New disorder rearing its ugly head??

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tessaturtle, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    difficult child made a comment a month or so ago about wanting to lose weight. We (SO, me, and SO's ex) of course told him that he didn't need to lose weight and thought it was just him wanting to continue lifting weights (he had been doing it at school). Well, the past 3 weeks or so, he has been eating less and less (the boy used to eat us out of house and home) and even for dinner, never wants to eat anything. This morning,he was getting ready for his summer school bus but he was hot, so he was walking around with-out is shirt on. I was shocked to see how much weight he has lost!! He has always had a little pooch in his belly, but one that is normal for a kid his age. His stomach was flatter than I have ever seen it. SO and I had a talk with him before dinner tonight and he said his friend told him he was fat. So we talked about that and discussed with him that he was not anywhere near being overweight, etc. We sat down to dinner and he starts turning away everything (pork, pasta salad, Smart Balance spread on his corn, and vegetables) because it has "fat" in it. He starts going off about vinegar and oils, etc. We talked with him a bit about his health, what his therapist might do (possible hospitilization) and how to eat a balanced diet. We calle dhis mother to ask her if she had any idea where this is coming from so she talked with him over the phone for a bit.

    We are pretty sure its not medications related (we have seen that before on other medications). My fear is that is he now developing an eating disorder on top of his other 'issues'???

    SOrry for the long post, just concerned for many reasons. His health and emotional well being obviously, but also, now are we dealing with yet another mental health issue???
     
  2. Alisonlg

    Alisonlg New Member

    I'm so sorry. I have no advice, but I do have some gentle hugs to send your way! :::hugs:::
     
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Even 10-year-old boys can suffer from anorexia nervosa. Most of the time eating disorders are a manifestation of existing anxiety, which I assume your difficult child has as a result of his diagnosis of BiPolar (BP). You need to take this very seriously and talk with his psychiatrist tomorrow. Eating disorders don't go away on their own. They typically need intensive interventions that include medication and behavior modification.

    My own daughter developed a choking phobia last summer, refused to eat, and lost so much weight that she was hospitalized. She was fed via NG tube for a month and attended a day treatment program for five weeks. With intensive interventions, she is doing great a year later.

    Please call the psychiatrist tomorrow. I don't mean to scare you, but your son needs help immediately.
     
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I agree with calling the psychiatrist pronto. This is more than just a kid self-conscious about being told by his friend that he's overweight. I wonder which friend it was - do you know? I'd be having a few questions for the friend to find out what he REALLY said - it may not have been as much as your difficult child thinks it was.

    But normally, hunger should step in and overcome the basic "I need to lose that little pooch" diet. This is more about exerting control.

    So, the other thing - don't become too obsessed yourselves about how much he's eating, don't nag or try to exert control over this. He's needing control somewhere, and food has become 'it'.

    This is beyond parental help alone, I fear. Talk to the psychiatrist fast, for some more specific coping skills with him.

    Marg
     
  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    Some of our kids get an idea into their heads and then magnify it until it becomes destructive. A comment that most people would shrug off can become obsessive.
    My difficult child at age 9, was asked to take a strand of hair from his head for a science experiment. All the kids in the class did this but only my difficult child ended up with a bald spot a few weeks later. It was very upsetting to me but difficult child gets his teeth into something and has difficulty letting go.
    Food is the worst since eating changes throughout one's life and varies from person to person.
    You have my hug too.
     
  6. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    hmmm I didn't even think of anxiety! He has never been outright diagnosed with that but has certainly shown it before (used to be very anxious about being left alone in a room, or anxious about unknown locations, etc). They recently moved in full time with us and went through a whole week without seeing their mother because she was sick and couldn't visit like she said she would. I wonder...
    I am certainly concerned either way but, but also the fixation on the 'fat' content and him thinking everything is bad and will make you fat (except for the one ear of corn with nothing on it) makes me wonder if it isn't anorexia setting in. I figured too that 'wouldn't hunger set in and overcome his not wanting to eat?' THats when I said to SO, his mind is overcoming even the basic feeling of hunger.
    Called his therapist today and she is on vacation until the 30th! WIll have to see if someone else is covering, not sure if this qualifies as 'emergency' yet.
    I am also calling his school where he has been going the last couple of weeks for summer school and field trips (extended school year program at his therpeutic day school) to find out if they noticed anything or if they are aware of this so called friend saying something to him.
    THanks for your support!
     
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    His mother not visiting when he expected her to, plus all the change and upheaval, he would feel that he has no control over any aspect of his life or the people in it. By controlling what he eats (and his weight) he may be trying to apply SOME personal control somewhere in himself, in order to try to reduce his anxiety somehow. And you're right, this IS a common trigger for anorexia nervosa.

    I think you're on the right track to be concerned about the possibility. Plus, if there's also a chance he's vomiting up anything he DOES eat (ie bulimia as well), you need to keep an eye on his tooth enamel, it can really make a mess of his teeth fast. Watch out for him going to the bathroom often, especially after eating something. And watch out for food going missing in quantity. Not saying it IS happening, but it sometimes goes with this.

    Hope we're wrong, but better to err on the side of caution.

    Marg
     
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