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US mothers of daughters with eating disorders wanted for an online research surveyOpen in a New Window

Posted by request of the researchers:

The Experiences of Mothers of Daughters in Treatment for an Eating Disorder

We are looking for mothers of all ages to complete an online study examining the unique experiences of caring for a daughter who is in treatment for an eating disorder. To be eligible for the study, participants must have a daughter between the ages of 12 and 22 who is living at home and is currently receiving outpatient or intensive-outpatient (IOP) treatment for Anorexia or Bulimia.


Participation in this study is confidential. You can complete the survey online from most devices (computer, tablet, phone, laptop). It will take about 30 minutes to complete the study.


Please go to to complete the survey confidentially.


For more information about this study, please send an email to


*All participants who meet the requirements for the study and complete the online survey will be eligible to participate in an optional raffle for a $30 visa gift card. Approximately 1 out of every 20 participants will win*



'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


New Here - Struggling with next stepsOpen in a New Window


I am brand new here.  I just found you yesterday.  I am writing for any support, guidance, advice that there might be out there.  So far in my searches, I haven’t been able to find anything that quite fits.  I am beginning to understand that each ED is unique.  I am a dad to an 18yo D that has ED.  We began to notice a serious change in her after she came home from her first quarter in college.  While we tried to make some adjustments at home during her break, we didn’t recognize this for what it was.  She returned to college and her physical well-being deteriorated rapidly.  We visited her and decided to pull her out of school and bring her home.  Her pediatrician recommended hospitalization.  We were somehow able to convince her to go and she spent two weeks there.  The doctors there recommended PHP and she started there a few days after being discharged to home.  I now realize that was a mistake and she should have gone directly to her next phase of treatment.  She spent three miserable days in PHP where she withdrew herself.  Being 18, she is fully aware of her rights and no amount of encouragement could keep her there.  We were able to encourage her to try another PHP which she has now withdrawn herself from after 2 days of treatment. 

Here is where I am stuck and desperate.  I am new to this.  I am really just beginning to understand what I am dealing with over the course of the last month since the first day in the hospital.  She is refusing PHP treatment.  She is refusing residential treatment.  She is refusing to let her mom and I prepare her meals or even plate at home.  She is restricting at every meal.  She says she wants to get better and I believe her.  We don’t have another appointment for over 3 weeks.  I don’t know what to do from here.  She is regressing and I am fearful about continuing the way that we are going. 

Apologies for the long post.  Thank you for reading through it and for all the great resources that you all provide.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Roller coasters aren't fun anymoreOpen in a New Window

I honestly don't know where to begin. I've spent the last week reading through the posts here, contemplating how I can even start to explain myself. My family and I are officially one week in from diagnoses of AD for my 16yo D. (forgive me, I am still learning the abbreviations and acronyms). She began PHP on Monday of this week, so 4 days in of official treatment. People say we "caught" this "early". Though I am not really sure of the definition of early is... one day is to long for me.

I am shocked and overwhelmed. I cried in the middle of the grocery store when purchasing cottage cheese as an overhaul of my pantry and fridge for the at home feedings. I don't know why. It feels like I have one foot in keeping it together, and one foot in quicksand. The first day my D seemed to be motivated to get started, but since then she is ramping up on the anger. Which really really shocked me - it seemed to be the counter response I was looking for, but her care group explained this is normal as the ED screams for continued control. My spouse and I can't do anything right. We externalize the ED and she gets mad. We quietly celebrate little wins and she gets mad. We move about our normal responsibilities, and she gets mad. We sit with her and yep... gets mad. But sometimes she hugs us. Sometimes she says I love you. Sometimes she sings. Its like the worst roller coaster I have ever been on in my life.

We had our first experience of group therapy with the other families in the program last night. It helped immensely, but saddening at the same time because as a parent you want to just fix it and fix it now. I know this probably isn't the best first post for someone. I am rambling at best. I just sometimes feel like I am completely consumed with this every second of the day and needed to get it off my chest.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Second guessing everythingOpen in a New Window

From the moment i became a mom (to three boys) i have always trusted my instinct. I know when something is happening, good or bad, and i have felt deeply connected to my children. Until now, that is. I just don’t know what i am doing anymore. I don’t recognize myself, let alone my son. I am paralyzed with fear of doing this wrong and making things worse.

My son is 15 1/2 and was just diagnosed with Anorexia - binge purge type. We started FBT immediately and have been re-feeding for two weeks. The first week he gained three pounds (later learned he water loaded) and then yesterday at his second weigh in, he’d lost it all and admitted to throwing away his lunch at school and secretly exercising. The team suggested, without hesitation, that we put him in a residential treatment facility. (Veritas or Denver ERC.) They said he is not progressing and his “thoughts about food and exercise are too rigid and strong.” I don’t know what to do. His father and i are divorced but have been 100% committed to doing FBT in both of our homes. I did all the research, empowered myself as his caregiver, worked through the initial fear and hesitation, and now this? I cannot imagine sending him someplace to get treatment, which is wholly ironic, because just two weeks ago, i couldn’t imagine being the person responsible for his treatment. If anyone has a similar experience, I’d love to hear about it. Did you refuse residential treatment? Did you send your child and then do FBT when he/she came home? How did you know you were making the right choice? I’d also really like to connect with other boy moms. The lack of resources for boys is stunning and scary. They are falling through the cracks...

