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

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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AN has won!
my d doesn’t seem to want to get better
and I’m over it I’ve lost hope actually

I’m feeling as confused as when my d first became ill 4 years ago 
(I was under a different name and changed as I was worried d had discovered the forum)

I have just read on another thread that FBT is not the preferred treatment if a patient is suicidal or SH
this is the first time I have heard anyone mention this and yet I did have these issues with my d and expressed here on the forum 

we were not under any professional help at that stage and constantly got told to feed feed feed (which I did) in the first 6 months 
I took time off work, I cooked and cooked and cooked and sat with her hours on end 
calming her when she was depressed/suicidal and self harming 
then.........she relapsed BIG TIME 

we finally had professional services by this stage she was on deaths doorstep 
last 3 years in and out of hospital IP
then day program IOP
then OP (Still in treatment)

our d AN has sucked EVERYTHING out of our family) our happiness, peace of mind, social life and friendships, (not to mention financially crippling us) and we have all given up on her 
I know, bad me! But 
im sick of the stress, lies, never knowing what to believe coming  out of her mouth, 
The mind games and BS, we have given her our EVERYTHING!
Time, compassion, love, kittens, puppies you name we have tried it
ive cied an ocean of tears I’ve got up day after day for 4 years put on a happy face and I am over it 
Maybe we did it wrong?
maybe I forced too much food into her too quick but I was advised to do this 

now I read if your kid suicidal, or self harming not FBT (or a version of it with no professional help as the wait list was 6 months!!!!)


I got told time and time again it is part and parcel of AN, it’s normal just keep feeding 
now I wonder if I did more harm then good????

after all this I’m tired of it all
my d now sleeps all day up all night 
I don’t know what to do anymore and I always upset someone on the forum so I’m sorry about that too

good luck to all and sorry for miserable and negative post but apparently i am allowed to vent here? 

all the best to you all and I wish all you and your loved ones suffering this miserable illness to get better soon


Hi I am really really sorry you feel so low.
You and your family have been through so much. Of course you are tired of it. You have put your all into helping your D. It is so exhausting and can be so damaging to the family. I wish I could give you a hug and a cup of tea or share a glass of wine depending on the time of day there. Xxxxxx
A big hug from me!! Amazing how much energy an illness can drain from us, while all around us the world seems to carry on as normal, most of the time. You certainly do not deserve to have this punishing lifestyle for 4 years.

Please please please tell your daughter her mother is her BEST and MOST LOYAL ally in life. If she could only hear you (through the ED noise), she would wonder where you got this endless energy from. I know the mother's LOVE will endure, but energy is required, too.

You definitely need support because wihout a respite you may find it hard to recharge.

Another big hug to you!
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
Sending huge hugs to you. It sounds like right now ED has sucked all of your hope out of you. This journey is soooo long and sooo tiresome and sooo hard. 

It is true that FBT is not first line treatment necessarily for those with suicidal ideation, however it is important to know there is no first line treatment for those in this situation. Nonetheless feeding is still a part of the treatment, the thing that is meant to happen is that there is a much more intensive level of support for the child and the parents. It is highly unlikely you have made things worse by feeding her, and it is possible that this has saved her life. 

Please take some time to care for yourself, step back and do what you need to do. You are always welcome back. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.

Oh @PleaseEAT! Of course you are allowed to post anything you wish. Vent away!! 

ED can suck the life out of us for sure! 

You have done really great things for your d. Please
remember that. You have saved her life.
Take a break and take care of your needs. Come back anytime you wish. 

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)

Hi Pleaseeat,
I'm sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed at the moment. You have fought long and hard for your daughter.
The forum is not a replacement for professional help and was never intended to be so. It is intended to provide emotional support for families from parents who have lived experience of a child with an eating disorder. 

If a child is suicidal they need immediate professional help and constant supervision. I'd like to just remind any parents on ATDT of that.
I really cannot stress that strongly enough, having been at risk of losing my own daughter. Treating an eating disorder is not a DIY (do it yourself) project for a family when a child is suicidal. Suicidality is a serious serious symptom and needs to be addressed.

My d. was suicidal for about 6 months and had an extensive history of self harm.
She wrote a suicide note and wanted to jump off a building. I had her placed in an eating disorder residential hospital for 3 months while she was refed while under close supervision because I was frightened to have her at home in that condition. And then she spent another 3 months in eating disorder day programs as she stepped down. If you look at an eating disorder like a pyramid of symptoms with the ones on the top needing the most immediate attention, suicidality is at the top of the triangular point and therefore the most critical symptom to address. Of course full nutrition has to be addressed as well since a starved brain cannot function. When my d was released from the hospital  she was weight restored and still at risk, however the urges seemed to lessen as time went on and she continued to eat and she became more involved with her life again. But after she was released from the program she had supervision and monitoring at home. As well as a small army of eating disorder professionals as part of her team—for a full 3 years after being released from the hospital. She still sees the therapist, in fact, so has someone to check in with weekly who knows her history and she finds helpful.

