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

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My daughter has a long ED illness and her body is starting to break down. Because she lives, works, and supports herself it has been very difficult to convince her to get help. She lives in another town than ours. In the past I have helped her assess a clinic which she was in for a long period, since then when i see her slidi g i have worked encouraging her to get help...but mostly felt helpless and bound by the restrictions in NZ because she is an adult.
Recently i became aware of her new Drs name and sent a message that I believed her illnesses were related to ED as although she is thin she is not desparately thin. i felt she would not necessarily share she has an ED as she is in denial.
Her medical issues are serious now, rapid heartbeats, anemia again, protein in urine and constant infections..she has changed Dr because she felt she wasn't getting answers with her previous Dr though i was unsure what info they would be getting as I haven't been privy to any of her health consultations.
I have been to Mental Health and thought of getting an assessment but have been informed that because she is living independently and seeking medical attention herself that unless she chooses to engage in treatment they will do nothing...and she has been adament that she doesn't want to go back into a treatment centre or engage with mental health.  So if i went this path im unsure it would get anywhere and then our relationship will be broken down further..i have spoken with my Dr who says that if a patient chooses to starve themselves as a Dr they can do nothing unless the patient is in immediate danger of death.
I know it will send her in a spin when I do bring up with her about the ED being the cause and she needs help...and I don't have a follow up plan.....
In the past I have been the one to push her to seek help...even putting pressure on her previous psychiatrist to help me convince her, as she doesn't listen to me and it just triggers her own issues of self worth.  The psychiatrist is no longer available and the previous clinic ED contact i called just says she has to make contact herself. For her own very valid reasons she doesn't want to go back to that clinic so that's not happening.
Do I go to her bosses, though she is in a health role and has always been adamant she doesn't want them to be involved in her private life...and this would possibly mean she'd loose her job..and if nothing is to come of it...
Any ideas would be appreciated...
Sorry, just lost a long reply. In essence I said that you have my utmost sympathy and respect for how you are trying to deal with a desperately sad situation. This is a link to a communication strategy designed for families of people with long term eating disorders who are resistant to treatment. Very loving and supportive method. I hope there is something in there for you. 


Wishing you continued strength and courage, 

2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
I am sorry that your dear D is still suffering so long. 
Trying to help your daughter from a distance is so hard, especially when she does not involve you in her care. It sounds as though she has multiple medical issues which may or may not be all related to her ED.
The link to the method Deenl has offered is about one of strategies used to help adults in the UK. The book about this treatment is this one https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Skills_based_Learning_for_Caring_for_a_L.html?id=_1R9AgAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

I suspect you will get further with being involved in her care. Given she feels that her doctors are not listening to her or helping perhaps you could work on supporting her in feeling heard and listened to. It would then give you an in to raise other concerns. 
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.
Hi SuzieJ,

So sorry to hear about your dear d. I think she may have changed doctor and is refusing to go back to the clinic because she is struggling to admit to or fight her ed.... This is what it feels like to me. It is possible that the doctor mentioned the ed and that made her 'run away'. 

You could try the strategies Deenl and FoodSupport have made links to. I am assuming that your d is very underweight and must look ill, would that be right? 

Probably in your shoes I would contact your d's place of work and speak to someone there in confidence about the problem and explain how worried you are about her health. Is it big enough that they have an HR department? You would need to be very careful who you chose to speak to. If NZ legislation is like the UK's - and I imagine it is - your d would not lose her job because disability legislation should protect her rights as an employee. 

If you are not comfortable doing this, then clearly it is not an option. But you may find that someone is relieved to have their suspicions confirmed and therefore it could make it easier to approach her to express concern and suggest support and help. 

It is a very tricky situation when they are unwell and the system does not support parental involvement. This is a problem the world over it seems. I think it is worth contacting someone at her place of work. They will presumably have a duty of care to her as an employee and would need to be involved if she collapsed at work. It would be better if help cane earlier. 

Just to mention, your name is written at the bottom of your post, which you may want to delete. 
Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
Thank you, I will look into the work option. It is a small company though so...She doesnt look deparately thin but she is for her normal weight, and has been for a long time. she does look unwell.
And also with my name at the bottom,  first time sharing in the forum and on my tablet my name came up automatically and I couldn't delete it. Thanks for your help.

I have deleted your name. 


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 to each of you for the support. I'll look up the links, I thought I could just reply individually but maybe not...best I go read the instructions lol..love and thanks to each of you for the ideas.
Thank you !
Dear suziej, I'm sorry things are hard for you D right now.  Would it be useful to read/hear Tabitha farrar's blogs/videos/podcasts? She is wonderful and work with adults. 
Maybe you can have a look first. 
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
Hi SuzieJ,

You are a wonderful caring mother and your empathy shows in your words!

I hope your daughter's employers are as understanding and supportive as my NZ employers and my d's NZ school were when she was first diagnosed a couple of years ago. It took me a lot of courage and reading up before I approached the supervisors. But it then turned out they had procedures in place to help with recovery - while keeping both me in employment and my d in school. Thinking back now, of course they would! But I had prepared for the worst.

@melstevUK is right about the employment and disability legislation.

Mind you, they are both large organisations and familiar with EDs. They easily found cover for me during the hours I attended my weekly FBT sessions, so this is something your d's work may want to arrange. The school had briefed all the staff so they all kept an eye on any ED behaviour etc. I realise this may have to be adapted for an adult, so I would ask for kindness, which no doubt they would all show to those diagnosed with cancer.

Later, I had to approach my d's weekend employer, a much smaller firm. She'd had a relapse and started skipping meals, going for many hours with no food. After my talk with her immediate supervisor, they shortened her shifts (though I am not sure they also insisted she eat with a colleague).

I also went to speak to a gym my d tried to sign up with. My intention was to work together as a team. By then I had my "spiel" down to main bullet points, mainly focussed on myth-busting, but also on what life is like at home when ED moves in and long-term effects if no treatment. These you will no doubt have deep in your heart and mind.

EDs are curable. Kiwis love helping. And you are a loving mother!
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.