Thank you.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Gold star momentsOpen in a New Window

Hi all,
I have been reading around the forum and found myself looking at very old posts.
I came across one started by Laura Collins L-M I think from 2011. It discussed the day's victories- it had over 1700 responses!! It was so inspirational. Those in the mines sloggin' away sharing the really special events that keep them (ie US) motivated to do the hardest job in the world- HERO PARENTING. 

I know it is hard to recall, in the moment, that something really good happened. Like your child letting you hug them during the hard re-feeding, or a statement like "this is nice to eat".  I know that it is hard, painful work we do, everyday and the worries we hold all the time, and I would like to ask you all to post a "gold star"(remembering my elementary school days here) moment. 
There are none that are too "small" to mention. 

For me, It was only when I posted here and others replied, was I able to see the improvements for my D. 

I hope that those who write on  this post will not only help others, but help themselves in the knowledge that what we do is so worth it and that there ARE amazing moments everyday that we can share.  



'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Intro - advice/support appreciatedOpen in a New Window

Hello, recently our 14-yr-old DD's friends told us that she's been cutting herself and also that she rarely eats her lunch at school. I don't know how long this has been going on but she has been increasingly moody over the last few months. She was usually eating well at home, with no signs of purging behavior, before this was brought to our attention - with the exception that she'd begun skipping breakfast at times.

My husband and I confronted her gently about all of this and she completely shut down (generally speaking, she always shuts down instead of talking about hard feelings.) She won't tell us anything but she didn't deny it. She said she'd talk to a therapist.

Since then, she's been to her first therapy appointment (with someone who specializes in treating ED & self-harm.) I have the feeling that she completely B.S.'ed her way through the appointment. She skips breakfast more often now.

She still won't talk to us at all about the problem and periodically gives us the silent treatment. We used to be pretty close, and I feel like she's so distant now. It hurts.

I don't have a ED but my mother has struggled with AN and alcoholism for most of her life. I grew up watching my mother starve herself. I'm mortified that this same thing seems to be happening to my daughter. I'm trying my best to be calm and compassionate for my daughter but inside I'm a sad, anxious wreck. I feel like something is squeezing my heart.

I have no idea what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm terrified that I'm just going to make things worse for her. And I feel sad for the hurt she is going through.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Help please as I don’t think I can do this againOpen in a New Window

I haven’t been here since 2016 I think. May be early 2017. I thought the beastvwascif not dead at least dormant. But it’s not.

My DD became anorexic in 2016.

We had a grim time with counsellors and am truly awful dietician who low point was setting a target that would keep her “nice and slim” and was cross when she gained weight too quickly.

With the help and guidance of this forum, we sacked thecdoetician and did fit at home. Gradually gaining weight, went to college and now university. But the slide began again.

And in the last month it is dramatic.

She is home for a scheduled break from uni. (Scotland so odd timings)

And is so thin. Looks so ill.

Wants to put on weight. But just had breakfast that was so small.

Drinking water and black tea with it.

I suggested a snack.


She won’t let us weigh her.

Won’t check her BP or pulse. (We have a meter as I had a problem with high BP for a while.

She hates me.

And I don’t have the strength to do it again.

The fall out for our other children was terrible last time. One ended up in counselling for ages.

And I don’t know what to do. I have no leverage. Other than not paying for uni costs.

I can’t encourage her to eat.

She was on the cusp of being better.

But just couldn’t get there.

I know I need to find the strength. But I don’t know how.

And if and when I do find strength then there is nothing I can do. She is an adult.

And as she comes home for all hols, I can’t protect my other children either.

You helped so much last time.

I am hoping for some words of wisdom this tome too.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Fears foods. How do I tackle them?Open in a New Window

My D was diagnosed in Jan 18 and we have been following FBT with help with local CHAMS. Slow progress with steady weight gain she's now 97% weight for height.

Although ED behaviours are reducing, I'm confused about tackling fear foods. D is reluctant to identify any specific foods that she finds difficult- tried to get a list together with her input.

Instead I have been noticing foods that triggers more reactions than others, and regularly giving her these. We are still in phase 1 of treatment, and mainly give her foods that she enjoyed and ate prior to RAN, hopefully that's been the right approach. Should we be trying to introduce completely new foods too?

Thanks in advance


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Maidenhead or Stafford ukOpen in a New Window


My D has been offered a bed in Maidenhead for Monday or can go on the waiting list for Stafford.

Has anyone had experience of either of these?



'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Anorexia - "secondary symptoms"Open in a New Window

My 16 yo daughter is having a relapse after a couple of years' remission. I asked about it here around a week ago, and want to thank Foodsupport AUS, Tina72 and scaredmum for their input. I am happy to report that after only 10 days, the weight is almost back to where we started - she has been eating very diligently, not always happily but without a fight. Needless to say, the plating and monitoring is going to continue for a looong time now.

