National Eating Disorders Association

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Sister knows it's bad, but brain stops her?

My little sister – she's 17 – is unfortunately suffering from anorexia. She is rebounding from when she was much younger.
On top of this, she has severe anxiety and suffers from massive, crippling, anxiety attacks.

I-… I don't know what to do or say…
I only partially understand what she's feeling, but not enough to help.

She doesn't know why she feels like she does and just wants to stop feeling this way.

Dad, myself, and my sister all suffer from depression and are taking antidepressants, I'd that's something that needs to be said.
I don't know what to do…

Post Edited

VenymNyx, thanks for reaching out for support on the NEDA forums. Some of your post has been edited due to identifying personal information and mention of weights/body sizes and eating disorder behaviors that can be triggering to other forum members.You can find our Community Guidelines here: for helping to keep the forums a safe place for everyone and we hope you continue to post.

Hey VenymNyx.

Hey VenymNyx.
I'm sorry to hear that your sister is having such a rough time of it. Its good to hear that she has a positive support network in the form of you and your family. That is really important for the recovery of people who have eating disorders.
May I ask if your sister has ever seen a therapist or eating disorder specialist of some kind? There are a lot of professionals in whom she could find help.
One basic place to start would be the doctor's office; her doctor could point her in the direction of help. There are health professionals called dieticians and nutritionists who can help your sister set up and maintain a meal plan. There are also psychologists who specialize in eating disorders. If she can't find one of those than even a regular psychologist can be of help.

I'm going to leave some NEDA links that I think might be relevant. Give them a once over if you'd like: (good for none parents too)

Consider directing your sister to the NEDA website as well.

Best of luck and be in touch.

- Adage

Re Post

Hi ,
I totally understand what you are going through being on both ends i know how it can be so distressing and cause much conflict between all. But I would try to read and research might help and be sure to take care of urself first and foremost because its harder to help and support when you are burned out.

If I was your sister i would have appreciated the concern and would love non-judgemental support as well as the effort to learn more really helps, the more you can learn about the issues the better you can be more prepared to help.

If she is not in treatment i would sit down with her and voice how much you want her to be free from ed and from being a victim to it that you and the family want the best for her to see her healthy and happy again.

And the best is to be armed with resources you could offer her the better and to walk alongside her every step of the way helps. Hope this helps.


Hey, this post really resonates with me. When I was 18, I rebound pretty hard as well too, but my sister didn't know what to do, and wanted no part in it. Looking back, I know she was hurt and did't want to watch me go through this anymore. I think if we were to go back in time, I would have appreciated hearing her concern, and maybe try to ask me how I am feeling. Not just focus on the eating stuff, but the emotional stuff. Emotional support is probably what I missed most from my sister.