National Eating Disorders Association

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Please tell me it will not always be this way...

Our 14-year old daughter has anorexia/orthoexia - it started this summer and by mid Nov we put her in the hospital for 8 days (until her heart was stable) and now for the past 3 or 4 weeks roughly we have been moving thru the start of recovery. I am in charge of her meal plan and we have regular MD/dietician appts (they work together, were the same ones who provided care in the hospital) as well as weekly therapist appts.
We are new in the journey, I realize, but I would love to hear from other parents that it will not always be like this...
My daughter is very compliant and there is no problem with her eating what I provide (although we are moving slowly with what to reintroduce when - that is likely to speed up a bit as we get beyond the holidays) but I know it is still a slog for her to eat every bite - even things she likes (taste-wise), she does not enjoy. She used to be a very happy and confident girl and I do not know where that went but I just want it back - I want her to be able to be happy again, not all full of angst inside herself.
I am trying to stay strong and keep the faith that we really can move beyond this but I would love to hear from others right now about what to do at these moments when you just see your child so clearly not truly happy.
Thank you,

Hope = Hold on, pain ends.

Hi Melissa!!!

Thank you so much for trusting these forums with your story and your emotions! I hope that I can be of some support to you!

As a child who has recovered from an ED, I can relate to some degree as to how difficult things were when I was still ill. I truly can tell how much you love your daughter and how much you want her to be well!! Your love for her will absolutely help your daughter immensely!!!! Also, having such a well balanced and structured treatment team will provide so many resources for you and your daughter.

Recovery is absolutely possible, and your daughter is definitely on the right path to get there!!!! I know that right now there is temporary pain and angst, however as the title says Hold On Pain Ends: HOPE!!!

Have you tried incorporating some fun activities to help distract your daughter during meals? What does she like to talk about? What makes her laugh? Could you play a game? I know that when I was in residential we would play puzzle games or trivia games during meals to help distract us.

NEDA does have some resources that I think would truly be beneficial to you!!! Have you heard of the NEDA Navigators? It consists of volunteers of parents of recovered children or of everyday people who have recovered as well. If you request a Navigator and specify that you are a parent, you will be paired with a fellow parent as well! Navigators help provide one-on-one emotional support and guidance through this recovery process! Here is a link to learn more:

I hope this helps!! Is there anything else I can help you with?

I understand

Hi, Melissa,
I could have written your post! We will never know what caused this, but I feel for you. My daughter used to be so confident and bubbly. Now everything is a struggle. I agree with Michael, try to do things to distract yourselves.
My niece had an ED and she is now a successful, happily married doctor. I am hopeful that we'll be able to work through this time. My NEDA Navigator helped me by letting me know that since we are facing adolescence at the same time as the ED, things are doubly tough. Good luck--I am also very worried about the holiday season. We have a lot of family favorites in terms of snacks and candies. It's not fair to our other daughter not to make these things, but then what?

Thank you

Dear Michael,
I cannot thank you enough for your reply - it brought tears to my eyes but in a very good way! I just want to keep reading it over and over again. I love the idea of games - we do usually talk about who knows what but being more conscious about it is a very good idea - and it feels very good to have something concrete that I can do.
I did reach out to the Navigators yesterday and ironically just got a reply a few moments before I saw your post. I will connect with them for sure. I feel very good about the doctor, nutritionist and therapist we are working with but it is helpful to have someone who has really "been there" be able to reassure me at times and for that I cannot than you enough. You are clearly very mature and no doubt learned much from your experience and please know that you have helped me and I appreciate it.

Dear Susan,
Thank you also for your post - I especially love the story about your niece and I imagine that you and I share such visions for our daughters! As for holiday food festivities, Hannah is actually doing ok with that, though not eating any of it but she has even helped make cookies. I just don't want her to get so focused on doing it for others and not having it herself (she also has the orthoexia component) but that will have to come in time.
Any other tips or thoughts are always appreciated and you are in my thoughts as well.

Thank you both!