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My daughter has anorexia -AMA in the hope it will help someone else

49 replies

lisalisa · 12/07/2018 19:23

Just that really . Unfortunately she’s been very severely ill and spent a lot of time in hospital . Ask me anything .....

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lisalisa · 14/07/2018 23:12

Depends on the day but st it’s wirst we had a struggle over 150ml if clear chicken soup a day . Those days are horrific

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Grumpyoldblonde · 15/07/2018 09:26

Yes the allnighters, terrible temper too. The things you don't know about this illness until you have to. Such a steep learning curve.

legodisasterzone · 15/07/2018 09:36

So sorry for you and your daughter.
I hope she starts to recover ASAP.

My daughter also has anorexia and it's the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with.

Yesterday,she was so pale and dizzy and just refused to eat or drink 'because her stomach hurt'. It's heartbreaking to witness.

Try to look after yourself too- I know the toll it takes.

legodisasterzone · 15/07/2018 10:16

Just to add -GCSE pressure was also her biggest trigger.
To those asking what to watch out for, please don't underestimate the effect exam and school pressure has.
Look out for your child getting stressed,struggling with sleep and complaining of stomach pain/feeling sick.

That's how it started for us and it crept up really quickly.

Sorry OP-hope you don't mind me chipping in.

Grumpyoldblonde · 15/07/2018 10:32

Agree Lego year 6 SATS didn't help with her anxiety, it was a part of the spiral in hindsight.

Livness12 · 17/07/2018 02:58

Sorry for the very slow reply!

I am 29. I started self-harming aged 13 - that, depression and anxiety came first for me. I first started making myself sick the month I turned 17, and developed severe anorexia aged 24.

I was first put on meds whilst I was inpatient - and yes, a fair few combinations! I was on Sertraline first, then Sertraline and Trazodone(?), then Olanzapine and Sertraline, then Mirtazapine and Sertraline, and finally Venlafaxine, which is by far best for me. And PRN Lorazepam as needed for distress. Olanzapine seems to be helpful for many, I had to come off it after a few weeks because it was affecting my liver results. Is your daughter on any medication?

lisalisa · 17/07/2018 19:44

Livness12 thank you for your reply and I’m so sorry you’ve been as ill as this . It’s a complete monster this illness . My daughter is on Sertraline and Olanzapine . I didn’t know the latter can affect the liver ? That’s pretty worrying . I have to say I don’t think the meds are doing anything much .
We had a very very bad day today and I’m very low and depleted myself . I would give snyhtiing to turn the clock back to the frivolity and carefree days of one year ago - this feels asxwe are being swallowed by quicksand

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Grumpyoldblonde · 17/07/2018 19:51

Me too, Lisalisa just a year ago life was good.
Today I'm just worn out with very little left to give but no choice but to keep on giving.

lisalisa · 17/07/2018 20:08

Grumpy / hoe old is your dd ? Is she also self harming ?

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Grumpyoldblonde · 17/07/2018 20:37

14 Lisa yes she had been harming but I think it's stopped, for now at least.
There are so many symptoms that come with ED's I had no idea. The night sweats, epic tantrums, the anxiety so many things go hand in hand.

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow · 17/07/2018 20:41

Sorry OP. This must be so tough.

Do you think anorexia is less about food and more about control? Do you think it’s triggered by stress rather than seeing unhealthily thin role models.

I had a universityfriend with anorexia who is happily married with four kids now. There are good endings xx

lisalisa · 17/07/2018 23:19

Flowers grumpy .
Calledyou - I think there are many factors that come together to cause it . Some illnesses are caused by stress and some by a desire to be thin to look like a model . I do believe anorexia is about control

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Fleurelle · 17/07/2018 23:48

When she comes out of hospital what is your approach going to be?

How is she in hospital? Does she hate it?

lisalisa · 18/07/2018 12:31

I’ve no idea fluerelle as she’s in and out so all decisions and managemt plans change all the time .
She hates it but it also gives her a sense of security

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GrumpyOldBlonde · 18/07/2018 12:49

Lisalisa are you a member of/read ?

