National Eating Disorders Association

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daughter panicked after seeing weight

my daughter has just left to return to college and had to go to a new doctor at school. they sent her home with her vitals and information for her next appointment and on the sheet was her weight. she has not seen her weight since she began her recovery for her eating disorder. she panicked. when she called me (8 hours away!) i told her they were just numbers and the last time she saw her weight her body was so unhealthy it could not do the things that it is doing today. she is healthy now. i kept reminding her of that but she was so upset.
she has only been at school for a few days and she is home sick and now this on top of it is making me so worried she will have a behavior. she has a medical doctor at school but we are still looking for a therapist. she loved her therapist at home. should i contact her? i just want to make sure that i am handling it in the right way.
i know this will be the first of things to happen while she is away but i don't want to say the wrong thing!

Hi juli427,

It sounds like you and your daughter are in a stressful situation with her going back to school on top of everything else! You're right, there will likely be other bumps in the road as she makes this transition but I see why you want to tread lightly and make sure you do the best you can. A lot of the things you told your daughter are things I would have said in a similar situation ("weight is just a number", reminding her that a lot has changed since she last saw her weight and that she's in a healthier place now). I think since you're still looking for a new therapist, it couldn't hurt to contact your daughter's old therapist to ask about this. They might have recommendations for how to proceed, or perhaps even referrals or colleagues in the area who might be good to look into for your daughter to see. It's a tricky situation, but it sounds like you're doing the best you can to keep an eye out for your daughter. Plus, I think it's a great sign that she called you to express her distress about seeing her weight; EDs can make people act really secretively, so it's good that she feels comfortable sharing some of what she's going through with you.

Good luck! Please keep us updated. We care about you and your family!

Hi juli427,

I agree with everything Kelsey stated. Its really great that she contacted you about it and wants to keep you updated on her feelings. If you want more information on how to support a loved one, you can check out the Parent Toolkit, available here: Even if its things that you already know, its still nice sometimes to confirm that what you're saying and doing is making a difference.

I hope your daughter continues to keep you updated! Good luck!

thank you so much for

thank you so much for responding! you all gave so much support and insight and it is so needed! i reached out to her doctor here and told her what had happened. she immediately asked what number she could call her on and called her and helped her work through it. she is amazing! it has been a really rough week but she is trying.that is all i can ask of her. she has just felt so much sadness and loneliness and i am trying to determine what is ED and what is homesickness. she will meet with her new therapist this week so hopefully that will help. i just hope that we didn't do this college thing too early! i am a bundle of nerves. thank you again!!!

Hi juli427

Hi juli427,
I have been thinking of you and your daughter a lot. How is she doing? How are you doing? I have sent 2 of my daughters to college in the last few weeks, they both have experienced loneliness, depression and anxiety and it has been hard for them at times. They are scared, depressed, overwhelmed, and struggling at times. Now that school has started they seem to be doing a bit better. One of my daughter's has already gone to the health clinic on campus to get into counseling, my other daughter is also considering it. Both of their colleges has free counseling. It is hard to know they are struggling and to be so far away. I am so glad that she has you and that she is reaching out to you.I am so glad that you contacted her doctor at home and that she was able to talk to your daughter and help. I hope thing are improving.