National Eating Disorders Association

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Depression with anorexia

My daughter was diagnosed with anorexia two weeks ago and has seen a therapist one time and we want to get her on medication so I'm waiting to hear back from a psychiatrist this week.
She has bouts of hysterical crying in her bed with the door closed and when I try to talk with her to find out what's going on she will not answer and stares into the wall. I know she has a lot of remorse and anger at herself for letting the sickness take over her life and now she is missing out on participation in activities she used to enjoy.
I just don't know how much I should try to get her out of bed and or discuss what is going on with her.
Anyone have a good answer to this?

Stay strong

Hi jghankes,
This sounds like a difficult situation, but I'm glad you reached out! I'm glad your daughter is getting some help through her therapist and psychiatrist - you have definitely taken some good steps in the right direction to making sure she receives the support she needs.
While I'm not a medical professional, as someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, it sounds like you are doing your best to be aware of how your daughter is doing, even though she isn't very interactive, and that can be helpful in itself. Letting her know you are there for her if/when she is ready to talk may help show her she's not alone - for me, having a support system as I started and went through recovery was crucial. The process of healing though from an ED or any mental illness is different for each person though, so it might also be helpful to talk to her medical providers to see if they have advice for you on ways to communicate, or ways to strike the difficult balance of giving her space she needs while still providing love and support.
The NEDA Helpline (1-800-931-2237) is another great resource to call for more information or resources, and the NEDA Navigators program ( can also help connect you with someone who has also supported a family member through recovery.
It sounds like you are on the right track and clearly want to do what's best for your daughter. Stay strong!
All the best,

Depression with anorexia

My daughter is recovering from her anorexia of a year ago so I feel for you. It's really hard to find support in real life
for this illness, whereas online forums have been the only way for me.
Your daughter's depression makes sense but I do know that isolating herself is not what she should do.
Some even take the door off the hinges, especially if they are prone to harming themselves.
We didn't have to do this but did make a rule to have her door always open and preferably be downstairs most of the
time, even to nap downstairs. Sleeping will be what she needs to do, to recover her body. But little walks to help with
depression are good.
We didn't go the drug route mainly because she was old enough to speak for herself and we she just didn't want to go there.
We had her on supplements and twice a week therapy, after her month long intensive day treatment.
Then just continuously eating, and crying in between.
If you're close to your daughter you may even want to get in bed with her and rub her back and comfort her as you can.
I did this lots and it helped me feel like I could actually do something. I rubbed her back many a nights just to get her
to fall asleep. She needs you as her friend not the disorder since it's speaks mean things to her. Of course you are her mother first, but I hope you understand what I mean. You will speak love. Separate her from the disorder. It makes her do strange things.
I wish the best for you as you go through this horrible disorder.
Any way I can help, let me know.

Hello, jghankes!

Welcome to the forums! We're all glad to have you here. I'm not a parent, but my sister has an ED, and I remember when she was first diagnosed it was very hard on my parents. EDs were new territory for all of us, so there was a steep learning curve at first. You've taken so many great steps already by having your daughter see professionals. I think wendyk offers a great perspective from another parent. However, like nanzhu said, recovery is a different journey for each individual and each family, so things that may have worked for wendyk's daughter might not be the best strategy for your daughter, jghankes. I would definitely be in contact with your daughter's treatment team and ask them any specific questions you have about communicating with your daughter. Like nanzhu said, making it clear that you care and that you're available whenever your daughter needs you are the most important things.

In the meantime, I would recommend using the resources available here on the NEDA site so that you can learn more about eating disorders and learn how to understand what your daughter is going through. A great starting point is the Parent Toolkit: . Knowledge is power! I hope you find this helpful. We all wish you and your family the best. Please keep talking to us here on the forums!

Hi! I'm so sorry to hear

Hi! I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter. It must be really difficult as a parent to handle that, but so far you have taken the right actions.

Thanks for reaching out!

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for reaching out to the NEDA Forum. We would like to inform you that a portion of your post was edited due to multiple endorsements of outside sources. What might have worked for some individuals might not work for the other individual. You can see the full guidelines to the NEDA Forums here:

Thank you,
NEDA Moderator