F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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sunshine1974
Does anyone have any experience with someone who has an ED and separation anxiety?
I feel that my daughter has separation anxiety (with me) and she has also been diagnosed with anorexia.
Only one psychiatrist mentioned it to us in a session but didn't elaborate. 
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seaglass
My d has always been very close to me and needed me nearby. She is now 13 and was diagnosed with AN about 9 months ago. During her illness she has needed me to be very close (both physically and emotionally) and has had separation anxiety when away from me. She has built up some resilience to go to her dad's for short visits and to school for short sessions but her need to stick close to me has noticeably increased during this time.

It's like she's all at sea and I'm her buoy.

I know some of the reason for her getting this horrible illness has been a fear and anxiety about growing up and going through puberty.

I always found that when she was little if I gave her lots of security by being close she eventually found her way to step out into the world.

Now I'm hoping that if I do the same and give her the security she needs by being close now she will gradually find the strength and bravery to step out again. And there are signs she's doing that.

It's tough though. There are times I crave space and time alone. But in a way it also helps as I am very in tune with her and she is able to talk to me a lot and I've learnt ways to stay calm and strong and just be there to comfort her in her toughest times.

I'm not sure any of this is useful or relevant. It's just my experience.

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Foodsupport_AUS
My D definitely had issues when at her sickest with this, and had issues as a young child 4-5, however in the interim and now did not. There is a lot of regression in behaviours with ED and I think this came as part of the territory. For a few years it was as though I had a two year old not a 13 -15 year old in terms  of independence. I would definitely be treating the ED and seeing if the other just got better by itself.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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meadow
Hi Sunshine,

Yes my daughter became more anxious in every aspect when she was at her most ill, and this included a certain degree of separation anxiety. As she's gained weight the anxiety has diminished, but it's still greater than it was pre-AN. I agree with Foodsupport about focussing on the ED and anticipating that the anxiety may very well decrease as your D's brain heals.

Only speaking from my own experience here but when my D was very sick we were physically very close too. Partly this was because she was so vulnerable I just wanted to comfort her. She slept in my bed for weeks because I was worried about her physically, because I wanted to keep an eye on her for middle-of-the-night exercise, and because our interactions at mealtimes were so difficult that we both needed some positive time together. She would snuggle up to me like a baby and a couple of times even wanted to suck my finger (she's 8). So whether or not any of that played into the separation issues I can't be sure, but maybe. That's just our experience....your situation will be different of course. Best of luck with it xx
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mjkz
Mine went completely the opposite.  She couldn't get far enough away from me which was hard but thankfully with weight gain that all straightened out.
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