National Eating Disorders Association

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Very Overwhelmed

My daughter has been suffering from Anorexia for 2 years. We will complete inpatient and partial hospitalization treatment on Monday 2/15/16. We have gone through 5 weeks of absolute (excuse the language) hell. Even though she has been compliant with everything that she has been asked to do in treatment, I still have that gut feeling that "something" may happen. This is my first daughter & I feel very overwhelmed. I feel as if our life completely revolves around food! I get yelled at, blamed and get the silent treatment daily. I hate to say it, but I feel as though things were easier when she had the eating disorder. We were going through the "motions" then. I'm a nurse by profession and I've never had to experience a patient with an eating disorder, so this is new for me. it's different when you're patient is your child though. If there's any advice out there that can be given, I'm all ears!


Hi sharris9903,

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Hi sharris9903,
Welcome to the forums! I am sorry to hear about your daughter's struggles, but I'm glad she completed treatment and is compliant so far. Anorexia is so difficult to deal with and such a complicated disorder, as you know, but full recovery is possible! It sounds like you are already doing the right things, stay strong! If you need more help, you can call the NEDA Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-R 9-9, F 9-5 EST) for more resources in your area, including support groups and nutritionists. You may also want to look at the Parental Toolkit and NEDA Navigators, which you can find here: Please keep us updated. I hope things get better soon!

Very Overwhelmed

I can understand your feelings of being overwhelmed. My wife and I often felt overwhelmed by our daughter's disorder. We brought our pre-teen daughter home from the hospital about a year ago after spending 12 days to begin the re-feeding process; walking out with a diagnosis of Anorexia. Our early months sound similar to yours. Our daughter was often resistant to eating what we prepared. Eating more calories a day is tough, but needed to put on weight. My wife and I held our ground every time. Not eating cannot be an option, and our daughter understood that she could not go to school, or play soccer, or be with friends if she did not eat. We suffered repeated verbal, and sometimes physical, aggressiveness from our daughter. It's not easy hearing your daughter tell you that she hates you and doesn't want to live. In the heat of this, we always reminded her, out loud, how much we loved her and that we wanted to help her get better. You can do it too. Acknowledging that there are two people inside of our daughter helped us to remember that we were sometimes talking to our "anorexic daughter" and other times our "real daughter." Hopefully you have someone else like a grandparent, spouse, partner, or good friend who can help. We read a few good books, maybe you know of them, which helped us manage. We have just had to put everything on hold in or lives and have had to focus on getting her well. We are a year into treatment, and every day we still feel as though, as you say, "something" will happen. Things happen less and less, but it can be a fragile balance at times.

Hi sharris9903,

I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's struggles but I'm glad she's getting the help that she needs. My best friend struggled with an eating disorder, and as one of her main supporters I also had to deal with being yelled at and blamed. Similar to what Hope_4 said, the easiest way for me to get through it was to remind myself that it wasn't really her talking. ED really was like another person inside her head, and though it was very difficult at times, I had to remember that my best friend was still somewhere in there.

I would also suggest possibly seeking help for yourself as you go through this difficult time. ED affects so many more people than just the sufferer, and it's important to take care of yourself too. If you need a place to start, you can call the NEDA Helpline at 1-800-931-2237 (M-R 9-9, F 9-5 EST) and they can point you in the direction of resources from support groups to therapists in your area. I hope you will take advantage of the resources that NEDA has to offer.

Please keep us updated. I wish you the best of luck with your daughter, and remember to take care of yourself too!