I think it has saved my sanity tbh. It really helps to know that other people are going through it too and lots of great advice. I expect you already know of it but it might help somebody worried who is reading this thread.

lisalisa · 18/07/2018 18:53

Grumpy yes ! Perhaps we have spoken in it

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Grumpyoldblonde · 18/07/2018 19:40

We very possibly have spoken there, I'm so glad I found it. I think I was coming close to the edge when I did. Bit stronger now!

Sunshiness · 18/07/2018 20:38

So if someone started to see worrying signs what could they do to keep the ED out of the house? Surely they wouldn't receive medical help if not yet an ED - but once an ED its then hard to kick out?

GrumpyOldBlonde · 18/07/2018 21:02

Sunshiness It's Lisa's thread but it's such an important subject. It's my experience that by the time worrying signs are noticed the ED has probably already got a grip. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and you can look back and see signs which are easily dismissed at the time, then it all starts to make horrible sense.

I'd say if you suspect your child has an ED then educate yourself in the subject, believe me there is a lot to learn (and unlearn actually, we often have an idea of what it is but the reality can be very different) be firm that recovery is the only option, GP as a priority even of there is not much evidence to go on at the start. Be supportive, open, encourage talking and learn about nutrition so you can explain how important Vitamin B is (for example) with facts. You need to be calm and very much in charge. Get yourself support too, it's a lonely illness that can alienate friends and family.

Sunshiness · 18/07/2018 21:06

Thank you grumpy

CDAlady · 18/07/2018 21:22

I feel for you and anyone else dealing with anorexia.

This year I have been caring for DD with anorexia, DF with frontal temporal lobe dementia, DH with asperger's, FT work and studies. It has been absolute hell and I have frequently been at the point of physical, and psychological collapse.

Advice for anyone dealing with a child with ED? Get help ASAP and don't be fobbed off by GPs especially if they are just going by BMI. Anorexia is about thoughts and behaviour not weight. If your child is not regularly eating with you, or is obviously restricting and is clearly unhappy do ask for help and insist on it.

ItsalmostSummer · 18/07/2018 21:30

I just want to encourage anyone else with this too We have been through this and it’s so painful for all involved. We are out the other side now but recognize there were underlying factors and although ours is eating healthy now, being on medication and counselling is helping even after the eating problems have mostly been sorted. It can be a life long issue. We are dealing with OCD as a root cause. I can honestly say after getting our diagnosis and the doctor telling us to make ours have 1000 cal’s a day, and do this by building up to 600, 700, 800 etc and with lots of food flying around and lots of crying, we got there. It was a slow, long process. CAMHS was good but there is a lot of movement of doctors through the NHS. Privately was out the question for us as it was so expensive.
We didn’t have a hospitalization but we got family therapy through the NHS and followed the Maudesley Method. Anyway all the best OP. Wishing you all get through this soon Flowers


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Fleurelle · 18/07/2018 22:19

decisions and managemt plans change all the time

This sounds really hard for you all. Have they explained why it's always changing? Obviously her weight will be fluctuating but plans in place to improve the mentality is the same?

She hates it but it also gives her a sense of security
Some anorexics say hospital pauses real life and time; so in times of stress it's a cocoon of being able to step away. Would you say this is true?

A lot of people with eds find they need a lot of validation from doctors and find it hard once this is taken away. Do you think this is true?

Livness12 · 18/07/2018 23:53

Lisa - Sorry if I worried you by mentioning the effects on liver! It isn't common as far as I'm aware, I've never heard anyone I know experience the same. I do know it's one of the meds that seems to be so effective for reducing the thoughts a bit, so I hope it helps her.

Does your daughter have regular blood tests? (I am guessing so if in and out of hospital, but I hope so).

How have you found MH services with your daughter? Is she under CAMHS at the moment?

How are you doing at the moment? Are you able to access any 'real life' support? My mum died before I developed anorexia, when I was 22, but when I was inpatient my dad attended a few Parent/Carer support groups run by the Priory I think. Is anything like that available where you are?

Anorexia is a truly vile illness, and so draining and consuming for loved ones. I hope your poor girl finds some peace from it.

If it is of any hope at all, despite the long long journey to recovery, and so many ups and downs and slip backs and fighting backs, I live alone and have been out of hospital altogether for 2 years now. I go out for meals again and I meet up with my dad for lunch each week and love it. It is possible. And a message for your girl: It is worth it. There is a life out there that is so much more than anorexia, and you can get there.

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