Hi. I have ARFID. But not nearly as bad as I once did. From the age of 3 I became extremely phobic of virtually every food and limited myself to a diet of pancakes, french fries, white bread, Cheetos, cereal, bacon and some cookies/cakes. Most liquids were ok. I would have intense physical reactions to foods including gagging and convulsions. This caused me and my family considerable distress. I was embarrassed, ashamed and tried to avoid all social eating situations. I always ate alone. Except breakfast. My parents never forced food on me and in general were very supportive. In my teens, my parents recommended I try hypnotherapy. I did. It didn’t work. But I was convinced that some day it might work for me. I tried again a few years later but to no avail. Once again in college I tried hypnotherapy. This time I found someone I was comfortable with. It started to work. It took a long time but eventually I was able to add pizza to my diet. This was a huge break through and gave me confidence. Over the years I used self-hypnosis to add more and more foods. I’m 50 now and can eat virtually anything except a few foods which still make me want to gag.
Here’s a link to what worked for me
I thought I was the only one in the world with my unusual condition. I felt isolated and worked hard to change my circumstance. I wanted to change, put it behind me and never talk to anyone about it.
I have two children, my son is a picky eater but not ARFID. My daughter has ARFID. By the time I had my children no one would think I had ARFID because of my progress. So she didn’t learn it from me. She did, it seems, inherit it from me.
I didn’t want her to be like me. I always hoped she would grow out of her eating issues. She started researching her condition and told me about neo-phobia, SED and ARFID. I did my own research on what she told me and discovered I wasn’t alone, my daughter was in fact just like me and we had a named condition. This was an incredibly emotional discovery for me.
I have a deep perspective on this condition as both a parent and a sufferer. It dominated most of my life. It’s an ingrained, intense, indelible part of me. So I hope I can help anyone who is dealing with this. I understand what you’re going through.