This feels awkward. You are worried. After your daughter had been diagnosed with an eating disorder only a few months ago, you were relieved for her to have started therapy.
It has been 12 weeks of therapy, yet she is been discharged. You feel you’ve been let down. Why is she being discharged? It is clear that she still needs help.
You discuss it with your daughter and she is not sure she is feeling any different. At the same time she can’t see any point in being referred again. She even wonders if it actually helped her at all? She feels that she’s been labelled by her diagnoses and that’s who she is.
You now have a HUGE dilemma: WHAT DO I DO?
Thoughts are racing through your mind:
She might be OK, after all she’d had 12 weeks of help, surely she’s improved since then? She doesn’t thinks there is any point in continuing.
But that isn’t right to discharge a teenager who’s not fully recovered and surely there must be something else that can be done?
Shouldn’t she be recovered by now? Otherwise, would she have been discharged? Maybe she is better.
Actually, it is obvious that she still isn’t well. It surely takes longer than just a few weeks to recover from an eating disorder?
If you are or have been experiencing this, you are not alone. Many parents go through the pain of not knowing what to do, feeling stuck and not having anyone to ask when it comes to their child’s illness.
Unfortunately, this is how NHS services work. Your child will be given a certain amount of therapy and then you are left to your own devises.
No one to tells you what your options are and that you need to keep going and get help for your daughter until she recovers.
The only person that can change it for your daughter is YOU
- The first and the most crucial step is to go back to your GP and have your child re-referred again. You may want to go private or look for help somewhere else. If you ignore it, it will get worse.
Therapy of a few weeks with conditions such as anorexia or bulimia is no time. There is so much going on for your daughter at school, at home, not even mentioning the changes to do with growing up, including hormonal changes.
The therapy needs to be ongoing until your daughter, yourself and the therapist see results and mutually agree about the next step.
- If you or your child was not happy with the previous therapist, ask for someone else, e.g. someone senior and with more experience.
Your child might have had a trainee ( yes, they need to learn and practice ) but make sure the next person is someone your daughter gets on well with.
- Be demanding
Eating disorders can be easily overlooked and underestimated. Only you know what huge effect they have not only on your child but you and the whole family too which I often hear about in my one to one sessions.
If your GP doesn’t want to refer your daughter again, don’t stop, look for a second opinion or look for help somewhere else until you find it!
- No matter what your daughter says about therapy, YOU ARE IN CHARGE ! She might not be keen on continuing with it and she might not appreciate what you are doing for her now but one day she will thank you.
The sooner you get help, the sooner your daughter recovers!
Over to you
How do you deal with daily challenges around your daughter? Do you have any support when you need it most?
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