My daughter was diagnosed with high functioning autism after she had already been diagnosed with anorexia and was in a psychiatric unit at the age of 12 years. The Autism was always there but not in a learning disability way, more social, emotional and communication way. When she hit puberty and secondary school, that's when it became all too clear that she was different and something else was going on. She developed the eating disorder at the age of 12 years with all of the very obsessive-compulsive aspects of anorexia exploiting her autistic view of the world. She is now about to turn 14 years and has only just been discharged from hospital. She is a very different person and I fear she is likely to relapse and end up back in hospital.
Before I ramble on anymore about our story, is there anyone out there with a daughter in a similar position?
Nobody after 10 days online? That's exactly how it feels after 2 years in the real world.
Sorry you haven't had a reply.
I initially didn't reply because I am not a teen.
But I can find similarities with your daughter's situation though it's not something I tend to speak about but as no one else has replied then I felt I would reply to try to give you some hope.
I was diagnosed in my 20s with anorexia nervosa. I consider myself as "recovered".
I did 6 months outpatient (wasn't greatly helpful) followed by a year as an inpatient initially (also wasn't greatly helpful). At this time I didn't feel like I had anorexia and there was no psychological support... So I figure it was never going to work. That environment was also greatly unhelpful for me.
I needed further treatment and there was some psychological support second time round. The difference second time round was I realised what I was missing.
I never identified as being anorexic and was never attached to that label so moving on was possibly easier. I've met many anorexics who are greatly attached to that identity... for so many different reasons. I've also been aware that social media plays a huge part in "normalising" anorexia and the "competitive" nature of the illness and this can be greatly problematic.
What is essential to recovery is not wanting to be anorexic, not wanting to be thin, not wanting to be in control, not wanting to be small and fragile and cared for, not wanting to not to grow up, etc. These are just some examples of things I've heard, for different people it is different and they need to be really honest with themselves and those helping them.
I guess what I'm saying is there is hope lots and lots of hope but there lots of work that needs to be done. A person really needs to see that life without that identity is better, whatever that identity means to them.
It might sound harsh and overly simplified but speaking as someone who has experienced anorexia first hand and spent everyday for 1 year with a number for people with anorexia, this is what I've seen.
Sorry this reply has been very quick but I will try to reply again if that would be helpful.