What can I do to help my 20 year old daughter with a eating disorder

Kristina - posted on 08/13/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My Daughter just told me that she has an eating disorder about a month ago, and has had one for years. Has anyone ever had to deal with something like this? I do not know a thing about this.

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Sara - posted on 08/28/2010

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For your state of mind and of course in helping your daughter to the fullest you should consult a professional to help you both. I hope your daughter overcome this situation. God Bless

Leslie - posted on 08/27/2010

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There is a reason why your daughter decided to begin this behavior in the beginning. Along with the doctor visits and the out patient therapy think about taking her to a good hypnotherapist who specializes in addiction and avoidance behaviors. This is a good way to get to the heart of the matter and to begin the healing. Good luck with you and your daughter.

Lynne - posted on 08/26/2010

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You need to know which one she has and then seek the help of a professional My daughter had one for 2 years before I found out they can be life threaten your organs will shut down it is no joke and it is something they can not help I would fix my daughter what ever she would want to eat and then watch her cry because she couldn't eat it.This started when she was 14 years old and we have battled it for years whenever she would get upset or the word fat would be used to describe her (not that she was) it would throw her into a binge and the cycle would begin. I am proud to say with counseling and time and alot of work and a couple big scares with her organs shutting down she is now 28 years old and weights 145 lbs. Trust me when I say get help it is something you need it with Good luck and God bless!

Julie - posted on 08/25/2010

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Your Daughter as taken the most important and courageous step she as admitted she has a problem now she can be helped, your first step must be to your G.P. who will refer you to the help she needs in the mean time try & discover the point of origin when she first started their is usually an event no matter how trivial it seem to you to her her was something she could not cope with. encourage her to be open and honest with you without judging her with your support and appropriate care she will make a good recovery it won't be overnight the hardest thing for these girls and boys is admitting they have a problem in the first place. Try not to worry just make sure she get help from your G.P. I believe their is still a support group for youngsters with eating disorders look online in Google

Brenda - posted on 08/24/2010

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I think my daughter-in-law has a eating disorder. She is 24 years old . It all begun about two years ago when her mother died of cancer. She had no control over what happened. The only thing she can control is her self. So she controls herself by controling what she eats. She got down to 85 pounds but is doing much better now. She is around 98 pounds now.

Kathy - posted on 08/20/2010

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As others have mentioned, people with eating disorders usually are prettty good at keeping it a secret, and since your daughter told you about her eating disorder, it sounds like she may already be getting help, or is ready to get help with her problems. In our case, we found a treatment "team" to be most effective. It consisted of a therapist familiar with eating disorders, along with her physican, and dietician. Your daughter may allow you to attend some of her therapy sessions where you could discuss ways to be supportive. I also found it helpful to talk with my daughter candidly about what things were supportive, and what was not helpful for her. You could also try finding a support group in your area. Remember that eating disorders are about more than just putting on a few pounds and it will take time to work through it, but it is possible.

Rita_2_davey - posted on 08/18/2010

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I'm sure you were quite taken back when she told you this. I would be very worried for her health. As in an eating disorder is it anorexia or bulemia? You should speak with your daughter, it is quite obvious that something has put her in this spot, stress, peer pressure? She and you should both go to your/her Physican for help. See someone who can hopefully get her on the right path. This is a disease rather than just something that will pass. I don't know the age of your daughter but she does need help, and its beyond the help that you can give her medicinally. She has told you because she is reaching out for help. She knows' that this is not good. Pls. tell her you love her that you will be there for her but she has to see someone to get help. You certainly dont' want to see her hospitalized and hooked up to machines.
She has come to you in despairation, do everything that she is willing to allow you to. Do not get pushy with her about getting help, it sounds like this is why she came to you in the first place. Even prior to getting her into a Physician go and buy her some Nutricious Drinks. You should be able to buy some Ensure at your local Drugstore, which is rich in vitamins and nutrients'. If you cant' find it, talk to the Pharmacist about what they have. Nutrient Bars' etc. and just hopefully it will be a start with her. It doesn't sound to me like your talking about someone who is overweight, just the opposite. Be there for her, tell her how much you love her and together you will work to get better. Going to the right Councillor for counselling is fantastic. Her first most important move is that she told you and finally realized she needed help, the second most important is the Councelling. Be so very thankful that she came to you. I am so proud of her for doing just that!! I wish you every success in the world, take care, Rita

