Summary of the accounts included in "When Anorexia Came To Visit: Families Talk About How An Eating Disorder Invaded Their Lives" by Bev Mattocks

When Anorexia Came To Visit: Families Talk About How An Eating Disorder Invaded Their Lives

Caroline's story: "When I look at Molly I want to show her to every desperate parent who has just discovered that their child has an eating disorder and say: 'This is what recovery looks like!'"

Marianne's story: "'Can you try and eat an apple?' the GP asked. I sat there open-mouthed. Lindy had almost stopped eating by this point. And, anyway, what difference would an extra 40 or 50 calories make?"

Vicky's story: "It's as if, all of a sudden, my daughter trusts us. She will now let me hug her. She'll talk, she'll chat and she's eating really well. Emotionally our 'little girl' is back with us again. It really is incredible."

Emma's story: "These days, she'll come in with a takeout, just like anyone else. She'll grab a burger here and a pizza there, or sit down in front of the telly with a tub of ice cream. She is just a really happy young lady."

Suzie's story: "I explained that we would never let her die, that we loved her and that she was too wonderful to lose. So whether we did it at home, in hospital or through a tube, we would ensure she got the nutrition she needed to get well."

Paul's & Jayne's story: "Eleanor took the information she picked up from appearing on Channel 4's Supersize vs Superskinny and, by sheer willpower, applied it to herself. She refused to give in to the illness."

Amanda's story: "'Just how far will you go?' I asked my daughter. 'There is no end,' she said. Terrified, I promised her there and then that, whether she hated me for the rest of her life, I was fighting for her very survival."

Gina's story: "I could see the consultant making notes, concluding that anxiety was the problem in the family and that our son was feeding off this atmosphere. Well of course we were anxious! What parents wouldn't be anxious?!"

Natalie's story: "The A&E nurse said: 'I'll go and get you a glass of squash; it won't be too much.' And there I was trying to explain that my daughter wouldn't even drink water, let alone squash."

Eva's story: "We parents know we have to get our children to eat. We know what they need to eat and how much of it they need to eat. The problem is, how do we get them to eat?"

Martha's story: "As a parent, I have not felt listened to during the whole of my daughter's illness. We may not be 'experts' but we still know our children best. And eating disorders appear to be one area of medicine where parental opinions are regularly ignored."

Tanya's story: "I remember going out to a restaurant and Lauren ordering a huge meal and a massive pudding with ice cream. It really was amazing, because she ate everything she was served up!"

Kathleen's story: "I can't tell you how desperate we were for someone to come and talk to us about the illness - to explain what we could expect, what was normal and what wasn't. We kept waiting. But there seemed to be nobody."

Elaine's story: "With someone like Lydia who doesn't handle change well, continuity is vital. But, at 18, patients are cut adrift from the treatment team they've come to know and trust to face the mysterious new world of Adult Services."

Dawn's story: "These days Karen will spend time with friends and will eat what they are eating. They'll have a pizza, even go across the road to the chip shop and have a deep fried Mars Bar. Who would have thought it?"

Heather's story: "While our child is being treated, we are busy learning too. And, unlike the professionals, we have no-one coaching us. All we have are books, internet sources and anyone else we can find whose brains are willing to be picked."

Adrienne's story: "I needed someone to hold my hand and tell me how to help my daughter but no-one seemed to have any answers. I felt totally helpless, isolated and very frightened. It was overwhelming."

Glenda's story: "Through the ATDT forum I realised that the re-feeding nightmare… the long periods sitting around the table, the awful atmosphere, the anger, the crying and all those things… were normal."

Sandra's story: "My son's anorexia helped me realise what is important in life. Many things seem so trivial compared to what we've been through. You see things in a different light. And that is good in a bizarre kind of way."

Shirley's story: "A teacher said: 'Here we are, talking about academic achievements. But, for Rebecca, walking into school every day is an achievement compared to these other students.' That was so lovely. Rebecca nearly cried. And so did I!"

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