Haven't posted on here before, but felt I had to. My Daughter was Anorexic 4 years ago, at just turned 14.
The advice others have given you is good esp. desperately trying to get to see someone in CAMHS
or good private equivalent ASAP. There is evidence that the sooner they get help, the better the outcome and quicker recovery.
My daughter lost weight so quickly, her heart got to a dangerously low level, that she was seen at CAMHS straight away. It is an anxiety based illness, often linked with OCD. CAMHS told us on our first visit that it was nothing we had said or done and there is very strong evidence now that there is a strong genetic link.
I'll try not to waffle on, but try to give you some hopefully helpful pointers.
- Buy a copy of 'Anorexia and other eating disorders' by Eva Musby, straight away.
- All good clinics will treat it as 'family therapy' Her little brother got time off school to come to some of the meetings. His help was invaluable, when my husband and I were at the end of our tether, he actually got her to eat just by being calmer. Be open as a family, talk about it openly with family and friends and have no secrets between each other. This makes it possibIe to laugh about it occasionally, helping your child to reduce anxiety and shame. We didn't come across any stigma, people were sympathetic, it's a serious life threatening mental illness and you wouldn't keep it quiet if it was cancer.
- Tell the school straight away, they should be able to arrange something for supervision at lunchtime, tell teachers to look out for them and have regular catch up meetings as the situation changes on how best to support your child.
It will take some time, but will improve day by day slowly with right help. My Daughter has maintained a healthy weight for years now, still quite controlling and regimented, but eats everything and is happy. I think it might just always be 'her thing', I kind of think everyone has 'their thing' anyway...
Good luck, don't blame yourself or waste time on guilt, she will get better, she already has a great Mum by seeking out help. We were suprised to hear from CAMHS how many parents, ignored, were in denial (just pull yourself together), too ashamed to seek help sooner, this just makes their job harder and recovery much longer. I'll be thinking of you x