Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sophie's Story: Surviving Anorexia

My Life With Anorexia~ My daughter started down the path to anorexia nervosa sometime late 2009. I can say that now with hindsight and being able to recognise the symptoms. Compulsive, obsessive, perfectionism, almost hysterical outbreaks if something didn’t suit her. Rarely eating dessert or cake. She was just turning 15.

At the beginning of 2010 Sophie started to make changes to her diet. This is what first alerted me that something wasn’t right. She wanted to eat healthy, questioned what was in each food, refused all ‘junk’ foods. There was a pattern of foods questioned for health purposes suddenly disappearing off her diet even if the food was a ‘good one’. At first she was relatively calm, but as weeks progressed she would react over-the-top if any of the forbidden foods were offered.

I am positive now, that she stopped eating her school lunches sometime around March and just threw them away. I first put her on the scales at home mid March and she had lost around 2-3kg – not a huge loss, not something to really worry about. But the intensity and difference in her was more than enough to say something was different. A doctor wouldn’t have diagnosed anything at this stage either. So I just kept watching.

By the end of April, Sophie stepped up the process. Carbs were now not allowed – no bread, rolls, pizza, fried foods, noodles etc. Lunches were now only a yoghurt and fruit. Her weight by the end of April was now down 4kg. I was now pushing her to eat, trying to break through what was going on. She was getting depressed, had outbursts of anger, and if angry refused to all her food. It was like my daughter was disappearing into another parallel. She was physically present, sometimes her normal self, functioned at school and at home, but mentally and emotionally lived in another world.

Mid May she let slip her last period was in March. Her food portions were slowly getting smaller. The June long weekend was the crunch point. She was very down, ate very slowly, ate not a lot. We were in the doctor surgery on the Tuesday afternoon. Again she didn’t have enough to say she had an eating disorder, the indicators were there but she wasn’t ticking off the main criteria. Her depressive state was also a concern. Thankfully the doctor scheduled weekly visits, I am very grateful he didn’t write Sophie off as a ‘teenage thing’.

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