I also want to remind you that it can take between 5-7 years to see recovery. My d. was ill for a good 5 years before I started to really notice that things were turning a corner. It is certainly your decision if you want to give up on your child, but I would urge you to find some ways of caring for yourself right now and trying to prioritize your own mental health.

I understand the fatigue you are feeling.




I am so sorry for what you are going through.  You are in a place which many parents here recognize - total burnout.  It happens and I suspect suddenly you are learning that there is no quick way out of this illness, that suddenly years have gone by and you seem to be making no progress.  Right now the progress is that your d is alive and that is because of all that you have done to fight for her.  In all honesty - the alternative to FBT when suicidality is involved would be hospital.  But nutrition still has to play a part and you have not done anything wrong.

Please take time to look after yourself, I don't know if you have tried an anti-depressant but a lot of parents find that it helps when things get really bad.

It sounds too as if you are scared because your d's routine is upside down, she appears to have turned day into night which of course makes providing meals difficult.

I don't believe for a moment that you have given up on her but you just can't see your way forward.  I am assuming that lockdown has made everything worse. I don't know how old your d is but this is a good time to take a step back, think about your d's future and what other steps you can take to push her towards a bright future which it would help to discuss.  She doesn't want to recover - or more likely she does but can't see her life without her illness or even how she can fight it. 

Can you take some time as a family to do something nice for a couple of day?.  Tell her that you love her, that this is hard but that however difficult it is she needs to accept that she is going to do something with her life other than be an eating disorder, that you have put all your energy to helping her do this but that now she needs to focus on creating a better life for herself.  Don't expect a response, just allow your d to process your words.  No shouting, just calm statement that you will not stand by and watch her throw her life away on an illness.  And that it will get easier.

Does she have friends?  You say she has had kittens and puppies and things to make her happy.   What does she want to do in the future and if she has no plans, you can help her build some dreams.  Traveling somewhere is always a good motivator - recovery rarely takes place in a vacuum, it takes place when life starts to kick it out of the way.  You d has to find who she is, what she believes in, what she wants to do, to develop her identity so that she is not defined purely by her illness or being thin.  

It is a long, long tough journey and maturity is needed.  But give yourself a break and think of yourself for a couple of days.  Do something nice for yourself, whatever will lift your mood while you allow yourself to find a focus on how to move forward.
Big hugs.  Of course you can vent - you have helped so many others with your words but now it is time to put yourself first.  We all have to do that occasionally.
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.

Thank you all for your kind words 
I still feel like I can’t do anymore to help my d though 
she got ill at 17 and is now 21
she did eventually get the professional help she needed and still sees them regularly 
I feel maybe the delay in getting this help has meant her AN Is now ingrained to “who she is” and I can’t seem to help her 
I want my post to be a warning to other parents to get their kids the “professional” help they need ASAP, especially if displaying the depression/SH/and suicidal feelings (that are apparently “normal” for ED????
I feel guilt for not pursuing this more in the beginning of my d journey, I found this forum and as I said above time and time again I was told this is all “normal” for AN/ED, “don’t listen To the professionals“, “they do more harm then good”
My d AN then tricked us and told us the professionals were not helping, (now I know it was ED talking but too late now) so we stopped the appointments  as I was totally confused and at that stage and VERY naive to this miserable illness so along with her words and what information I was getting on the forum we made the HUGE mistake of believing her
so If my message can be to others who find themselves wondering what on earth is happening to their child PLEASE get the help you need 

this illness is sly and sneaky and will pull the wool over your eyes, yes even your once honest,loving,caring beautiful child will be lying to your face and this is what I hate most about ED, and my brain can not deal with this anymore 
Now my d is a YA services keep us in the dark and don’t tell us anything so it’s important to get your kid help whilst you can have a say and get them to sign papers to agree on you being involved 
It’s so unfair as I feel I did everything in my power to help my kid get better and yet she still suffers as so do the rest of our family 
I can’t see how I can help her anymore as she won’t listen to me 
I have to “let her go now” 
I want more in my life than just worrying about her 24/7
i probably sound selfish idk
i honestly don’t know how you parents stay at this for so long 
Yes my kid is alive but living a life? well that’s a good question 
But she’s an “adult” so off you go
maybe one day the light will turn on but I seriously doubt it
we have all tried, I have paid for courses she refuses to do, her friends have “moved on”
I have read all your replies above and believe me we have tried it all
I need to live too
Which is  hard when I haven’t really slept peacefully in these past 4 years as a mother’s love and care for her child no matter their age doesn’t stop (And yes I’ve tried meds too)
my wish is services are improving for newly dx patients which I think it is thank god 
and waitlists well that’s another story isn’t it 

all the best to you and your loved ones on this miserable journey 

I wish for you the peace and happiness you deserve. ♥️
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)

