16 February 2013
Eating disorders: The trauma of getting our anorexic daughter to eat
By Philippa Roxby
Health reporter, BBC News
Jane had reached crisis point in the days running up to her 16-year-old daughter, Lily, being admitted to hospital with anorexia.
"In the end I couldn't manage it. I'd had to leave work. I couldn't do shifts because I was so worried about her safety," she recalls.
Jane had spent months trying to persuade Lily to eat, ever since she began slimming for her school prom and then cutting out all carbohydrates and fat from her diet.
"I had to try and get food down her, but it was incredibly hard. I was fighting to get local treatment and support while trying to stop her from getting thinner and thinner. I was beside myself."
Lily became a patient in the child and adolescent eating disorder unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital, which caters for 12 to 18-year-olds, towards the end of 2011 and stayed for eight months.
It is one of only four such NHS units across the UK set up to meet the demand for a specialist in-patient service for young people.
Jane remembers feeling "quite relieved" on the day she dropped Lily off with a bag containing new pyjamas and comfortable clothes. Lily, she says, was "a bit numb".
All Jane knew was that somebody needed to help her to take care of her daughter. Just 45 minutes' drive away, the Birmingham unit appeared to be the answer.
"When they come to us things are pretty bad," says Dan O'Mara, psychiatric nurse and manager of the eating disorders unit.
"We tell them something has to change quickly."
The aim is to help patients reach a healthy weight and encourage good eating habits. (...)
Continue reading: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21382410