Helen’s Story



Helen’s Story

How she and her husband supported their son Rob through his recovery from anorexia – b-eat.co.uk


When our son was diagnosed with Anorexia we were shocked, and felt like our whole lives had turned upside down. I felt like I’d let him down and couldn’t understand how I hadn’t realised what was wrong with him. We had always been close and able to talk as a family. Our son was admitted to a specialist unit for a few months and the staff helped all of us in a supportive, caring way. Over this period of time I felt that I had stepped out of normal life. When going out I would look at people around me getting on with their lives and didn’t feel a part of it. I did continue working after having a period of time off and this helped to bring some normality into my life. My husband was always supportive and we were able to benefit from family therapy, something that helped us by giving us skills in which to help our son and ourselves. We would meet with a nurse regularly and discuss how things were going, as well as planning actions for the following weeks. We would discuss ways in which we could help support our son while also being aware we needed to make time for ourselves. This carried on for a little while after our son was discharged from the unit and I feel that it was pivotal in our son’s recovery.

At first I was anxious and worried when I left my son alone and wanted to protect him from everything. I felt I did not want to let him down. He needed to build his self esteem and for his life not to be dominated by worries about food and eating. We planned meals out together and over time as a family became more relaxed about eating. I feel our son is also getting back his life, he loves music and got involved writing music reviews and also is involved with Beat as an ambassador and he has worked with other charities. He was also able to attend college and is doing a music course now.

I never really saw myself and my husband as carers as you feel as a parent you are there for your children. Many of the emotions and situations we have been through have been nightmarish at times and I have felt it would never end. You do feel at times that you are living a different life to everyone else. I have tried to support my son by being there for him and to look at the positives. I did not feel I would help him by being confrontational as I felt this would make things worse. Also by letting him find his independence again and trusting him in order for his confidence and self esteem to improve.

I have found Beat to be a supportive organisation and have met other carers through Beat and it is good to meet other people in a similar situation, they are the people who know what it is like. Due to this I have become involved in the Carers' Ambassadors scheme.

View as PDF


The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.

www.haveigotaproblem.com was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)


"I was really into ballet, which, combined with going through puberty, was a recipe for body issues. I began with food restriction, as most do, and the vicious cycle began. I didn’t know it was an eating disorder."


MoreSend us your Quotes

Tips & Hints

  • Eat Meals with Family or Friends

    A person who is anxious about eating will feel more comfortable doing so among other people they trust, such as family or friends. This...
  • Keep a Food Diary

    Keep a food diary of what you eat and when you eat it to help you focus on eating regularly. Also record any episodes of going without ...
  • Take Regular Exercise

    Studies have shown exercise to have a positive effect on low self-esteem and poor body image, which are widely cited as being contribut...
  • Be Patient

    Unhealthy relationships with food do not develop overnight, and it can take many months and even years to regain full control over your...
  • Eat Healthy Foods

    The types of foods we eat are important. We all like to indulge in our favourite foods every once in a while, but we should also eat as...
  • More Tips & Hints