sort of help is out there for her? I am sick with worry! Thank you again for your responses.
As recovering from anorexia for 3 years myself, I can only advise to get her to talk to CAMHS. Appointments might take a while to get through & she will most likely hate going at first, but they will sort her out with a dietician, regular weigh ins to keep her on track & give her the support mentally to try & get to the bottom of her situation & help her get back healthy again. Honestly please please don't leave this, I would have recovered so much quicker if someone had realised my situation earlier- just be a supportive mother & try & encourage her to realise that her life is worth so much more than being weak & unhappy, she has got her whole future ahead of her. Really hope it all works out for you xx
I work in CAMHS and we have a separate eating disorder service - I would triage this as needing their urgent attention. Please get her to the gp or walk in centre if you can't get an appointment. Or try to find your local CAMHS contact number and ask to speak to whoever is on duty. Or get school to do it. Gp will be asked for bloods and height/weight for bmi calculation. Do you know these? Depending on these results it will be seen more or less urgently. But she should be seen. Hope she's ok.
Thanks guys, I have weighed her this morning and she weighs 5st 11, not sure of her height will check later but she is not tall. Will ring GP today, typically I started a new job yesterday so very difficult to discuss issues at work, take time off or make calls but of course I will prioritise this. Thank you all again.
She DOES have a severe mental illness, a major eating disorder. No-one's fault.
I hope you and she get all the help you need and that matters improve.
There has been money out into Camhs eating disorder services and she should be seen within a week of a referral landing in our in box.
Most ed community teams will offer an assessment appointment and then a dietitian and a programme designed around people you and your family.
We would expect to see you both this week, and then very regularly for six months to a year.
This is serious........and I am so pleased to see other posters agree with me, and that you have come back and are going to call to make that appt.
Hi guys, been to see GP today. GP weighed her, took BP and pulse, has booked her in for urgent bloods and ECG followed by a further appointment on Thursday. Ideally she wanted to do it tomorrow but DD insisted on going on a school trip tomorrow she has been looking forward to and not back until late, I feel denying her that will not help overall. GP has discussed CAMHS but will know more on Thursday. Thanks for all your support it has really helped me to help DD.
Not fair on the teaching staff to send a child who is this starved on a school trip.
What if she faints and hits her head as she falls or her stressed heart stops ...........
Sorry to be so blunt but eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all the mental health issues ..... Have a look at BEAT website
She needs to be on ' sitting on the sofa watching day time telly' and not doing any activity at all until she is eating enough and is well.
Our experience is that most GP s have never met a child in a starved state and struggle to advise.
A call to your Camhs ed team in the morning will let them say what they would advise, given the information you are able to give them.
She needs her ecg before she needs a school trip.
Hi, DD had her bloods and ECG on Thursday, good news that they both came back ok. She woke up Friday feeling sick and was collected from school by 9.30 and was sick. Husband did manage to entice some soup in to her and she had about a third of a tin, wasn't sick again. Tea time agreed to have some more soup but lost her temper at the table over something her sister said and shoved the soup across the table and refused to eat. Today has been better, she asked for a bacon sandwich of which she ate 1/4 had a whole Frij milkshake and one enchilada tonight so really good but she is now sat with the sick bowl!
She has been referred to paediatrics and CAMHS. I spoke with the school counsellor who was due to see her Friday after she came home again. She expressed concerns about CAMHS involvement as she felt she often had more success so this has confused and worried me, I suppose I need to wait to see what they can offer. DD attends an all girls selective school so I suppose the counsellor sees alot of this. Back to the GP again next Thursday for follow up and we will see where we are then. Thanks for your concern Misty.
Big red alarm bell at the school counsellor thinking she has 'more success than CAMHS'. She's a counsellor - your daughter needs a whole range of professionals including dietician, psychiatrist and the right kind of therapists. I'd report the counsellor for saying that - unprofessional and dangerous (not to mention arrogant).
Totally agree with you Regent's Park wolf.
NICE and then the guidance document for eating disorders published last year that I can't remember the title of, make it totally clear that ED need to be treated by a Team and that Team must be made up of Healthcare Professionals.
