National Eating Disorders Association

58 posts / 0 new
Last post
When do you go to the er

My daughter had her first therapy session a week ago and now is on a waitlist for a cancellation before she is seen again on aug24. In the meantime, every night she is so emotional about losing control and eating more than she should have and upset that she admitted she has a problem. We went to the er 1-1/2 weeks ago and they checked labs and let us go after a few hours. She was calmer when we got there. But at what point do they keep her for observation? Or is this normal and I just have to get used to helping her through this every night?

In the ER

Hi Mamad, it must be aggravating for you to see the condition that your daughter is in and not feel that the people in the ER are taking it as seriously as you. I am sorry you both are experiencing this. Unfortunately, we took our daughter to the ER over a week ago with suicidal thoughts and deep cuts to her arms. From what I can tell, it was the visible evidence of current and past self-harm, as well as having a record of past ER visits that convinced them to put her on a 72-hour observation. From there they sent her to the psych section of the hospital for a few days. They kept her against her will, and boy was she angry about it! We were fine with it though, because we saw this building every day and were helpless to do anything about it. She has been in residential ED treatment centers, and will probably go back eventually.
I think that since your daughter had de-escalated by the time you got to the ER that they figured she wasn't in immediate danger. Getting labs back and being sent home probably sent your daughter the message that she is still too overweight to be seen as having a serious ED, which can be very triggering. You might want to keep an eye on her for the next couple weeks until she has the appointment. It's a shame that mental health care is not easy to come by in many areas of the country and that people have to wait too long to get appointments. I remember being in your shoes early on in my daughter's ED, and it was hard to deal with her emotions. Now she has clammed up and doesn't share her feelings with anyone, and that's very hard too. I wish you and your daughter well, in both senses of the word. Hang in there!

Dadsmutt and SinatraM

Dadsmutt, hang in there. It's really tough when they are no longer minors. We were able to get our daughter to give us permission to converse w/ her therapist (it's a simple HIPAA Authorization form). She is 21 and we are INSISTING on therapy. It is so complicated if it comes down to needing inpatient b/c it would require a court order. If your son's weight is dangerously low, you might be able to override. For now, if you can get a Durable Medical Power of Attorney (available online for each state through and other websites free of charge--they just need a notarization and that is available at UPS store and bank, etc.)--if your son will sign one--it would help. Mostly, though, just want to send support your way. I know how difficult it is and hope you are able to find ways to take care of yourself and not think about your son's ED 24/7. Self-care is really important and hopefully you are able to sleep (I cannot, hence my late-night posts).
SinatraM, just wanted to say that SSRIs can be great for anxiety/depression/OCD symptoms. I used to take one and it was helpful. If your child will take it, that is great (our adult daughter needs an antidepressant but refuses). I have heard other mental health medications can be effective in conjunction with SSRI meds too, but I don't know much more than that.


Hey parent-of-older-ED, Just here to let you know that your post has been edited slightly to remove any medical advice - your support is much appreciated, but it's best to leave recommendations out, as we are not medical professionals. Thank you for your contributions to the forum, and please keep posting! :)  

34 year old daughter struggling over 20 years!!

First time here and have no clue where to begin. My daughter's eating disorder started when she was 6 years old. Mind you back then nobody knew what was going on. When she turned 16 she started to restrict and as they say: The rest is history.
She has been struggling since then and it's been hell for the both of us. I am her ONLY support (as in family) raised her on my own since she was a baby. She's been hospitalized several times over the years and NOTHING seems to work. She was only 300 hours away from receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. Her boyfriend broke off with her (while she was in the hospital) over a year ago. This was devastating to her. I believe she STILL hasn't dealt with this issue. Her father hasn't had anything to do with her for many years now. She feels so rejected by him and wants to know WHY he doesn't love her.
She has had over 24 ECT's in the last 3 years, on a multitude of meds, looks like she spaced out a lot of the time and to add insult to injury she suffers from Separation Anxiety. At 34 yrs old she is having GREAT difficulty being away from me. She wants to be around me ALL the time and it's getting to me. When I needed her ( I know this must sound selfish) she wasn't there, and now she can't get enough of me. I don't know how I am feeling other then I love her with all my heart and she is FINALLY getting proper help. Just hoping someone in here can relate. So much more to this story but it is late here in Canada (almost 1:30 am) and I need to get some shuteye. As I type she is sleeping on my chesterfield. God help all of us with our loved ones who are suffering so much from this monster. Good night and God Bless. Thank you for listening.

Eastender, you've come to a good place

Yes, many of us can relate to both your suffering and pain, and that of your daughter. An eating disorder is a long term illness and there will be peaks and valleys along the way. You mention that she is finally getting the proper help. That's good news. Are you also getting the help you need? As parents, we need and deserve support as well. You have been there for your daughter all along, through very difficult times, and I commend you for that. I would suggest calling the NEDA helpline at 800.931.2237. They could direct you to resources in your area or suggest steps you can take to get the support and assistance you need.

Choose Recovery

Thank you for your suggestion. I will call them tomorrow for sure. Gods Speed