Advice required for our 15 year old d... - Anorexia Bulimia ...

Anorexia Bulimia Care
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Advice required for our 15 year old daughter daughter

My daughters anorexia is worse and she is now 5 stone 10 - the nhs clinic are referring for hospital admission it could be a few days or longer - we have no idea what to expect we are so worried for her - she is only eating 1000 calories a day at present is terrified of another blood test and can’t swallow tablets -should we try private care -can anyone give any advice at all please x

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Private won't be any better than nhs , she is in good hands you can't fight this thing alone

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I was hospitalized involuntarily at 16. It was scary and a little traumatic, but it also saved my life and the people I met were amazing and made the experience actually pretty good. What to expect is a lot of structure. 3 meals, 3 snacks at the same time each day, all supervised. Everyone in the ED program had to use the bathroom with the door cracked so they know you don’t purge, and they can’t use the bathroom for an hour after eating. The day is busy from waking up and showering to going to bed. Activities include group therapy where you learn coping skills.’, individual therapy, meeting with a nutritionist, free time, art therapy, etc... activities will probably be heavily restricted, I was put in a wheelchair until my vitals stabilized. it’ll present a lot of challenges for her but it will be a good thing and she will get through it.

In the meantime do your best to keep her eating the same as she is as increasing calories can cause problems when someone is significantly malnutrition. If anything happens in the meantime take her the the ER, but hopefully that won’t be necessary.

Good luck

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Thank you - she is very scared - scared of blood tests - taking tablets for anything and scared of what hospital and them making her eat lots brings - how do they get someone not eating much because of that anorexic voice to eat?

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I totally understand. I wouldn’t take any pills, vitamins or eat anything besides raw vegetables and juicy fruits. I had to have a saline water IV to reestablish my dangerously low electrolytes which terrified me, but the nurses and everyone was wonderful at reassuring about how safe it was. As for blood draws I initially had them daily I’m not sure what to say about that because I didn’t really mind that.

As for getting an anorexic to eat, at first I was in a hospital that didn’t know anything about eating disorders, the first few days I completely refused to eat because I couldn’t have my safe foods, then I was transferred to the ICU because I was loosing too much weight. That’s when choice was taken away from me. If I didn’t eat all of it, I was given a nutritional supplement drink which is just a sweet milky beverage flavored either strawberry vanilla or chocolate. Then if you don’t drink that they will put in a nasal gastric tube and tube feed you. I never was tube fed because I was more afraid of that than drinking dairy . After about a week I was transferred to a hospital with an eating disorder unit. They had a conversion system for how much to supplement based on how much of a meal you don’t eat, for example leaving the butter off your toast might get you 1 oz of supplement while not eating a whole main dish would be 8oz of supplement. We were given very strict time limits. 30 minutes for meals, 15 for snacks.. if you refused to eat you still had to sit with the food for the allotted time, after which if you hadn’t finished you would be given 10 minutes to drink the supplement. After this if you you still failed to consume the required nutrition, tube feeding occurred. While my ED wasn’t happy about this, it was quieter since someone else was calling the shots and I had no choice.

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Thank you - how long was your stay in hospital? - our daughter had blood and all other checks yesterday and incredibly all was ok - but what happens if we have to wait a long while for a bed and she continues to lose more weight? Should we go private?

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Not entirely sure what your question is, I was in the psych ward that didn’t treat ED for maybe 3-4days, the ICU for about a week, the psych ward that did have an ED program for about a month, then in a residential adolescent treatment center for 8 months. I had no part in the decisions being made about where I went to receive treatment so I’m probably not to much help with that, but I would say definitely make sure wherever you’re daughter goes specialized in eating disorders.

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@xxz123

Thank you for your very full account of your experiences in hospital. Our grand daughter is currently an inpatient (having been sectioned several weeks ago) and we are very concerned about her. She has not yet decided to recover... and is very depressed. She is continuing to self harm and doesn’t seem to be fully cooperating with the hospital regimen despite receiving the kind of help you describe. Her parents are constant visitors. We are not sure whether their presence is helping or not.

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Eating disorders are really stubborn illnesses. I was so deeply into my eating disorder and completely denied having anorexia for the entire time I was in the hospital and residential treatment. It wasn’t until several years later that I was able to start to admit that to myself and begin to acknowledge the trauma. I was also extremely resistant to treatment. No one can make her want to get better. That will happen when she’s ready. The best you can do is stay a constant steady source of support. Let her know how much you love her no matter what and you just want her to be healthy and happy. Also reminding her a lot that she doesn’t need to be ashamed of having an eating disorder, that it’s not her fault for developing one, but it is her choice to fight it.

I think it’s wonderful her parents are so involved! They might not know how to help her but they clearly love her and she needs to feel that she’s not alone. It’s a myth that parents cause eating disorders, they ar complex illnesses that some people have a biological predisposition for. If you’re concerned they aren’t being helpful help them find resources to teach them to better help her. Consider support groups for families if people with Mental illness, individual therapy for them or even a peer mentor from a parent who had a child in a similar situation.

People tried to cut my mother away from me and the fear of being separated only made my eating disorder worse. Today there is no one I am closer to or trust more than my mom because she is the one person who has been there through all of it with me.

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@xxz123

Thanks again for your very helpful post. I can’t express how much I value your insights into this destructive condition. The hospital our grand daughter is in does provide family therapy and individual counselling for the patient. But I can imagine having the extra support of someone who has been through this, either a parent or ex sufferer, would be beneficial: I would certainly benefit from it!

I hope you are now completely recovered and thriving. Heartfelt warm wishes. M7

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NHS care is now much improved on the past and if you have the opportunity I would encourage you to accept the treatment. to be offered a place is fantastic as many are on huge waiting lists. It will not be something she is going to want or enjoy - but it might be the turning point for her. Private care is an option and both ABC and BEAT could advise you - contact their helplines. I do hope your daughter gets the help and support she needs - it will be a long haul - and she will need much encouragement and support which I am sure you will be providing.

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Sorry just to say in my answer above I meant you CAN'T fight your daughters anorexia on your own

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If been offered a place on NHS and just waiting for bed I'd give it a little while before going private. I'm not saying your daughter would feel the same way but I personally refused to go private because I didn't want my family paying huge amounts for 'my doings' as I refurred to it at the times. I would have felt far too guilty. I hope she gets the help she needs soon. X

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Definitely agree with this, I have so much guilt for everything I’ve put my family through and I can’t even imagine the guilt I would feel if they had had to pay for my residential treatment

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