If you think your adult child is suicidal, is there any way to prevent it, barring having them committed and would you advise such a measure?

You want to know what, barring commitment, you can do. We would suggest that you don’t take that option off the table, as it is sometimes the only remaining choice. We imagine you have already tried many approaches to dealing with your child’s unhappiness. It is a good idea to get your child’s permission before you move too strongly into rescuing them. Be sure you ask your child, in a calm moment, what they need from you to get better. Do they just want space? Do they want you to reduce your expectations in some way? Do they want you to assure them that you love them and you believe they can recover? Do they need you to arrange or pay for counselling? We suggest you help with getting counseling. In the end, this is the hardest, and one of the most important things I can tell you. Your child is an adult, who will make their own decisions. We can offer information and support, and that is all. They will choose their own path.

How do you boost self-esteem when having a ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’ day?

Boosting self-esteem in eating disorder recovery can be challenging if we focus on the areas our culture and our eating disorder say are the most important parts of ourselves (i.e. our appearance). If we feel “fat” or “ugly” and try to boost our self-esteem by telling ourselves that we’re beautiful (physically) or concentrate on our appearance, we will always lose. First of all, it’s important to remember that the voice that’s telling us we’re fat or ugly is our eating disorder voice (ED voice). One of the key things in recovery is to identify when it’s the ED voice and when it’s our true or authentic voice. Once you identify which is which, you can begin talking back to it and disagreeing with it. Typically the ED voice sounds like a bully and will say really hurtful and harmful things. The ED voice loves to attack appearance, don’t fall for this trap. Instead, focus on the qualities you like about yourself that have nothing to do with appearance and share them with your eating disorder when you’re having a moment when the ED voice is trying to tear you down.