National Eating Disorders Association

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I first posted about my daughter in October of last year. I am posting again now to give an update, and it's a positive one! My daughter is better! In March of this year, I noticed a change in her, trying with all her strength, to fight harder than ever against her ED. She knew graduation from college was coming up and friends were already interviewing for jobs and getting hired. So she pushed herself and kept pushing until graduation in May. She interviewed for her dream job and got it! Started working full-time the first week in June and loves it. She is laughing again, being her normal outgoing self, and eating normally. I don't know exactly what triggered the start of recovery, but I think it was a weekend retreat that she went on in March through our church. It was a silent retreat and I think she had a lot of time to think, to pray, and realized that it was now or never to get better. She had a lot riding on recovery: her health, her graduation from college, the job that she hoped for. Her psychiatrist suggested she start taking a medication again and she finally agreed to take it, which I truly believe has helped quite a bit. I am posting about this because I wanted you to know that there is hope. Recovery is possible. My daughter had been to many hospitals for ED-related health problems, many treatment centers, both inpatient and residential, and suffered for years with her ED. We were told by more than one doctor that she would not make it, that she would never recover, that she was in too deep. But she did make it, she did recover! No matter how hard or difficult it gets, don't give up on your child. She/he can get through it. Believe it yourself, and then tell your child every day that things will get better. Find good doctors who believe in recovery, love your child unconditionally, and take care of yourself because it's not just hard on your child physically and mentally, but it is hard on you as well. I know how much it hurts, I know your pain. I've collapsed in tears and sorrow so many times in the past, when the pain of watching my child suffer was so great and I felt so helpless. Well, I'm telling you now, be strong because your child can get better! Set up a goal for them, something to look forward to, and help them keep focused on that goal. I think this was really an important thing in my daughter's recovery, knowing that she had to feel better to get through the last months of school, and to get her dream job. Know in your heart that your child can recover, and look your child in the eye and tell them EVERY SINGLE DAY that they will get better! Much love to all of you - you are in my thoughts and prayers!

So Happy For You

Hi momto3, I'm so happy for you and your daughter! And thank you so much for the motivation you are providing to the forums! It is always so great to hear successful recovery stories! I wish you all the best for your daughter and your family from the bottom of my heart!

Thank you so much! :)

Thank you so much! :)

Same here! Thanks for the

Same here! Thanks for the update and for posting something that we all want to see happen for our loved one. It's so nice to have the encouragement to hang in there. All the best to you and your daughter!

Thank you so much! :)

Thank you so much! :)

Thank you for this post. Our

Thank you for this post. Our daughter is going back to college this fall and we weren't sure whether to send her. She has admitted to her anorexia and is seeing a psychologist, nutritionist and her doctor for care. She isn't following her nutritionists advice perfectly but she is trying. I would sooooo appreciate any advice about a college age young woman going back to school. How can we help her! This is my first post here since we just discovered this helpful site.

I'm sorry your daughter is

I'm sorry your daughter is going through this. I know your pain and anxiety well. The best advice that I can give you is to keep supporting her, loving her, reminding her daily, even when she is away at college, that she can and will recover. I am so glad to hear she is trying! Make sure that she continues to see her outpatient treatment team - often colleges have help for those suffering from eating disorders right on campus. Remind her about all the wonderful things that will happen if she feels better and continues in recovery mode, maybe a Christmas break or spring break trip, or the great plans for next summer. Remind her of the dream job she is working so hard to attain by going to college. It is so easy to get frustrated as a mom when we see our kids hurting and we feel unable to help. But you can help, you are a huge component in the process of your daughter's treatment simply by being her mom, loving her, and supporting her. My daughter always responded so much better when I spoke calmly and waited for her to reach out to me with thoughts and questions, rather than me yelling and demanding answers for her behavior (I am embarrassed to say that this did happen a few times when I was beside myself with grief but we are all only human). Find some good articles online about recovery, positive and inspirational stories, and send them to her. I sent my daughter motivational quotes all the time, ones that I found on pinterest or wherever, just to remind her that there is hope. If you can go to a therapist with your daughter sometimes, that would be great! Or even go to one on your own, because it might be nice to talk to someone about how all of this is affecting you too. I wish you good luck! Your daughter can get better! Know this in your heart and remind your daughter of this every day!

