I am convinced my 15 yr old daughter is sliding into Anorexia but is not yet underweight. How can I help her avoid the real illness?

She is obsessivley calorie counting adn eating only about 8/900 calories. No periods for 3 months has lost nearly 30% of her weight. Hostile to any suggestions. Doctor's visit yesterday, BMI 21, advised to increase calories and not lose any more weight. Is it too early to try some of the refeeding tactics I've read up on?

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  • Hi Theresa, sorry to hear that your daughter is struggling and you are feeling so worried. I think you have to try your hardest not to take over but just to let her know you are there for her and want to help and will listen if she wants to talk. There is something obviously going on for her which is underlying the surface problem but she will need to deal with this in her own timing, I think if you try and refeed her or anything like that it will probably backfire and make her dig her heels in further as she needs to feel in control, it has to be her that wants to change. I know it is hard especially as she is young but try and be patient with her. If she is ready or willing some counselling may help but she might not be in the right place to tackle that. Sorry if this isn't what you were hoping to hear!

    All the best with your hard place

    Bluebell

  • Hi I agree with bluebell2 but also 1. Show and state your love for her. 2.Avoid as bluebell2 said the temptation to control her. 3. Trusting that your loved one has developed her own high values, ideals and high standards. 4.Encouraging self responsibilities for her actions both success and failures. 5.Offering support during times of discouragement.

    6.Not urging her to eat or not eat unless this is part of the plan for treatment.7. Avoiding comparisons with other people

    8.Listen to feelings. 9.Not allowing yourself to be controlled by her behaviour. 10. Avoid emotional outbursts.11. Try to reduce or relieve stress for her.12.Avoid turning meals into a battleground.

    Good luck and remember to hug her

    James

  • Thanks both good advice which I have also received IRL. I am trying my best and of course as a mother, and a 'foodie' (who has always had a stable healthy weight) its very hard for me to understand what is going on with her. I think that she is rebelling and using this particular way of quite naturally separating from me. What is good is that she is eating great food; just not nearly enough of it! But I am trying not to 'judge'.. Thanks for your support I will come back here if things degenerate...she did talk about reducing her exercise - which isn't too excessive - today maybe she is beginning to make sense of it all. There is shouting (from her) but also thank goodness lots of hugs.

  • Hi there. My 14 year old daughter is currently in an Inpatient Unit with Anorexia Nervosa. We discovered her being sick after meals on 2 occasions and I took her to the doctor. She assumed I was taking her for something else and got a shock when I mentioned her being sick after meals. I had been concerned about her weight but everytime I mentioned it I was told it was because she was tall. We had to see the GP each month to get her weight checked and then the School nurse managed to get us an appointment with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). By then our daughter was getting worse with her eating and within 3 weeks she was attending a Day Programme. 2 weeks after that they had to admit her to hospital as her kidneys were in a terrible condition and mobility getting worse. She has been in the Inpatients Unit now for 5 and a half weeks. She does now get a pass to come home for an overnight stay or for a few hours. It is very hard going. Moods are up and down and 2 new patients with Anorexia are now making her feel fat again. It is a long road but if you can get the right help and she'll talk to you then it's half the battle. Good luck with everything x

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