Counsellor isn't a protected title so any one can be one, and I have some horror stories about people who see a counsellor for this serious life threatening mental illness
I am also very worried about ReFeeding syndrome in the OP s daughter, the sickness is screaming that her electrolytes are now out of kilter and this is very dangerous.
We treat these children on the Acute paediatric ward, where we have instant access to a crash team and I v electrolytes.........
Please take her to A and E if she coninuues to be sick ....... And show them this post and tell them to read Juniour Marsipan Report.
Glad things are moving along. Did your doctor tell you dds bmi? I would also be concerned about a school counsellor advising against CAMHS involvement; eating disorders services have been prioritised nationally recently so she should be seen quickly depending on her bmi. If the gp marked the referral 'urgent' then we have to respond within 72 hours (working) even if only to say why we are triaging as routine and not urgent. You can of course call CAMHS yourself, no one can stop you
Agree with others she must be seen via Camhs. Hope she gets the appropriate helps, pls keep us posted.?
Good luck OP. A very dear friend of mine has had long lasting problems with her dd ( who is now 15) and anorexia which developed when she was in year 6 . It's vastly complex and you all need to stay strong for eachother. I wish you and your dd well. High intensity interventions will help.
Op, please take a look at the FEAST website, it's a wealth of knowledge and evidence based practice and the forum has literally saved the life of many ed sufferers.
If your dd drank the milkshake I would work on this. Get as many milk based drinks into her as possible.
Can you estimate how many calories your dd is presently getting each day? I only ask as I fear she could be at risk of refeeding syndrome.
Thanks everyone, DD's energy levels appear to be slightly better today as a result of eating yesterday, however she has only had a few spoonfuls of her dinner tonight and that's it today. I understand all of your concerns about the school counsellor, I was rather surprised at her comment, rest assured I will explore all options for help. I have not heard about refeeding and have googled it, that's scary!! Will keep an eye on this but she has not been sick again since Friday. I will look at the FEAST website too, thank you for that recommendation. Will see how this week goes and where we end up. I have to say I am really struggling. I have such an amazing relationship with my oldest DD and really am not coping well with DD2 who does not want to confide in me or let me help her, I am public enemy number one and that really hurts. I know it's not about me, I just want to make it all ok and I really don't know how when she wants to be so distant. My eldest has spoken to DD2's friends and they say she is telling them her home life is awful and I am a horrible mum, this has really upset DD1 and me as home is fine and DD2 has plenty of time and attention.
It might be worth speaking to gp about a supplement drink (fortisip compact are good as low volume). Some sufferers find it easier to drink a prescribed drink as there is less guilt involved.
Good news!! DD has started eating again and says she feels like a different person, I am so relieved however I don't know what to do next. The GP referred us to Peadiatrics and CAMHS last Thursday, I have received an appointment code for Peadiatrics ( ring up and make own appt) but nothing from CAMHS. She clearly still has huge issues as she does not like the feel of food in her stomach or feeling full, she has eaten quite a lot compared to last week and I am subtly trying to help her build up gently so we don't end up at the beginning again. We are back at Drs tomorrow for follow up and will take advice on next steps. Thanks for all your help everyone, feeling so much calmer this week.
Please keep all the appointments with Camhs as it is very common for sufferers to pretend to get better just to get people, parents, off their backs.
I do not believe for one second your daughter is at all better and this has use made my spidey senses go into overdrive.
Our experience says that the younger the child the harder it is to recover and your daughter is really young.
Please call Camhs tomorrow and ask for an urgent appt and call them every day until you get your appt.
You have been advised by several of us who work in this field that she needs urgent care, and TEN days on you still seem to be dithering........
She needs urgent care from a Camhs ed team and she needs it tomorrow.
Please go to gp asap. See them as an emergency tomorrow and don't go to school.
This is exactly like my dd friend who was given appointment at CAMHS next day after seeing GP.
You really have no time to lose.
So sorry your dd is going through this, she needs immediate help.
Idiot I missed update.
Keep going to appointments and don't let up for a minute, get her friends on board if you can trust them, dd tries so hard to support her friend.
Keep pushing for appointment with CAMHS, don't let it go.
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