Cynthia - posted on 08/18/2010

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Not quite the same....but
My daughter gave me quite a scare when she was about 8 yrs old, everytime I took her shopping when she spotted a dress that caught her attention she would ask "Do I have to be skinny to wear this?" my daughter never wanted to have kids because she was afraid to get fat and stay that way,she was just about your daughters age when she discovered she was pregnant. She would eat just enough to feed the unborn baby and not much more,(at 9 months she looked like someone had cut a 12 inch diameter beach ball in half and glued it to her belly)She never even wore maturnity clothes,right after baby was born she started doing 1000 sit-ups a week to get back to her former shape, she became so skinny that when she said that she wanted a classic black cocktail dress,the smallest I could find was a size zreo and then I had to take it in by 2 inches. Not only did I voice my concerns to her father, grandmother and the family Dr. I told my daughter that if she didn't stop thinning herself out that I would apply to the courts for custody of baby because if she got any smaller she wouldn't be able to lft the babyor care for her properly. When my daughter was at her lightest she wieghed 92 lbs and 19 yrs old with a new born. It took her over a month to regain 1 lb,now she is almost 30yrs old a mother of 2, 5'8" and still wieghs about 125 lbs soaking wet. The Dr told me she has to reach her bottom before she'll accept help of any form,just to monitor things and to offer any form of suport I could. You could ask her if she's stressed out about anything, see if she will confide in you, you could sit her down and show her passages from medical books the state what happens to the body after prolonged periods of anorexia ,belimia or if it happens to be obesity, most kids today don't get enough medical information about the human body and health issues that arise because of thier actions regarding food for both anorexia and obesity.
Good Luck
PS. don't ever be afrain to seek professional advice from dietitions or counceling.

Denise - posted on 08/16/2010

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Best thing to do first is get educated yourself about this disorder. At 21 I also had an eating disorder, I was anorexic for a couple of years due to extreme marital problems. I normally weighed about 125 and got down to almost 90 pounds.. I literally looked like a skeleton with skin on. I was a size 0 and my jeans were to big for me. Get help. This is a difficult disorder to tame and most cannot reverse the damage or false beliefs and views of oneself alone. You both need support and help right now. Don't delay, it will not go away on its own. I am praying for you.

Donna - posted on 08/16/2010

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I went through this myself. The worst thing you can do is force her to eat. Take her to the doctor and ask him/her to refer to an eating disorder specialist. If she is really bad she might have to go for inpatient treatment. Love and support her and let her know you are there for her.

Brenda - posted on 08/16/2010

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I have no experience with this, but just wanted to say that my heart goes out to you. I can't even begin to imagine how hard this is. Good luck and I hope she finds the help she needs!

Anne Marie - posted on 08/15/2010

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i agree with the moms saying get her to a doctor and a specialist. Tell her how much you apprecieate her opening up to you on the subject. Be there to support her in any way you can. It is not your fault, these diseases have a multi factor involved and the one suffering from the disease has learned how to keep it a secret, the fact she opened up is fantastic and tells me she want the help. Good luck to both of you.

Nancy - posted on 08/14/2010

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I went through the same thing with our youngest daughter. First, get her to a doctor to do a physical, so that you know what you're dealing with from a physical perspective. Next, find a counsellor or psychologist who specializes in eating disorders - get her in to see him/her immediately. The psychologist will help her understand why she has this disorder, and can give her methods of dealing with the control issues and stress issues that usually lead to the eating disorder. There are a lot of books out there, but the one that my daughter found the most helpful is called "Life without Ed" by Jenni Schaefer. It puts the disorder in it's proper place - it's a condition, and does not define the person.

It took a long time for your daughter to get to this point, and it's going to take a long time to get past it. But it can be done. My daughter is now 23, healthy and happy.

I'd bet you're also beating yourself up for not noticing before now - I know I did. But the thing you need to understand (and it took me a while) is that an eating disorder by nature lives and thrives in secrecy. Your daughter has taken a very important first step in admitting it to you. I still have guilt feelings wondering if there is something I could have done to prevent it. But there really isn't anything you could do, but now you can be as supportive as you can and just be there for her.

Good luck with everything - it's a very difficult time for both you and her, but you can get through this. Take care.

Valorie - posted on 08/13/2010

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Has she been to a doctor or a specialist as they would be able to point you in the right direction. Get her to a doctor, because this type of disease is bad!

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