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  1. #1
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    Default WWYD teenager refusing to go to school until they meet their goal weight.

    WWYD in my situation?
    Ok so I have alot to say as this is a very complex issue but as I am typing this on my phone when l should be sleeping I will keep it brief as possible.

    A bit of background. My Dd is 15 and is currently refusing to go anywhere outside until she reaches her goal weight, not an unhealthy weight just a weight that would get her bmi to a healthy weight range, she still needs to loose 5-6kg according to her. I don't think she's fat I think she is normal (she says that that is calling her fat as she knows what I think is normal and that is fat)

    I feel the medical system has failed me badly as there just seems to be a serious of stuff ups and this is the end result as I have been trying to get help for so long and no one seems to be able to help in fact some doctors have said some downright damaging things to her.

    I first noticed issues with her having body dismophia in year six and since then I have struggled to get any help. Initially it was only a mild thing her not liking her developing body so In year six I organised a social worker from the local council to go to the school and give all the girls a talk about body image.

    Since than we have been to see many different doctors/Councillors /mental health nurses ect. She has admitted that she has refused to talk about the real issues with any of them and has only really let us in as to how bad things have become for her.

    Recently I have been lied to,called names, had food and laxatives stolen from me, she has just become so unreasonable and very disrespectful and will no longer do what she is told. She has admitted to bing eating, abusing laxatives, throwing up and stealing food over the last year.

    Last year She missed the last 5 weeks of school as she suffers with a typical migraine's and had a migraine episode then refused to go back. I wanted to force her to go back to school last year but dh said perhaps she needs a break, as she is suffering mentally. In that time She miss her formal (said she was to fat to go).

    Finally (after waiting weeks) she saw a physiatrist last week week he has diagnosed her with extreme social anxiety and says it is a chemical imbalance and has put her on anti depressants and said we should wait 2-3 weeks before she starts school to give the tablets a chance to work. ( this is not the first time with this diagnosis). I believe that social anxiety is a symptom of the real issues. To be fair our latest Dr has only had one session with her so perhaps after more that maybe added to.

    My delema is she is starting a new school and last year she missed alot of school and struggled to catch up and that caused anxiety however she still did amazingly well, she was also well and truly above the bands she needed to be in that national testing thing they did in year nine.
    I don't want her to fall behind and I think she will stand out more starting late rather than with all the other new year 11 students who are all new as it is a senior collage.

    She is refusing to even go outside now so unless I physically make her go out she is refusing to, says she wants to but can't. I really don't think I could make her she is taller than me and did judo for a few years and was bloody good at it too. Also I really don't want to do this, I have three other children and one is still a baby.

    There is so much more to this story however I am after some advice on what other hubbers think I should do? Follow Dr advice or try make her go.

    Any other suggestions about this whole situation would be appreciated as I really cant take much more of this as I am also suffering with post natal depression

  2. #2
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    Sorry no advice, just wanted to say it sounds like you are doing all the right things trying to get your dd professional help.
    Hugs, hope there are others here who can help out.

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  4. #3
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    Sorry you are going through this. A relative experienced something similar a few years back with her and it is truly draining on the parents.

    Be careful about forcing someone with a mental illness into a situation they are not comfortable with. Someone I know did this in a similar situation and it lead to self harm. Depending on your daughters situation of course you may have to lower your expectations for a few years - at this point it may be enough for your goal to be to keep your daughter safe and 'somewhat' connected with the outside world until the turbulent teenage years pass. Education can be caught up on down the track when the body and mind matures. It is very difficult to come to this realisation but please know it's not a failure on your or your daughters part.

    On a side note ask questions on the anti depressants and keep an eye on your daughter. Some can affect teenagers more than others.

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    sorry to hear you're going through this, it sounds pretty rough.

    if you're concerned about her falling behind in school, is there any way she could do part of all of year 11 by distance education/home school?

    agree with the PPs that keeping her safe right now is a higher priority than making sure she is in school. but if she could do home schooling or something similar, it could mean she is able to recover in a safe environment. if she has such anxiety, how much will she be really taking in in a classroom setting anyway?

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    Default WWYD teenager refusing to go to school until they meet their goal weight.

    I think forcing your daughter to go to school may make her anxiety worse. Can you go to the school and talk to her teachers? Pick up her books and get a rough idea what work they will be covering during your dd's time at home. At least she will not be too far behind for when her meds start working and it's time to return to school.

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    I agree with the others. Let her have the time off and look into distance education for a bit.

    What does she do at home all day? Does she have any activities or hobbies?

    Was she ever bullied about being overweight that you know about?

    Have a look at Headspace - their focus is youth mental health. I don't know if they specifically deal with eating disorders, but they do offer an online chat which could be a non-confrontational way for her to have a chat with someone and hopefully feel more comfortable in telling them the truth.

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    What state do you live in op?
    I went through something similar as a teen 20 years ago. Unfortunately the outcome was me leaving school partway through year 11. I did go on to do night classes to get into Uni and everything worked out well but school was definitely not the right environment for me at all.
    Your DD has an eating disorder. Binge eating, laxatives, weight obsession, dysmorphia. I think you are right that the anxiety is probably a manifestation of bigger issues. Or the eating disorder is a manifestation of the anxiety. It would be great if you could get DD assessed by an eating disorder clinic and treated by these specialists as they will have a thorough understanding of the interplay between eating disorder-anxiety-depression and used to dealing with young women with these issues so may be able to develop rapport and get her talking more which is the first step.
    For me the eating disorder was a manifestation of depression and anxiety feeling lost, not fitting in and out of control. The eating disorder was about control and order and something to focus on and hurt myself with. It was a very painful few years. Even now in times of extreme stress (eg when I got divorced) the first thing that goes is food and anxiety swells up. I feel for you. I feel for what my parents went through and how helpless they felt. I have a baby DD and I hope so deeply that she never feels the feelings I had.
    Please don't force her to go to school. Your daughter is scared and hurting and it's very real to her and she can't just snap out or switch it off. I wish I could have but c'est la vie. School is not the be all and end all there are other ways she can complete/further her education. Focus on getting her the help she needs and I strongly think it should start with an eating disorder clinic/specialist psychiatrist in this field. Your local public hospital/children's hospital should be equipped to help with this.

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    Thanks for all your advice. I have just been on the phone to her school and her teachers will be in touch. The school has a social worker and physiologist on staff and we discussed our options if she is not better in a few weeks. The school offer external classes for students with illnesses. Feeling a bit better about this.

    One of the other reasons I was even question sending her was because my mum who lives interstate was putting pressure on me to send her. So annoyed with her right now. My mother is blaming my husband. My husband has a ASD and life is difficult for him and the family. I also have another child on the spectrum. My mum has never supported me in fact it is like she is in denial about the whole asd diagnosis.

    I have to go will finish posting shortly.

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    I would sit down and have a long chat with her about what her targets are to reach this weight.

    Ask her how you can help, and the compromise for that can be her going to school.

    This would keep you involved, would feel to her that you are supportive of her choices, and would hopefully encourage her to go to school.

    I wouldn't force it at all.

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    I just want to wish you good luck. I think you have been given wise advice, and really your daughters health is far more important than going to school. Life is an education, and when she is strong enough she can follow the formal education path, if she wants to. hugs, marie.

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