National Eating Disorders Association

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Psychologist64
What is the right thing to do

My daughter is 20 years old and suffers from anorexia. She is amazing, and she sought out help for herself. She is in therapy, she sees a psychiatrist for medication for her depression and anxiety, and she is also getting help From an Eating disorder clinic. She is working on trying to eat more each day and tryIng not to purge.
Because of Covid, she is living at home for the last few months after having been living in an apartment and going to college. Her college classes are now all online. Moving back to our house was very difficult for her, and ended up triggering her eating disorder which had been in remission for the last couple of years.
My husband and I are having a really hard time knowing the right thing to do under certain circumstances. It is hard to know whether we are speaking to my daughter or to her eating disorder when she asks us to do certain things. When my daughter asks me for a snack and tells me that she will be fine with it as long as I stay with her for a while after she eats it, and I give her one, and then she ends up throwing it up, I feel terribly guilty and that I made a mistake. But on the other hand, she is 20 years old, and it’s not like I have so much control over what she does. Sometimes, I will give her that snack and she will end up being fine. But how am I supposed to know when she asks me the next time whether she’s going to be fine or whether she’s going to purge afterwards? I know that in some ways this is a rhetorical question, but I’m trying to figure out how to live with the consequences of the times that I Make the mistake and give her the snack and she ends up purging.

Annet
Psychologist64,

I am glad your daughter trusts you enough to ask you for a snack and accompany her.
As patients with eating disorders, we also do not know when we will be able to tolerate a snack.
Believe me, when working on recovery, we usually do not go for a meal or a snack planning to vomit it. We make a lot of tries. But not all of our attempts are successful.
So, if she continues to ask her for a snack, that may be another opportunity for her to try to eat it and keep it. The only thing I would tell you is to avoid any kind of conversation related to food, eating disorder behaviours, family problems or anything that could make her feel uncomfortable (and triggered).

In my particular case, I had to move to live on my own because staying at my parents was the perfect recipe to spend my day vomiting. The environment in my home is very toxic and triggering to me. So, I am better on my own. It does not seem to be the case for your daughter but still, let her know you are there to support it.

Cheers!
Annet

Annet
Psychologist64,

I am glad your daughter trusts you enough to ask you for a snack and accompany her.
As patients with eating disorders, we also do not know when we will be able to tolerate a snack.
Believe me, when working on recovery, we usually do not go for a meal or a snack planning to vomit it. We make a lot of tries. But not all of our attempts are successful.
So, if she continues to ask you for a snack, that may be another opportunity for her to try to eat it and keep it. The only thing I would tell you is to avoid any kind of conversation related to food, eating disorder behaviours, family problems or anything that could make her feel uncomfortable (and triggered).

In my particular case, I had to move to live on my own because staying at my parents was the perfect recipe to spend my day vomiting. The environment in my home is very toxic and triggering to me. So, I am better on my own. It does not seem to be the case for your daughter but still, let her know you are there to support it.

Cheers!
Annet