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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Hello! I’ve posted a couple times about my 14 yo D who is in inpatient treatment for AN. She was DX in January 2020.

I guess I’m here today, fishing for some reassurance from those of you who have been through this before. 

My D has made good progress with weight restoration, but has a ways to go. My main concern right now is that she’s so depressed and despondent; it’s incredibly painful to see her like this. Since she’s inpatient and we can’t visit, we Skype every day. Lately she just cries and pleads with us to help her. She says she’s exhausted, sick of crying, and just wants to give up. She isn’t actively suicidal but she’s on close observation so I’m not worried she’ll hurt herself seriously. I am, however, heartbroken by her suffering and want her to have some relief from this brutal depression. She was on Pristiq which didn’t seem to make much difference, so they started her on Prozac last week. I’m hoping it kicks in soon and gives her some relief. 

I know this is all part of the lovely ED package, but I so look forward to the day when my D takes even the tiniest speck of joy out of life, like she used to. I just wonder how long we can expect this despondent mood to go on. 

I know each case is different and no one can really give me an answer. But if this sounds anything like your experience and you’ve made it through to the other side, I’d love to hear from you. 




15yo D diagnosed with AN-R Jan 2020. Hospitalized since late January. Almost fully weight restored as of late May; ED voices remain very strong.

Helloooo I’m sending you virtual hugs as it sounds like you definitely need it. Lockdown makes it even tougher when you can’t actually visit in person to offer comfort. 

Things will improve as someone wiser than me said ‘everything changes, even the dark times.’ 

2 years ago I felt so hopeless as my D was suicidal and depressed and I found it so hard to endure her pain. It made me ill. Please know that she is in the best place and being well cared for. Please take this time to practice self care and may be prepare for when she comes home. Worrying about tomorrow zaps today’s strength and you must conserve your strength. 

My D was never hospitalised but we did LYUYE which was the toughest thing ever. I prepped food when I could when she managed to go to school so it was one less thing to do when she was home. As she ate more many of her co morbid conditions melted away. She has improved so much and lives a completely different life to then - no friends, school, Hope etc.....now she has a boyfriend, drives, goes out with friends and is eagerly preparing for university. 

Keep pressing ahead, one day at a time xxx

I see wonderful things here for you to hold onto.
1: WR!! Yeah since January that is incredible. Such a short time. That bodes well for her prognosis
2: The despondency is normal and expected. The weight goes on and the emotions come up. She has to go through this to get to the other side. Distress tolerance is something she will learn and you can support her through it.  Kartini clinic has nice blog on this.
3: Antidepressants can be helpful so I am pleased to see the team trying to get her something that may help. These meds take at least 4-6 weeks to kick in to see effects. The waiting is the hard part.  The mood will continue for awhile. How long I don't know. It takes as long as it takes with reevaluation every step of the way.

You are so early in this and she seems to be doing well gaining! That is HUGE!
You will get through this too. At the beginning it feels like it  this part will last forever, it does not. It takes time for you to learn what she needs and then it gets, not easier, but more understandable (?) not sure if that is the correct word or not. 
When she gets home too, it will be a bit of a change for her and her ED may be more active and we will support you all the way.

I see really good things for your d already and the team sounds great. She is WR and getting meds and you can "see" her on Skype. 
I hope that helps ease your mind a bit. 
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 I remember one lovely moment after some months of awfulness when my D played a simple trick on me for fun. Better nutrition had restored her sense of humour. It was astonishing. The brain heals. It takes some time but it heals with nutrition. I hope it brings you comfort that your D is on the road to recovery. Sending a hug. 
My daughter diagnosed in Oct 2019.. in the last month,  consistently, I have seen a huge change in her. So many signs of her normal self. It started small..humming, maybe playing music in the shower, etc.
In the first few months I didn't think she would ever be "ok" again. She was the one that was always struggling emotionally more than the others in her treatment. Always crying, distraught, almost catatonic at times
 It can and DOES get better. Hang in there!! 
Oh it is so terrible to watch them suffer especially when there is no guarantee what tomorrow will bring.  Usually, though, weight + time does miracles for AN, and that miracle often includes lifting of depression. And if weight + time does not fully vanquish the depression, there are many other treatments.  I think depression (here I mean depression as a separate illness - when AN is not present) is usually self-limiting and very rarely continues endlessly.

I was so very worried about my d when she was in the grip of suicidal depression.  I'm very sorry anyone else ever has to go through that.  Like so many others here, I was thrilled to find that my d's depression eased when she had been wr for a while.  I think she may have a bit of residual depression from time to time, but NOTHING like the darkness she experienced during the throes of AN.

I think it will help your d if you can project confidence that "this too will pass."  I remember struggling to believe that myself, while doing my best to convince my d.  "Fake it til you make it" can serve us well in these times.

The first step is to vanquish ED.  Many times the co-morbids melt away once ED is out the door.  If difficulties remain, there are a variety of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatments you can look into.

Please keep us posted, xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 

my d had  the trifecta of depression, self harm, and anxiety, and top it all off with AN, and an exersize compulsion  now they think possibly ADHD but they are giving her a little more time to see how things go
i never thought my d would ever recover and it broke my heart to see her suffer and harm herself in frustration at having so much taken away from her 
4 painfully long years on and every now and then she has a low day (or I panic it’s coming back if she’s stayed in bed all day) but I  am actually learning now it’s just “normal” to have a lazy day
one day maybe my radar will turn off??
They do come back but sometimes (my d case) it can take longer than others and it can be two steps forward one back with any life challenges that may arise 
WR didn’t magically cure my d (WR necessary though) but there may be other mental issues that need addressing too
Your d is young and hopefully WR plus time will bring her back to you 
my d is now happy, working (part-time), socialising and generally living a life worth living 
please take care of yourself 
take the time whilst your d IP to pamper yourself, it really is important 
I’m still recovering and nearly back to normal after our families experience with this dreadful illness  

all the best 

Thanks so much, all of you, for your kind and supportive replies. They have bolstered my spirits. I will hold onto them and re-read them the next time I feel like this will never get better. I am so happy to hear that your loved ones have found some peace and normalcy, and I am very hopeful that my D will too. Xoxo
15yo D diagnosed with AN-R Jan 2020. Hospitalized since late January. Almost fully weight restored as of late May; ED voices remain very strong.

She will find her way with your support and that fantastic team of people around (friends, family, professionals...) 😊👍🏻

She will return to you....ensure you can be the role model of self care for her to observe won’t you 😊👍🏻💕

I am new to this site and have been reading posts and looking for some hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  It is a very complex disease and I am very concerned about what lies ahead.  Our D has BED with atypical AN.  She cycles through both and has been doing so for a long time.  She also has depression and anxiety which she has had for most of her life.  She is on meds now and we are hoping it will make a difference.  She shows no expression in her face - this is very difficult for us because we never see her smile and can't really read what is going on.  Hoping this will change when meds are in full effect.  Before she went to treatment, she spent most of her time in her room isolating and often bingeing.  it was heartbreaking to see, and we didn't know how to handle it or what to say. 

Really appreciate seeing all your words of hope and encouragement as we begin the journey towards recovery.

Welcome @LaylaBoo,

I am glad you found the forum. Many have been in your shoes and we all wish to help. 

If you wish, you may start a new thread and tell us about your situation. That way the members can give you specific answers to any questions you have.

The forum has so many resources and the FEAST-Ed.org site does too.
Please read around and ask anything you wish.

all my best

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 very much.  I will check out the link you provided.
It is nice to finally find a place for info and support.
Considering how widespread ED is, there are precious few resources for families.
Glad I found this place.