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AIBU?

Help for child with eating disorder

14 replies

MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 11:59

I don't know where to go for help, my son 14, I think has ARFID, he will not eat anything but cereal and chips, god knows how I have ended up like this, he will not tolerate anything else on his plate, he get so upset if you try to talk to him about it
He hasn't been formally diagnosed with anything, but I don't know where to turn, I am not sure if my GP could help I am happy to go private but where?

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myrtleWilson · 07/09/2022 12:05

Hi @MakeMineALarge1 - it is a really tricky path to navigate and you have to have quite pointy elbows. Start with a GP appointment but go armed with info on ARFID and have a look at the junior marispan checklist - you'll find more information and resources on our teens thread in the eating disorder board www.mumsnet.com/talk/eating_disorders/4471980-Teen-Eating-Disorders-Thread-6?reply=119809091


There are a quite a few of us on the thread with experience of different eating disorders and all at different stages of the journey so you'll find us a supportive place.

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MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 12:08

Thank you @myrtleWilson I will start with my GP
Thing is my son is not receptive to help at the moment, but we cannot let this carry on, we just thought he would grow out of it, but he hasn't

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curlystar · 07/09/2022 12:10

I am sorry both you and your son are going through this. I have brief experience in that my daughter stopped eating for several months. Started with certain foods and within a week it was anything not liquid. a few more days and it was nothing that could be interpreted as food. This was during the tail end of lockdown so private counselling wasnt available and the GP said she would eat when she was hungry - which didnt happen and the screaming rows and tears and hugs and despair at every meal time still makes me cry now (not embarrassing at all as i am in a full office today!).
She lost a lot of weight and the school ended up getting involved and doing an emergency CAHMS referral.

Sorry - this wasnt meant to be a tale of woe....in terms of support, try your school or your GP if they are more helpful than mine :) The school are able to make direct request to CAHMS or SS for direct assistance whereas going it alone means longer waiting lists.

And as hard as it is - work out the right questions to ask that dont result in the rows....although i was rubbish at this so i should probably keep quiet.

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MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 12:18

Thing is he isn't losing weight as he is filling up on cereal and milk and having sausage & chips for his tea, I know at school he has sweets etc. Each time you mention it you can see him shut down and he gets so upset, so I don't feel I can push him any further, I don't know what to do, I was hoping that peer pressure at school would improve things, but they haven't and its becoming embarrassing now at meal times, especially if we eat out

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Roseau18 · 07/09/2022 12:18

There is lots of information on the BEAT website.

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MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 12:30

Thank you I will look at that

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ChipsRoastOrBoiled · 07/09/2022 12:37

Please do absolutely everything you can to get help for your son, OP.

I believe I have ARFID or something very similar. It's miserable and embarrassing as well as distressing at times. I wish there'd been help for it, if it was even recognised, in the 1970s.

I hope you and he can find a way forward.

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MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 13:31

I have just contacted school who will speak to him and see if they can get some help for him

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curlystar · 07/09/2022 13:44

MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 12:18

Thing is he isn't losing weight as he is filling up on cereal and milk and having sausage & chips for his tea, I know at school he has sweets etc. Each time you mention it you can see him shut down and he gets so upset, so I don't feel I can push him any further, I don't know what to do, I was hoping that peer pressure at school would improve things, but they haven't and its becoming embarrassing now at meal times, especially if we eat out

May still be worth seeking a referral as it can be non food related triggers that result in specific food choices. There are plans where one new food is tried within a time frame like once a week or even once a month. It's tried and if not accepted then it goes to the back of the list and depending on professional advice (and this isnt!) the plan can look at what else is available to replace the missing nutrient/vitamin. In our case it meant there was an awareness on what food gives your body rather than just eating when hungry if that makes sense?

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Pearlyqueen21 · 07/09/2022 13:54

Hi there, our 14 yr old also has (home diagnosed) ARFID. I wanted to send you supportive hugs, it’s a long, exhausting and often upsetting journey. We explored video therapy a few years ago from Felix (forgotten his name, will come back and post details) as a first step. She watched them with us, but although it sparked a bit of understanding in her of the issues, she wasn’t ready to deal with it. She has eaten the same few beige dry foods all her life. Like your son, and as is a feature of ARFID, there’s no weight loss concern - she’s perfectly normal in development. We decided to go No Pressure and keep her feeling comfortable and stress free where possible with food. No pushing, no putting new things on her plate without her consent etc. She is now just this week beginning to ask questions about ARFID (without tears!) and is slowly getting interest in other things - tiny steps, but amazing! Is your son allowed out of school during lunch time? Our DD got an interest in buying a plain bread roll in Lidl when her friends were buying food, and gaining that independence amongst her peers and wanting to join in has really helped. She is really into Korean culture, and we just went shopping for some ramen to try - very plain, veggie style, but a big step. She managed 5 mouthfuls, which blew us away. Normally she eats plain pizza 3 x a week, spaghetti with a small amount of plain sauce 4 x a week.

I hope my husband can be an example of what can happen even without help/therapy: he realised in the last decade while struggling with our DD that he too had ARFID. He found the strength to start dealing with his eating issues when he moved away to university at 18 and wanted to be able to socialise around food. It has been a long journey, but he did it all himself and is now an incredibly adventurous eater and excellent cook! Not to discourage you from getting help, I just wanted to give examples in my family of what can trigger recovery. Please do PM me if you ever want to talk about ARFID, we found online support to be essential.

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MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 14:41

Pearly queen
I'm out at the moment
Yes I'll message you.
No he isn't allowed out as I was hoping peer pressure would help.

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Pearlyqueen21 · 07/09/2022 14:57

www.felixeconomakis.com

Here’s the link I mentioned. We live 100s of miles away from London, otherwise I think we’d have paid for appointments with Felix.

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MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 17:25

He has completely shut down to talking, says he's not bothered! will not engage at all.

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MakeMineALarge1 · 07/09/2022 17:26

Does not want school involved at all

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