National Eating Disorders Association

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dumbdad
how to deal with boredom

Our daughter who has been struggling w/ Anorexia for about 4 months is having anxiety over how to deal w/ boredom and free time. Her season just ended and she will be going from having practice/games every day after school, to coming straight home. She has expressed that she thinks she will be bored and doesn't know what she will do. We're not sure what the answer is. We are not letting her play club ball this year due to her ED, which she has been ok with, but now that it is upon, she seems to be having lots of concerns about free time, which is sort of worrying her mom and me. Do we let her get a job? do we let her play if she makes her target weight? Do we give her additional chores/jobs at home?. I know these are probably questions for therapist, but we see her Thursday, new schedule starts today.

dumbdad
Thanks so much for your

Thanks so much for your response, and I wish you well in your recovery, and commend you for reaching out to help others who are suffering. I call myself dumbdad in a sort of a deprecating way, mainly because its how I feel in dealing with this.My wife and daughter seem to have an understanding of each other and relate in a way that I cannot, which makes me feel a little dopey at times, but also the name reflects how my daughter views me, like most teenage girls do towards their father. I'm sort of embracing that persona, admitting that I'm dumb when it comes to understanding this disease, (and a teenage girl in general, for that matter) but I'm determined to overcome my own ignorance and help her get better.

All good suggestions for her boredom anxiety, I may give some of them a try. I have encouraged her to explore her spirituality and have offered to take her to church if she has an interest, however we are not a church-going family, so I am not much help in that area.

And I agree with your thoughts about fear, I know she is very scared about what lies ahead, and I think fear anxiety in general are the root of many of her problems.

GlennW
Tough Call

I am no expert. Just a father whose older son has been recently dx'd. He severely restricted intake, and purged via exercise. We got him down to close to zero on the exercise via 100% supervision. We were trying to break that obsession. Do you think your daughter purges via exercise? Perhaps you could discuss what hobbies she might want to take up that do not involve heavy exercise? If she binges it would not be great for her to have unoccupied time. Hope things work out with you daughter.

dumbdad
Thanks for the response. No

Thanks for the response. No binging, my daughters issue is she just eats very little, and she is obsessive about exercise. Constantly wanting to do something active or be moving. Even when sitting she bounces a leg. Constantly doing yoga, or anything she can to be in motion. We have prohibited any form of cardio until she reaches a benchmark in her weight gain.

GlennW
Our son is similar

Our dropped from overweight to seriously underweight in a year. He restricted eating and excessively exercised. When we prohibited it, he sneaked in exercise in the middle of the night. We resorted to taking turns sleeping in his room to prevent. He was going to work and exercising before anyone else arrived. He would the head out at lunch to exercise. We convinced him to work at home to control all that. Now he is in an inpatient program and even standing too long is prohibited there. Some how she has to learn to soothe her anxiety in other ways if she can't eat enough to compensate for all that exercise. What do her therapists say about this issue?

dumbdad
they are pushing for

they are pushing for inpatient treatment, which I just don't think she needs at this point. But I admit I'm naive and they're the experts, but it seems so quick. 3 months ago all was fine, now we're talking about inpatient therapy. Just don't know how we got here.

jeffdadoftwo
inpatient therapy

My daughter started intensive outpatient early this year and almost immediately stepped up to partial hospitalization. Like you, I wasn't sure that it was necessary but it really was. It is sometimes hard to see how deep our loved ones are in their eating disorder and they often don't even know until they start a treatment program that really challenges their status quo. Once they are forced to confront their behavior and have less ways to cheat/hide, you see how strong of a hold the ED really has on them.

dumbdad
inpatient treatment

We have started to come to terms that an inpatient program may be the only reasonable option. We worked out a meal plan for our daughter with her nutritionist, and she was agreeable to the plan and doing well when we 1st started it, but now she is resisting somewhat. Every meal becomes a fight, and mom and I don't have the energy to do it constantly. We have friends

2Joy2love
residential treatment

Hi
It is so hard to realize how sick your child is. To be fighting to keep them alive. I was looking at pictures the other day, these pictures were taken days before my daughter went into a residential treatment. I can see how unhealthy she was, and I can see how stressed and overwhelmed that I was.
It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. To take her there and leave her. It was also the only way to save her She both hated it there and liked aspects of it. She met some amazing friends there and it helped her feel not so alone, ED's can be very isolating. So for her to be around others that were going through the same thing was very helpful to her. She learned coping skills, listening skills, how to communicate, and that no one can fix her problems except her and that she is not able to fix anyone else's problems. That was huge for my daughter. So not only did she gain the weight she needed to, she also learned a lot of skills that has helped her stay healthy. She has told me that if she had not gone there she would not be alive today. I now realize that she is not just alive but she is enjoying life.
2joy2love