Cognitive behavioural therapy

At our next regular meeting with Fiona, Steve and I had a long discussion with her about Joe's progress. Fiona explained that she couldn't force Joe to discuss his difficulties with her. She also said that it was not unusual for young children to take a long time to build up trust and to engage with their key worker. I wondered if there were any other options to try and get Joe to talk about his problems and we all agreed that it was worth trying cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Fiona...

What is anorexia and what are the effects

Anorexia nervosa is the best known of a range of illnesses classified as eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa literally means 'loss of appetite for nervous reasons'. The main diagnostic criteria for anorexia is that there is a weight loss leading to a body weight of at least 15 below the normal weight for height or age, although anorexia itself is much more complex than just loss of appetite or weight loss. Those with anorexia will deliberately starve themselves until they are very ill, and in a...

Refeeding dont rush it

Joe managed to calm himself enough for us to proceed to the library to discuss his action plan with Mandy. This had been put together by Fiona and set out what Joe would be expected to achieve over the next few days. He would continue to be given tiny meals (quarter portions) for the next couple of days, and should have an hour bed-rest after each meal. Joe asked why he was being given such tiny portions when he could manage more and Mandy explained that this was to avoid 're-feeding syndrome',...

Triggers for boy anorexia

Many of my friends have asked me, 'Did you ever find out what caused Joe's anorexia ' The straightforward answer is no. However we have a few ideas about what could have been contributing factors He went through a very early puberty. It is no coincidence that many cases of anorexia start in puberty, both in boys and girls. With girls the reason seems more obvious as they look in the mirror and see a more rounded shape developing. Boys tend to be happier with their developing a more muscular...

The first signs of resistance

That weekend we noticed the first signs that Joe wanted to take responsibility for his own food intake. Up until that time he had been happy to follow our guidance at home and the care team's guidance at The Great Barn. It was a hot weekend and on Saturday, when I called Joe in for a glass of milk mid-morning he stated that he would much rather have a bottle of Lucozade Sport as it would be much better for quenching his thirst. I suggested that he could have both and Joe agreed, but I noticed...

Moods tantrums and irrational behaviour

Whilst it is emotionally draining watching your son starve himself and physically decline before your eyes, it is the psychological changes that can be the most difficult to deal with. All families quarrel, we all lose our temper at times, but an anorexic child can blow up into a frightening rage at the slightest incident. Anorexic tantrums and rages can be totally unpredictable. Often families with an anorexic in their midst end up tiptoeing around the house, trying to avoid upsetting the...