National Eating Disorders Association

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Daughter ONLY trusts me, how can I help??

I have a 20 yr old unofficially "adopted daughter" that I have come to know and love over the last 2 years. She had an eating disorder that was developed through gymnastics, parents divorce and real fathers alcoholism, and poor coaching and male influences there. She has confided in me and shares everything. We have worked together to a point where she has not purged in a few months and while she doesnt always eat enough, she is not skipping meals. But the emotions!!! She doesnt feel good enough, deserving of love, etc. She wants help and IS willing to see a therapist (again-pevious poor experience), and we do have an appointment set up for next week. The two things (I think) is at the forefront for me most is 1) I understand and have visited with her A TON. We visits about history, present, feelings, perspective, God's will. I listen, I give supportive feedback, and I listen some more. I get it as much as anyone who can get it can who hasn't dealt with it themselves. But what can I DO??? SHe is going to see a therapist and I know this is a MUST but are there exercises, workbooks, SOMETHING, that I can use to help guide through some of the issues that she is facing. We've talked and talked but now she wants to know what she needs to do to move forward. Its not a light switch we know but what can we DO? I understand it but what steps can we take together to move forward? and 2) How can I find someone who HAS death with this. Who has overcome an eating disorder herself for her to talk to? I think it might be helpful to have that as a resource? How do I find support groups or someone willing to start an email or text conversation? Help!!!!!


Hi jjanecek,

Thanks for your post. I am really sorry to hear about your "adopted" daughter's trials and travails, including her eating disorder, but am amazed at the way you are supporting her and holding her hand through it all!!
The good news is that there are resources out there to help guide you, as the caring outsider, as well as your daughter, with this challenge. There is a parent toolkit that can be phenomenally helpful, as well as the parents, family and friends network- see links below:

For your daughter, there is a program called ned a navigators, where trained volunteers who have experienced eating disorders are there for individuals going through it, to offer support and guidance. This is actually something both of you can benefit from.

i hope you will find these links helpful. I wish you loads of luck in continuing to support and guide your daughter in the path of recovery and wish the best on both of you!