Happy One Year Anniversary, E.B.!

After a recent NPR interview, the interviewer told me she got email wanting to hear from my daughter on how she felt about having her choice to eat - or not eat - taken away. For the record, my daughter hated Family-Based Maudsley treatment during recovery and is a big supporter now. But I am often asked, with a tone of disapproval, for my daughter's opinion.

What is really interesting is how often I hear from patients who wish their parents had, or would, take a stand against ED and "make me eat." I hear from patients thankful that their parents or loved one "tied them to the mast."

One recent letter, thanking parents for the "Around The Dinner Table" forum sponsored by FEAST:

"This board has really encouraged me.

...It always shocked me that my parents weren't rushing me to hospitals or reading book after book on my 'condition'. However, I see now that that just wasn't how they were going to help or not help me. And they weren't cold and heartless! - they were very worried I now know and wanted more than anything for me to be healthy and happy.

I don't know if there are others like me here - but don't discredit those who are seeking help for themselves. They may not have parents or healthcare available to them... I don't know what the exact point of my post is. But I am celebrating a landmark for myself, a year of recovering, and I have been to this forum a lot along the way.

...The Maudsley method is so assuring... I truly believe in restoring the bodies health first and foremost. I mean no wonder women can go to therapy for years and years in a malnourished state and never get better - what good does the therapy do if they are not nourished enough to logically digest it?? ( no pun!!)


...You parents are good to your kids. If my parents had reigned me in and administered this care for me, I probably would have gone along with the kicking and screaming and then the improvement - but it didn't happen that way so I did all this within myself - and with God, of course. I feel like I'm a part of this forum, although I know you want to keep it just for parents. I know that's important and I understand it.

Okay - thanks maudsley people. onward!
E.B. "

Happy one year anniversary, E.B.!


  1. What a wonderfully encouraging letter. Thank you, E. B. And congratulations on your incredible achievement.

  2. Hi E.B.

    I echo your comments.

    I am also a healthy ex-sufferer. My parents were not involved in my refeeding directly but at the same time I could not have gotten and stayed healthy without their support (and the support of many others).

    There are many routes to recovery and like you, now that I have stayed healthy for three years (hurrah!) I can see how getting your body to a truly healthy place, and keeping yourself healthy, is a pre-requisite. I don't think that the forum discredits those seeking help for themselves.I think it does challenge those who think that recovery can come without a healthy body. Many sufferers are still in a position where they cannot appreciate this, whereas perhaps their parents can.


    cq x

  3. Happy recovery thoughts to you, too, CQ.

    Have either of you thought of creating a pro-recovery forum for people like yourself? Something that could support adult patients in some of the ways we do on ATDT? I have heard from so many wonderful recovering people who really want a resource like that!

  4. Laura, I have thought many times about the need or use for such a resource. However, I would not want to take on the burden of policing it. I assume you can imagine the potential pitfalls.

  5. I too have been incredibly encouraged by the forum. Having been fully weight-restored for about a month, following a year of refeeding myself, I am still so grateful to all the 'Maudsley parents' for their postings about their children, because they have enabled me to recognise and rationalise much of what I have experienced myself and to keep on going even when it has been tough, and to understand just how much I have needed to eat to gain weight (and still do just to maintain it). I even saw in myself the sudden attempt of ED to reestablish itself as I neared my target weight... and was able to face it down because I knew that was what the forum posters had seen in their own children.

    Thank you so much, Laura, and all the others.

  6. CL,

    I am so so happy for you and hopeful!


  7. I am a suffer and I do admit that sometimes I wish my parents would do Maudsley. They blame me for having to be put inpatient, constantly remind me of the debt were in because of my eating disorder, and are made at me for not being commited to recovery. I can't understand how they say that I didn't chose to have an eating disorder but I must chose to recover. That getting and eating disorder wasn't my choice but recovery is. They say that by choosing to use my symptoms I am choosing to be hospitalized and it is my fault. That they will hospitalize me till I choose to recover and commit myself.

  8. Also, I told my mom once that I wished she would feed me, and she said, "why would you want me to do that? You have to do that yourself." That is why when I read about Maudsley I couldn't believe what these parents do and how different their views are compared to my mom's.

  9. Kristina,

    I don't know your parents, but I know that most of us are told that we should NOT intervene, not be the "food police," and we are told that recovery must be wanted by and run the the patient. Your parents were doing what they have been told is good parenting - and the right approach.

    It is possible that if they HAD heard about the Family-based Maudsley approach from a clinician who explained it and backed it up with assistance and information - they would have embraced it.

    Sadly, few parents are given that information and support. Most of us get the opposite. It saddens me deeply.

    I would be overjoyed to connect with your parents on this - many times a parent can hear this from another parent with an open mind. I'm willing!!


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