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.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

Need to talk with another parent? F.E.A.S.T. parents offer peer support via:

Is any other caregiver struggling with their own anxiety/ depression? My daughter is working so hard to get better but I seem to be losing it to the extent of shaking and this constant crazy brain fog. Tell me this will get better. We are 6 weeks in.
Posted 6 minutes ago

It should get better as she does, but this recovery business is a long road. Many of us who were fine or pretty fine before our children fell ill find we need mental health treatment to support us in getting through what we must with our kids. I don't know if you have access to a therapist but if you can, please consider finding someone to start giving you support. It is so helpful to have a safe space to vent that is devoted to your well-being as you care for hers. Some people end up needing medication for anxiety and depression as well, and there is no shame in it if you do. It can help you be able to care for her better.

Also , search on this forum for Eva Musby's information about a compassionate meditation recording, that has been helpful to me to listen to and it is written specially for ED parents.

Wise words. I think I should up my 'child dose' of anti depressants and see someone. But, like all of us, one more medical appointment seems so annoying!
Hi jmenz

The first 6 weeks are very traumatic as you are making a shocking adjustment to the idea that your d. is seriously ill and suddenly the road ahead looks much different and scary.

I have worked on the idea of harnessing the power of my anxiety in order to propel us forward. Some parents have mentioned the analogy of pulling down the oxygen mask for yourself first on an airplane.

Please get yourself a good therapist to meet with privately without your d, preferably one who has experience with working with eating disordered patients and anxiety, so that they know exactly what you and your family and your d. are going through and can advise you as situations come up. There are also some websites you can access which have guided meditations such as calm.com. They have some free meditations. Also Eva Musby's meditation is very helpful.

And if you have family or friends who can help, see if you can mobilize them as supports for you. Think about how they can help you and d. and then ask them.

Wishing you strength

Yes.  I suffer from treatment resistant depression and take a fairly complex regimen of meds.  I also have a therapist that I see on my own.  I could not have survived ED to be honest without all the supports I have.  As annoying as medical appointments are, they are essential to keeping you healthy too.  Also I always try to model a life to my daughter in which I take care of myself.  How can I expect her to take care of herself if she doesn't see me doing the same? 
Thanks all for the help. I will definitely look into those meditations Kali. I'll dose myself with meditation! xxx
The key thing I think is to accept that different things will help you cope at different times.i go to the gym regularly,which helps me.when things were very bad though, I went on antidepressants and also received therapy from a psychotherapist who specialised in working with parents of eating disorder teens.
There are times in thus illness when things get very hard and dark,so I have found that coming here has really helped me.there have been many times that I have felt overwhelmed but the gentle support I have received here has been enough often to pick myself up and keep going.
I also like plans-contingency plans, self care plans, how I'm going to get through just today plans.when you start with an illness like anorexia you want it to be short term, but it isn't.so things that work at the beginning of the journey,often don't work further along.
That's when it's good to look at what you have available to you.what your strengths are, what other people might be able to help with-we had a lot of meals cooked for us in the first year.in the second year I bit the bullet and hired a cleaner.i knew by the end of the first year what friends could cope with and who I could ask things of.my d lived at residential for a while when things got too hard at home.
So maybe it's a simple list
-what can I do to simplify things for now?
-what can my partner do to help?
-what can my friends do?
-do I need to hire a cleaner to get rid of one job?
-what self care is essential to me?
-what plans can I put in place with my ds team?
Start going through the list and even if you just answer one question, it just helps clear the fog and confusion.
Good luck,
Hi jmenz, so sorry you are finding it hard. We all did / do! I remember having a series of counselling sessions during the summer when my son's ED was at its worst. I felt as if the counsellor was way, way out of touch! In the end, I went onto SSRI antidepressants and have remained on these ever since. I found it helped. Most helpful of all, though, was the support and companionship I found via this forum - real people who would go out of their way to be supportive and offering useful practical advice for self-care. Just knowing I had a team of other parents around me who 'got' what I was facing, around the world via this forum, was immensely reassuring. It also showed me that what I was feeling wasn't unusual or 'odd'. More recently I've been treated for PTSD which came as a result of the trauma of dealing with an ED in the family. It has been really helpful to find out why and how the brain reacts to situations such as this and that it's a 'normal reaction to an abnormal event'. Our hearts and minds are going through a heck of a lot, facing things we could never have dreamed we'd be facing when it comes to our much-loved child or children. It's not surprising we as parents have problems in coming to terms with this. Fellow parents have offered some great advice for self-help above. Thank you for posting this thread. xxx
Bev Mattocks, mother of 24-year old male DX with RAN 2009, now recovered. Joined this forum in 2010 - it was a lifesaver.
Hi jmenz, I also wanted to say thank you for posting. I really feel for you. We are even newer to this journey than you are, and it's already affecting my own mental health significantly. I hope you're able to get all the support you need. I also have have brain fog, can burst into tears any time and don't even get me started on the relationship with my husband. This will be one of the toughest things we have to deal with. Virtual hugs to you x
I upped my then-anti-depressant to the max allowed by the manufacturer, and had tranquilizers to take in moments of extreme anxiety (4am, and prior to meals). Both eventually were no longer necessary. I couldn't make it to my own appts for therapy because I needed to be available ALL DAY LONG for refeeding, which took hours. And my therapist didn't really get that, yes, I was sacrificing my own mental health in order to refeed. Eva Musby's meditations were really helpful.

Whatever it takes, do it. It won't be forever. 
Hi Jmenz, I hope you have found the above advice helpful. What also helps me is going to Alanon meetings. I don't know if that is available to you. Best of luck, Francie


Welcome - this forum is like having a therapist some days! [smile]  It's wonderful to have other parents who truly get the feelings and situations you are facing and who provide help and not judgement or stupid advice. And sometimes, when we need it, strength to do something that you might not have that day. I've appreciated a good kick in the pants or someone telling me my intuition was right when I thought I was crazy and unsure of what to do.

Hang in there - unfortunately, like so many things, as this becomes a daily part of your life, you do adjust. It's not as scary even if it does have those moments. But it's great that you are here and that your daughter is working to get better. Hang in there, and come here often.  xo
19 yo D. AN - since about 15 years old. WR quickly - but the last four years have been tough. Since Sept. 2017, two residential stays, now in IOP, fighting a relapse. ED is hanging on, mental state not great, can't get her to remain at a weight long enough or high enough to see mental healing. She's on a gap year that will likely now turn into two.