National Eating Disorders Association

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New very scared parent

Our 16y/o daughter recently disclosed to us she has an eating disorder, and has been purging after meals. She is seeing a Psychologist now and has been diagnosed with moderate to severe depression. We are working on getting her in with a Ped Psychiatrist for meds.

This feels like it came at us out of the blue. I would never have guessed my seemingly happy go lucky kid was depressed. She’s well liked by her friends, a straight A student.

Her eating disorder is rapidly worsening. She’s lost quite a bit of weight over the last few months and her periods have stopped. She wears very baggy clothes to hide it. Recently I saw her in a pair of shorts and I was shocked at how thin her legs were.

I’m terrified. I’m so scared. I’m scared this is life long and she will struggle with this all her life. I see her in pain right now and suffering and I can’t fix it so I feel helpless. She doesn’t want to be touched at all. And all I want to do is hug her and hold her.

How did you guys cope in the early days. What did you do? I’m walking on eggshells around her trying to not say the wrong thing or make her feel worse. I don’t want her to see me upset and that would cause her to feel guilty, but I catch myself crying a lot.

Dear SeekingUnderstanding

Dear SeekingUnderstanding,                                                                                                   Welcome to the forums! We are sorry to hear that your daughter is struggling, but glad that you have reached out for support. We edited your post to remove specific numbers, as it can be triggering to other users. You can find the community guidelines here.                                                                                                                                            There are some resources on our website that you can check out here that are aimed at helping loved ones. Additionally we wanted to make you aware of the NEDA helpline. You can call 800-931- 2237 or chat to discuss support options. Helpline phone hours are Monday-Thursday 11am-9pm ET, Friday 11am-5pm ET. Helpline chat hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm ET, Friday 9am- 5pm ET. We hope you find the support you need!

I get it

Hi there! I'm in the same situation you are in and my daughter the same age. I'm here if you ever want to talk. We are a year in to this journey and there is hope amidst the storm. Some days will be harder than others and it's always a struggle but it gets easier I promise. The first few weeks I cried almost daily. Learn that you have to trust the process. An eating disorder center in Tulsa has saved my daughter twice. Utilizing resources is so helpful. Developing a strong support group is a must!

Dear olurebekah, we are

Dear olurebekah, we are writing to inform you that we edited your post to remove the name of the treatment facility. You can review our community guidelines here. Thanks for your understanding and please continue to post!

scared parent

I was you about 6 months ago. Getting my daughter into weekly pediatrician visits was the first step. The pediatrician and I talked in advance. The next step was getting her working with an ED specialist, not any other kind of therapist, but one whose primary focus is EDs, especially in teens. This all came to a head with hospitalization mandated by her pediatrician before real ED therapy w dietician could begin. Next step was refeeding in the hospital, because of the effect of malnutrition on her brain, weight restoration had to happen quickly and asap. The ED thrives in the malnourished brain, which is said to shrink up to 20%. From hospital, she should have gone to PHP or residential, but due to COVID there are long waitlists everywhere. So we brought her home intending to do the Maudsley Method or FBT. For 3-4 weeks it went pretty darn well, she had significant gains and got her period (only once so far). Now 6 weeks in and still waiting for PHP, she is backsliding. Anyway...I hope this offers some help to know the experience of others. The treatment situation is really hard right now and I'm confident the lack of support is why my daughter is relapsing. Waitlists everywhere, so call and get her on some now.. Every day without ED treatment the ED grip grows.