National Eating Disorders Association

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Dealing with driving

We are about a year into our battle. Though the docs don't see the bad days, they are amazed at our progress. We have also had every possible advantage and been very blessed. By most accounts, we are in recovery.

My 15-y-o has reestablished her weight and largely things are heading in the right direction. We still have periodic emotional meltdowns…being a 15 year old girl is not easy under the best of circumstances.

Here's my current conundrum. She is at a point where she wants to and should start driving. She does not handle the emotional issues…even modest ones like missing a turn or getting honked at by another driver well. She sometimes goes into a full panic mode which is dangerous to her and others.

Has anyone else been through this? Does it get better? I am sure it is a stress trigger, but I don't want her to be in danger or cause a danger to others.


Hello! Welcome to the forums and thank you for your post!! I hope that I can be of some support and help for you!

I am very happy to hear that your daughter has made such great strides in her recovery!! She certainly has a very loving and supportive home to build upon this!

I would say that as the parent you still have a strong say in what your daughter is prepared for and what might be dangerous to her and others. The concerns that you mentioned are very legitimate and are reason to more fully evaluate the situation. Have you shared with your daughter your observations and concerns? I think that an honest discussion of her safety when driving would be very logical. Perhaps she would agree that maybe waiting a few months and focusing on other concerns would be beneficial?

Is she still attending therapy? I think having a therapist involved to address her anxiety would be a great idea. A therapist would definitely be able to share insight and help teach your daughter useful skills she can use to lessen her anxiety and focus more on keeping safe. I remember when I was first driving and at that point I hadn't recovered yet either. There was definitely a lot of anxiety, but now that I have more developed skills I can still feel the anxiety while driving but I can manage it in the moment and stay on track.

I think a great resource that you might find useful would be the NEDA Navigators program! Have you heard of it? It is a program that connects you with a parent who has helped his/her child recover and can provide you with their experiences and give advice too!! Plus this whole service is free and private! Here is a link to learn more!!

I hope this helps!! Please let me know if you have any questions!

We are still doing therapy

We are still doing therapy and it's helping if only to give some structure to recovery. Being away from the pressures of school has been a Godsend. She has an excellent support network and we live simply.