National Eating Disorders Association

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rethink
She 10 hrs away on a mission trip and struggling

I just got a text from my 17 yr old daughter (4 months out of residential treatment) who left this morning on a church mission trip that she has done for the past 3 years and was so looking forward to. She is on the bus, says she is struggling, wants to purge, is extremely anxious and thinks she isn't ready for this time away. She wants me to pick her up. I asked her younger sister who is also on the trip to support her and she has at least one friend she feels close to that is also watching over her. She doesn't want to bring anyone down. I've done the best I can to make sure there are adults and people close to her that can watch over her but I'm sick over this. What more can I do, what should I do? Please share any stories of your daughter's recovery process and her first time away from home to a setting that is bringing her back to the anxiety she felt this same time last year when her ED was very bad. Thank you

nanzhu
Hi rethink,

Hi rethink,

While I'm not a professional and don't have experience with your situation, as someone who is in recovery for an ED and also has anxiety stemming from my ED, I think that having a couple people there who your daughter is close to and trusts is a good way to help her manage her struggles while she is away from home. I do think though that continuing to have a follow up appointments with a medical provider (and especially ED specialist or psychiatrist) can be really important now that she is out of residential treatment - that way they can help her come up with ways of managing her anxiety in these types of situations and be part of her support system. They can also help with findings ways of coping with different types of transitions and environments since they have the expertise and training.

The NEDA Helpline is a great resource you can call for other options or help finding other resources (1-800-931-2237, M-R 9-9, F 9-5 EST) and the NEDA Navigators Program is a great program that can also help you find more information and/or offer support and a listening ear: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators.

I hope this helps - all the best to you!
Nan

bereavedmother
rethinking

if she thinks she's not ready, she's not. My opinion. Her younger sister shouldn't have to be her care taker or support system. If she asked for you to take her home, don't take a chance. Please, go get her. She's reaching out and has asked for help. My daughter died 3 years ago from secondary complications of bulimia. She was in recovery. She was in a hospital at the time for pancreatits. and suffered a cardiac arrest. They didn't get to her in time to spare her total brain damage. I have read stories and seen films about others who died from a cardiac arrest.. Please don't take a chance. Please don't let her feel bad about not being ready, she recognized that and that awareness can save her life. Just be glad she turned to you and trusted you.

bereavedmother
rethinking

if she thinks she's not ready, she's not. My opinion. Her younger sister shouldn't have to be her care taker or support system. If she asked for you to take her home, don't take a chance. Please, go get her. She's reaching out and has asked for help. My daughter died 3 years ago from secondary complications of bulimia. She was in recovery. She was in a hospital at the time for pancreatits. and suffered a cardiac arrest. They didn't get to her in time to spare her total brain damage. I have read stories and seen films about others who died from a cardiac arrest.. Please don't take a chance. Please don't let her feel bad about not being ready, she recognized that and that awareness can save her life. Just be glad she turned to you and trusted you.