National Eating Disorders Association

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I'm lost and need advice

I have an 18 yr old son with an unusual ed. He just hates eating!!! He's been an extreme picky eater since baby food. Drs all said he would out grow but hasn't. He finally went to an ed clinic but didn't stay but a week. He doesn't fit any where because he doesn't have a problem with body image or usual issues. He's 5'10" and now weighs a certain amount of weight. He previously weighed a certain amount of weight, he was barely eating. When he hit puberty is when things went down hill. He has extreme social anxiety, had to drop out of Hs and is isolating. He's in counseling, but hates it and thinks it's a waste of time. He sees apysch and is on meds. Just nothing fits right.
He definitely has a disorder with food. He panics when there is too much food presented to him and panics if he feels full.
I'm a mom that has worried about this for 18yrs and I have nowhere else to turn. Can someone please help????? My heart is breaking ☹

Welcome to the forums!

Hi iloveshea!

We are glad that you are finding support here on the NEDA forums. A portion of your post was edited due to the mention of specific numbers that may be triggering to other forum members. Our community guidelines are always available to review here: In the event you need further assistance please call the NEDA helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-Th 9-9 F 9-5 EST).

Again, thank you for posting, and we hope you will continue to do so!

Hi iloveshea,

Thank you for posting here! I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties your son is going through. That must be hard for him and for you, too.

I'm not a medical professional, but from some of the symptoms you're describing, it sounds like your son could have a feeding disorder (as opposed to an eating disorder). The disorder that comes to my mind is Avoidant-Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID): . Again, this is my unprofessional opinion based on some of the information you shared. It's also possible that your son is dealing with an "Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder", and he's somewhere in between diagnoses and doesn't meet the full criteria for the main feeding or eating disorders. (You can read more about eating and feeding disorder symptoms here: ). Maybe you could seek out a feeding/eating disorder specialist and have a professional assess your son for these symptoms. Perhaps the ED clinic he visited would have suggestions. You can also talk to his GP/primary care physician and ask them for a referral. Another great resource is the NEDA Helpline; you can call or chat online to find out about treatment resources near you: .

It's great that your son is seeing a counselor and is working with a professional to get medication and therapy. A lot of people who seek treatment for mental health issues say it takes time to see results and there's often an "adjustment period", so hopefully your son will see improvements with time and will understand the value of professional care.

It sounds like you're a caring parent who wants to do the best for your child! This is certainly a tricky situation, but please know that you aren't alone. These forums are a great place for support, and NEDA has lots of great resources. Here are some NEDA links that might be helpful for you:

I hope this is a helpful starting point! Don't give up; recovery is possible. Please keep us updated on how things are going; we're here for you.