Thank you Enn, you are very sweet!❤️

but I can’t remember the last time our family felt peace and happiness 
And now I Know why those support groups I tried going to all those years ago were so depressing after years you just do get a bit down and depressed 🙁

peace and love to all 

I am sorry to be a few days late in seeing your message, PleaseEat, but it reminds me of the many many families who have been through this very anguish. It is unfair and harrowing. I am so sorry.

I want to say also that suicidal ideation is quite common during eating disorder treatment, and of course requires professional intervention. ALL eating disorder treatment should involve professional treatment. It is part of the skill set of therapists and physicians and dieticians to recognize suicidality and to provide the support the family and the patient need to keep the person safe.

FBT-trained clinicians are trained for exactly this, of course, as well as when and how to refer to other levels of care. 

But I also want to add this. Parents, too, can become dangerously depressed when our kids are ill, and especially when that illness is not remitting. Your words sound quite depressed and hopeless, which could mean that you are yourself at risk. This is to be expected after what you have been through. Please seek emergency services for a psych eval for yourself and any other family members who are losing hope.

Losing hope in, and frustration at the patient, are often signs of parental depression. Your daughter and your own health are in harm's way when that occurs, and believe me when I say that this has been a very common occurrence in our community. It would be irresponsible to say anything but this: seek emergency help, please. You deserve help, and it can be life-saving. It is not just your daughter's health at risk.
Laura (Collins) Lyster-Mensh
F.E.A.S.T. Executive Director

Its ok to say all of that if you got the expert/specialised care you needed from the onset of the illness but we didn’t
that is why I warn newbies dont dilly dally if you’re GP seems unEDucated, find  one who is!
or your kid could end up like ours

me - I’m ok, I’m looking after myself to the best of my ability 
I’m sorry if this goes against the forums “rules/ideas” but I’ve accepted the fact my d will probably have this illness until she decides to recover, she is no longer a child, I can’t tell her what to do (although I have tried)

those of you fortunate enough to have younger kids - do all you can while you have the “power”
we mucked around trying to “fix” our kid ourselves, (as GP etc were clueless) she then became an “adult” (18) and all power/control is taken away from parents (I know in some countries it’s younger 😳)

I can not “fix” her, I tried, god knows I’ve tried
its up to her and her “team” now 
my guess is she will end up back in hospital but idk??
if my attitude is offensive to carers on the forum, I’m sorry, please advise and I’ll delete my posts 
but the reality is it’s not butterflies/unicorns and rainbows
its horrible and miserable and I’m over it all, I’m now trying to live my life 
do my job, pay my bills, if that sounds selfish, again I’m sorry 

any newbies on the forum please have hope you can help your kids 
my d was dx as a very severe case so although we all have tried I just can’t see what more I can do 
she is destroying our family and herself and it’s just upsetting to us all 
thank you for listening 
all the best 


I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. If I can only offer some hope: my D was as “bad” as they come. Traditional FBT provoked complete 1000% refusal . It is so very hard with a young adult. Mine was 16 when it started.  I felt like you do now for so many years my family thought it would kill me. I felt like we were cursed.

i want to share that she recovered. Yes - recovered - and we are some years out now from the horrors.  It does happen even if it takes some years and it’s a rocky road. The 4/6 year “estimate” is correct.  She is gorgeous and wonderful and the YA she deserves to be. I tell you this only to try to give you some hope. What was hugely helpful, not only for us, but for her too in a funny way, was that we did a Skills Based Course in Caring for Someone with an Eating Disorder. It was NHS , free, and took 6/8 weeks. We started to focus on making us well again too.  Long story , happy to share privately. The other thing I would suggest , but you have probably done it, is Olanzipine for your daughter. Sending a huge virtual hug x

Thank you for your kind msg Doitagain
(not sure what your name is meant to mean?)
surely not go through recovery again?
i tried to PM you but i don’t know how to and it didn’t work and I’ve just deleted the msg as it turned up on the forum

so anyway yes we have tried the meds you mentioned and my d is now on anti depressants 

I’m too negative I think atm to comment anymore about my d on the forum 
if you want to share your story privately I would be interested,But I’m not sure how that works 
all the best 


Hi @Doitagain would have to enable email on her profile for you to be able to pm her. 

to PM someone you click on their profile/name and the option to email comes up if they have enabled this. Some members have and some haven’t. 

my understanding though is that she can pm you and then you will be able to message back. 