However, I can tell that the beast is back also from the more subtle little (sorry: crazy) things she does - and how I wish I had seen them sooner. I have not caught her doing sit-ups or jump around in her room like when the disease was at its worst, but she is not wearing warm enough clothes when it's freezing, she sits on the very edge of her chair when studying, she takes cold showers. She's very keen on always following the same rituals during meals and other times like taking a shower, brushing her teeth etc. How should I approach these? Confront her or wait until they fade away with longer-term weight gain?


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


10 Mistakes in Eating Disorder Treatment. - THIS IS REALLY GOOD !Open in a New Window


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Intro and strugglingOpen in a New Window

Hi, as brief a history as I can: my daughter was diagnosed in sept 2016, she is now 15. Through a combination of 2 admissions and community treatment including us spoon feeding her she has gained 20kg and has a bmi now of around 19, she is still massively in the grips of anorexia and is really struggling with self harm. When she is inpatient she is super compliant but on discharge all the behaviours quickly return. She is really struggling with suicidal thoughts and I am struggling with the strain of it all as well as worrying about her, my lovely husband and her younger sister. Our camhs team has changed recently and seem to take everything she says at face value not seeming to see the spin anorexia puts on everything. There is also very limited treatment options here in the midlands, it's either inpatient or home. Sorry for the ramble not sure what I'm looking for really, I've been reading posts on this forum for over a year now and it has been such a help to know there are others out there that understand this horrendous illness. Xx


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Slowing metabolismOpen in a New Window

This might be a silly question but I am curious what is your observation and experience. How do I know my d's metabolism is slowing down? Is it as simple as when she starts gaining on wr calorie intake? I guess I am suspicious as nothing seems to be simple with this evil illness. 


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


Neverending abdominal discomfortOpen in a New Window

My D is 15, 8 months wr but her abdominal discomfort is still there. It prevents her from eating faster. It looks like she has cramps and visible discomfort, and when she finally burps after 1-3 mins, she's good to go. I believe it is all psychological because we tried many remedies to no avail. Gastroenterologist says she might be swallowing air unknowingly. She has always been extremely sensitive so she might be experiencing the air/or gas profoundly. It is not only when she eats but throughout the day. When she is relaxed (during foot massage, or drawing, or even eating in social group), she does not have the pain. She can't stand the heated pillow, diaphragmatic breathing doesn't help - so she says. She takes SSRI's and Prevacid for her Eosinophilic Esophagitis (doctor says this is not a side effect of her the EoE). I know SSRI can cause abdominal discomfort but this all started before she started taking them, over 2 years ago. Anybody experienced this? I feel like I am running in circles trying to solve this problem.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers


19 year old daughters right to refuse treatment???Open in a New Window

I am new to the forum but not new to my D's ED.  My D was 18 when she was diagnosed with AN (restricting/purging).  We have been at it for over a year.  She entered a residential program in Seattle April of 2017 and stepped down to PHP,IOP, Outpatient etc.

Our story is long and complicated as they all are it seems.  Hopefully soon I will have a chance to share our story in full but for now I need help navigating a situation her dad and I have not had to navigate before.  We need to make a decision moving forward in the next few days.

She has always been at least a little wiling to get help...that changed in January 2018 as she refused to continue with her outpatient ED team (Therapist, Psychiatrist, Dietician) and they had to let her go. She is still seeing her MD every two weeks (who I am still not convinced really knows ED's - we had to switch MD's just as her relapse started so I have had limited access to certain information because my D has been fully informed of her patient rights and is choosing to exercise them for the first time since treatment started).  She is 100% back in her ED...even though it's gotten a bit smarter with treatment so it looks different than it did before residential.  It is, however, the same thing...we are in trouble again...that I know for sure.

Her outpatient team let her go late Jan. with their advice to us being..."she needs to eat more or leave your home" so she will get sicker faster and want to ask for help again.  

She didn't have a job when her ED turned on us and only 35 dollars to her name so we pushed employment first and waited for her first paycheck.  We wanted her to at least have some way of taking care of herself out there in the world.  She is exercising her legal right to refuse treatment and is also refusing to give up control of her food to us as of our last conversation this past Thursday.  

My question for anyone willing to shed some light on this is:  Are our hands tied??? Do we make her leave as the consequence for not eating what we feed her?  It seems backwards but also all the providers on her team as well as my therapist (all with ED experience) are pointing us in the same direction...she needs to struggle it out on her own to feel her own pain so she will want help again. 

Though she is clearly and severely underweight she is still not medically compromised enough to have us or a MD force her into a hospital or higher level of care facility against her will.  


Also...I cried when I found this forum this weekend.  It was referenced in a book my therapist gave me called "Decoding Anorexia" by Carrie Arnold.  I finally found real families with real stories just like mine.  Such a painful and lonely diagnosis.  I know hope in recovery is possible...during relapse that hope feels so far away it's hard to remember it's there at all.

Thank you for your care.


'Around the Dinner Table' Online Forum for Parents and Carers

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