Wednesday, February 27, 2008


It's a busy week and I'm getting a cold.

N went to school late for the third day in a row. There hasn't been any crying. He'll get a little angry if I push him, but I feel like he is taking advantage of our previous leniency. He put his clothes out last night (after he got mad at me for not washing the jeans he was still wearing -- go figure). But he debated and questioned his clothes choice even while I was driving him to school. He is very emotional and grumpy, but I am really thinking that right now it is more about hormone shifts and growing up, than it is about the anorexia -- probably it is some of both.

It seems like he is doing well with his friends at school. I'm also being able to pressure him some about his school work. I would say he has gone from doing "F" (no) work to about "C" work lately. Everything is better when he is keeping up with his school work. He'll even do it without arguing and complaining. Hopefully these are all signs that he is getting better.

He has been responding violently (hitting or kicking) to his brother. I'm concerned about that. I've restricted his computer/video-game/tv time (which we have used as a distraction in the past, but I think we can use other techniques now) as a natural consequence. What I'm most concerned about right now, is that he doesn't seem to care about anything but his friends at school. It's hard to find natural consequences that will work when there isn't anything he cares about.


Laura Collins said...

I'm wondering if it might help to separate the issues of anorexia and the OCD/anxiety disorder aspects?

You can have the OCD and anxiety stuff without any eating problems. (Though if there are eating problems you are unlikely to get a remission of the OCD/anxiety)

Treating anxiety and OCD behaviors and thinking - usually through cognitive behavioral techniques - is really successful for many people. And with kids, the family can be trained in techniques and the "homework" involved.

Our daughter had anxiety issues after the anorexia remitted - learning to overcome them was a major improvement in ALL aspects of her life. I think we ALL could benefit from these skills!

Wendy said...


How do I seperate the two issues?

Also, what things did they do to help your daughter deal with the anxiety?


Wendy said...

I just reread my post from yesterday. I think you're right, Laura. I think the hard/late mornings are more about his anxiety (which is just heightened right now because of the anorexia).

His therapist has him imagining himself as a warrior trying to defeat these issues. That approach isn't working so well for him. N thinks it is silly to imagine a warrior. I think the therapist is trying to get N away from "magical thinking" (or as the therapist said, respond like a warrior not like a wizard).

So, what worked with your daughter?

Laura Collins said...

My daughter needed help with learning to just "sit in" uncomfortable feelings. Her natural instinct was to flail around when she was stressed, to blame the incident instead of her reaction, to create rituals to hold off anxiety, to have outbursts that distracted from the anxiety, or to turn anxiety into other emotions like anger and self-doubt. She had to learn what they call in therapy 'mindfulness' and 'emotional regulation.'

And *I* had to learn how to react to her anxiety in helpful ways. My tendency was to try to help her avoid the things that stressed her out (didn't work - she was attracted to them), to try to talk her out of the irrational things she'd say about them, or I'd get all caught up in it (it looked like anger, not anxiety) and get into arguments.

Yet when I look back I think the biggest factors were 1) eating enough without a lot of stress 2) leading a real life 3) ssri meds 4) enough sleep 5) getting older.

Have you read "Off the CUFF?" It is the best book I've read on this.

Wendy said...

Thanks Laura!

There is so much to manage and learn with this disease. Your experiences with your daughter are very helpful to me.

Thanks for the book recommendation.