National Eating Disorders Association

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Just diagnosed

Heartbroken, blindsided and angry. My 15 year old daughter is anorexic and depressed. This is a world I knew virtually nothing about and honestly, no offense, preferred it that way. But now I am here and that this has touched our lives and taken our daughter hostage.

Now I vented and thank you very much, feel marginally better!

Now I can put on my big girl panties and persevere. The specialist we are seeing strongly recommends zoloft and Dad and I are really struggling with that. We are coming around I think but it is a real huge hurdle for us. We have no experience and we are really nervous about signs to look for if the medication is causing her to think suicidal thoughts. The doctor told her to tell us if she has bad thoughts. Really??? I'm just looking at the doctor and at my daughter and thinking, "Are you for real lady?" As if she will tell us anything now, if she gets to that state, I would think she would find it even more difficult to speak up.

Anybody out there have any experience on what signs we need to look for? Thanks.....


Hi 4everFree,

I am so sorry that your daughter has become another patient with this illness. I can remember how frightened I was when I was diagnosed with an eating disorder at age 16, even though it had really started at age 10. How is she doing? How has your family been now that you have entered the recovery process?

Are you aware of the resources that NEDA has to offer? There are NEDA Navigators that can help support you in this difficult time. This link talks about how to contact a navigator:

Also, I would recommend calling the NEDA Helpline if you have not done so already. They would be able to provide you with more information on resources near your home. The number is: 1-800-931-2237.

I can understand your families fear regarding the medication. I agree with you that it is scary and that your concerns are completely legitimate. During my road on recovery, I was prescribed the same medication. Although I cannot give you much information regarding side effects, or other medical stuff like that, I can provide insight on how to help support your daughter.

Is she currently seeing a therapist? This would probably help a lot. Also, it is sometimes helpful to "state the obvious". What I mean by this is to give assurance to your daughter that it is ok to express negative emotions or thoughts in a constructive, non-harmful manner. For example, it is not "wrong" to feel urges to have a maladaptive behavior, it is how we process this feeling and act upon it that really has significance. Being able to start the conversation this way might be able to help your daughter state suicidal thoughts if she does have them.

Hope this helps. Is there anything else I can support you with?