Just confirming @Doitagain that your profile is not currently set to receive private messaging email, which is why @PleaseEAT is unable to use the messaging system. 

I am pleased to hear PleaseEAT that you are managing to look after yourself. Do please reach  out for help if you feel that we can offer you support behind the scenes. I hope that stepping back from what is happening with your daughter is allowing you to produce a bit more space around you and creating at least a bit more peace of mind. 

Thinking of you
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
LARA B. I have emailed you now x pls post here if you don’t receive it x
@Doitagain I do believe it is @PleaseEAT who wishes to contact you privately.
thanks so much for being so supportive! 
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
PLease Eat - I have messaged you via the forum. Messsged LaraB by accident (sorry!). X
I Did receive email thankyou, but I can’t seem to get the reply to email to work 
(I’m  hopeless with technology)
@PleaseEAT if you wish to post here what the issue is or email one of the mods, we would be very pleased to help you. 
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)

I can’t reply to the email Doitagain has sent me 
but that’s ok
nothing anyone says can really help me
its nice reading everyone’s recovery stories I’ve read them for years now but some days it doesn’t seem to help when you notice a change in behaviour happening (moody, not eating adequately, or weird food choices, dysfunctional sleep patterns)

But I’m just letting my d go, her “team” don’t include us as a family so I have no idea how we are meant to help her when she only listens to them and nothing we say
(then rubs things in my face if I loose patience with her, for eg the other day I was a bit frustrated and she tells me I should work on my communication style 🙁 I replied with “sorry if I can’t afford a private physcologist”, please ask yours to write down how I should of said that and I’ll try again

I just don’t want her in hospital again but at the end of the day if that happens well so be it
i need to look after myself at this point in time
my physical and yes, my mental health too is suffering 

it so hard to read on here when others have their kids team on their side and when this is just not happening well I’m banging my head against a brick wall aren’t I ?
i accept the fact my d will get better when she wants to 
I have no say in anything she says or does and of course I want her to be an independent functioning adult out in the world
So I’ll just cross my fingers and hope for the best

unfortunately I can’t force her to do anything 
It just gets frustrating some days, especially when we (mum and dad) work so hard and she’s sleeping all day on phones etc all night, then if we get sick (which I am atm)it makes it hard to cope when your not feeling strong 

I guess I’ll hang on to the hope of recovery all you wonderful parents tell us about here on the forum, you are all wonderful parents who do an amazing job with your kids and I wish you all well 
I guess at the end of the day hope is all we have  
thanks for listening to my ranting 
all the best, peace and love to all ❤️☮️

horrible horrible illness 😖

I will enable the email function tomorrow - I am hopeless with technology too x

Sorry I still can’t seem to figure out the email
So I’m not sure if any advice can help or  what more I can do to help my d
I’ve asked d to pack her bags and leave 
if she’s so miserable here she may as well find somewhere else  that will put up with her sleeping all day and her moods, and perhaps paying her way in the real world might sort her out idk? 
you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink right 
lord knows I’ve done all in my power to help her (at my own demise I might add as well as our entire families)
sorry to be so negative and I know many kids recover and get well and there’s so much Hope and advise and info on the forum for all you newbies, hang in there Please don’t let our story make you think your kid can’t recover 

I just am not sure what the problem is with my d, I’m a good person we are a good family 
we work hard, we are honest and respectful we pay our bills and we have given our kids everything we could but we just can’t beat this illness 
that is up to her now
I think age has a lot to do with our situation 
My d wants to be independent and grown up
so as I said above it’s time to let her go 
I have to take time for me as my health also is important I’ve put her first for past 4 years and I can’t do it anymore 
good luck to all fighting this horrible illness 

@PleaseEAT you should be able to reply to any email by just hitting reply as you normally would for any email you have received. Initially you can't see a return email address but it does go correctly. Your email is revealed to who ever you send a reply to. If the person replies again their email is also revealed. 

If you wish to you can just send emails via the forum email function so long as the person you are contacting has their settings to receive emails. 

I hope the changes you have made help you feel more secure.
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.