How can I help my daughter avoid a re... - Anorexia Bulimia ...

Anorexia Bulimia Care

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How can I help my daughter avoid a relapse into anorexia

Riclin profile image

My 17 year old daughter has confided in me that she’s having anorexic thoughts again. She’s been well for the past 2 years and was officially discharged last summer. What should I do? I’m terrified I’ll do the wrong thing.

8 Replies

It must be so hard for you - I know my parents struggled to know what to say and how to react - like treading on eggshells. Listening is the best thing - let her talk through her thoughts and anxieties - perhaps gently reflect back to her the journey she has taken to get well. It may also be helpful for her to get back in touch with her previous counsellors perhaps for a chat about the feelings that are now recurring before they develop further. Anorexia and Bulimia Care have a carers helpline which you might find helpful.

Thank you so much for your kind words and advice. Walking on eggshells is exactly how we feel. It’s also come as a shock to my husband and I. We had allowed ourselves to relax, thinking her ED was all in the past. This lockdown has been tough for her as well, so I’m hoping getting back to college will give her more to think about, and being able to meet up with her friends will be great.

I think it’s great that you are reaching out to help support your daughter. There is a resource that might be useful to you called the F.E.A.S.T. Forums. I don’t know how active it is right now but it has an archive of questions from parents trying to help their Children overcome EDs. One thing I did learn from those forums, as an adult looking for guidance for my own recovery, is that many of the parents found that there did come a point in the weight restoration process where the ED thoughts got less dominant. The idea is the closer the child got to their natural or setpoint weight the less vulnerable they are, psychologically, to ED thoughts. Learning this was enough to motivate me to continue with recovery and weight restoration because I was very curious if this was actually true. I have been in recovery for almost 3 years and I would say There was a point when the voice got quieter and less dominant.

I would also suggest looking into Tabatha Farrar’s (a recovered person and ED counselor) YT channel and blog. Her work has been invaluable for helping me understand the biological functions that lie at the heart of EDs and she provides a lot of encouragement for how to overcome them.

Riclin profile image
Riclin in reply to

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply to me. I watched a few of Tabatha’s videos, making notes (that’s so me!) as she made comments relevant to our situation. She completely hit the spot with me - she talks such sense. I’m going to continue watching a few each day. I think what has shocked my husband and me is that we thought that our daughter’s ED was over, that we could finally relax, but I guess that’s never really going to happen.

Hi sorry to hear about your daughter getting the anorexia thoughts , one good thing is she has told you about it , my two daughters had anorexia it was the scariest thing , what eventually worked was praying to Jesus we are Christian anyway so it was easy, if you are Christian then it is a resource that could get rid of anorexia for good For most people anorexia never really goes away its always there in the background waiting for an opportunity to get its victim to start restricting again

Thank you for reply.

You're welcome, you probably think I am mad to suggest praying to Jesus but it really works, noone after all actually even knows the cause of anorexia and no one has a cure it may seem to be down to luck why some recover and some don't , one thing is for sure it is deadly - it wants it's victims dead , as I said it is a very good sign that your daughter has confided in you she needs you to back her up against this thing you need to remind her how awful it was when it had control over her tell her it is evil and is not helping her , be there for her 100% I think the best attitude is to not come down on her but on it - anorexia aka Ana

As a mother of Anorexia daughter I feel your situation very much .. my daughter was in ED and hospitalised for quite long time but now she is much more better and continues her recovery journey.

My advice is to start to give her guided material to start to reflect her emotions and thoughts day by day this will help her to put it out of her mind and release the conflict inside her .. i use this with my daughter and also drawing and playing with her during making clay figures.

This will help her to ground herself and express her emotions safely.

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