Thank you for this update

I am pretty new to this forum (and posting a lot the last few nights/desperation as my daughter heads back to college for senior year, even though she likely needs inpatient treatment and we are waiting to hear if she is accepted to an outpatient program). I read posts on a previous thread just tonight, from a post last October to this past Feb when you were terrified she might not make it. My daughter's weight is dangerously low at this point. She is an athlete, so there is some supervision, but the team doctor/trainers/dietician are hostile toward her because they are frustrated. There is also no HIPAA privacy and the team trainers do the weigh-ins and judge her, say things, and gossip about her with her fellow teammates. All this began in college, about 22 months ago. She has been seeing a therapist but it seems as though he doesn't have a lot of faith in her. I read your advice about surrounding her with doctors who believe in recovery and who believe in her. Daughter is still functioning, held down a good summer job, does well in school, and will get her weight up just high enough to be allowed to compete (by cheating by a few pounds on the weigh ins (drinking water and eating beforehand). She says this will all go away when she no longer competes, so we asked her to withdraw from the team (if competing is a major trigger). She refuses. I have watched the anorexia/orthorexia take over her brain, and it's just crazy. She is not the same person, volatile, unhappy, fragile. I miss my vibrant daughter so much and our younger kids (two teen sons) used to be very close to her and are extremely rattled when she is home, miss the closeness of our family in pre-ED days. My prayer is that my daughter will make it through this year for the same reasons your daughter did -- focusing on the things that will give her autonomy and happiness beyond the ED (dream job and/or grad school--grad school seems to still be something she really wants). Hearing your story helped me so much b/c I feel that terror when I look at her and have worried about whether she is really fit to drive on certain days. At least she agreed to a full medical workup with an internist who specializes in EDs (EKG done today/labs and bone density tests tomorrow). Your story gives me such hope. I am guessing the road ahead for you/your daughter (and her younger sisters/rest of family) will still have its ups and downs. I wanted to ask what happened between your post in Feb and the one in March. In Feb, it sounded like she was at the end of the road. In March, did she agree to go on the church retreat? Did she weigh enough to be able to get something out of it? And that is when she agreed to start taking medication? (Our daughter's therapist believes this (Prozac) would help a ton, but right now, she refuses to take meds. Just wondering if, as your daughter descended to a very low weight, someone or something clicked for her? Did she have to gain weight first, before something clicked, because her brain was in starvation mode? Or did she make the decision to fight for her future and then start to gain? Did a therapist play a big role in all this? Again, thanks for sharing your story--all the posts, good and bad, have helped me.

Hello, I'm sorry that I have

Hello, I'm sorry that I have not answered before now. I hadn't been checking the website and I apologize for that. I'll try to answer your questions as best as I can. First, let me say how sorry I am that you are going through this. I know how unbelievably hard this is on you as her mom... You are right about the ups and downs. While my daughter is so much better, she will still have a rough day here and there, and complete recovery has not yet been achieved but she is well on her way to reaching that goal. She still needs to gain some more weight but she is focused and happier than I've seen her in a long time. Now, to answer your questions. She, on her own accord, learned of the retreat and asked me if she could go. She knew she was at rock bottom and this made her sad. Going on the retreat was so good for her, she came back determined to get better. She was at a very low weight when she went to the retreat, but strong enough to drive there and participate fully. Shortly after that retreat, she started taking Prozac, which she continues to take and believes makes a big difference. She had been prescribed other meds but they caused weight gain and she was adamant about not taking them again, but, thank goodness, she agreed to take Prozac and she really does feel better. I think what clicked in her mind was the fact that she knew she was going to die. It was only a matter of when. We (and she) truly thought she was going to die sooner rather than later. Right now, her health is much better but she does have osteoporosis, so she is taking supplements for that. We think, at this point, that is the only lasting effect that she has, other than some digestive issues which still plague her to this day. Her therapist did help quite a bit. It is incredibly important that your daughter sees someone professionally about this, and preferably someone with a great deal of experience in eating disorders. I can't stress that enough. Lastly, staying calm was a huge factor for me. Speaking in soft tones with my daughter when I was literally hysterical inside was difficult but it made a difference. I lit candles, had meditation music on, talked about fun plans, talked about how wonderful it would be to graduate and work at her dream job. She was motivated to get better because she thought she was going to die. As morbid as that sounds, it is the truth. I wish you the best of luck and I will pray for your daughter (and you). If I can answer anything else, please feel free to ask.