National Eating Disorders Association

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My son has ED - My first post

Hello parents
My son is 16 and has had OCD and anxiety for a few years. He was diagnosed with ED about 7 months ago. My son is obsessed with being bigger (muscles ), faster, stronger. He is extreme either limiting what he eats. He calls it "eating only healthy foods" or he has binges of sugar and fat. All his emotions are dictated by what he eats. He constantly compares his football /bball skills with other boys. Cries often that he not good enough. He has also had delusions regarding how his body looks. He has often BELIEVED that his muscles actually get smaller if he eats something not on his "list". We sometimes see small accomplishments. And then suddenly he is back to staring at his arms and looking in mirror.
He is on a few meds and has a wonderful therapist specializing in ED.
This is beyond heartbreaking. It is a Rollercoaster because there are days when he seems ok and then boom he falls back into really negative thoughts. I'm so scared this will never end! We are considering removing him from the football team and weightlifting class! Thanks for listening!

Hi Hamicross4,

Welcome to the forums, and thank you for sharing some of your family's story with us.

First, I think it's great that your son is seeing a therapist who specializes in EDs. Seeing a professional is so beneficial, and it's great that he's taking some significant steps toward recovery.

I think a lot of people on the forums can relate to the experience of managing anxiety disorders along with EDs. They often go hand-in-hand, and that can make treatment and daily life pretty tough. And a lot of your son's ED symptoms sound like things I've heard before regarding EDs in boys/men. For boys/men, EDs aren't necessarily as much about being "thin" as they often are for girls/women. In case you haven't seen it, NEDA has a great page with resources regarding Males and EDs: . I also think NEDA's Parent Toolkit is incredibly helpful: .

It's clear from your post that you're really worried about your son, and that's certainly understandable given the circumstances. Please know that he is much better off for having a loving, devoted parent like you! Recovery/treatment can definitely seem like a rollercoaster; it's all part of the process. But recovery is possible! If you want some examples of recovery stories, NEDA's Stories of Hope section of the website is a great starting point: .

In regards to whether or not your son should stop participating in the football team and weightlifting class, that might be something to ask your son's therapist about. The therapist can probably say from experience what the best strategy would be, and (s)he knows the details about your son's ED better than those of us on the forums. It can be hard to strike a balance between trying to stop the disordered ED behaviors, and also helping your son maintain normality in other parts of his life, especially if the sports are activities he's been involved in for a long time. I would definitely seek the professional opinion on this one!

I hope you find some of the support you're looking for here on the forums. Please keep posting and let us know how you and your family are doing! Good luck, Hamicross4! :)