National Eating Disorders Association

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
confused about discipline, teaching responsibility

My daughter is 17. Diagnosed w eating disorder unspecified at 13. Has had therapy and one inpatient stay for one month last year. There has been some improvement.
She was unable to attend school without severe behavioral problems and she failed all of her classes. she complained mainly of inability to concentrate and generalized severe anxiety. Also had interpersonal relationship issues with classmates and teachers.
Now, she is at home and spends most of her day texting or on social media or smoking pot with friends who are mostly boys. She will do chores when asked and sometimes without having to be asked. Her room is trashed and she doesn't respect my stuff. She breaks or ruins a lot of things. She is only willing to help out by loading the dishwasher and walking dogs.
My problem is that I want her to help out more around the house - especially now that she quit school and doesn't have a job. She always seems to have a reason for not being available - she is sleeping or doesn't feel good or heading out the door.
Communication is almost non-existant. If I go to her she accuses me of being angry and acts as though I am the worst person in the world. She tells me I am yelling when I'm not She says mean and hateful things to me. She makes me doubt myself as a parent.
I am emotionally sensitive person. I am over stressed. I have lost my temper with her in the past which was wrong and I am ashamed and regretful and I have made big improvements. I always apologized to my daughter if I realized I was not acting as a mature parent and adult and she must see how hard I have worked to change. I really listen to her and acknowledge her feelings. If I feel the conversation is just becoming pointless I try to end it before we say things we will regret.
Today, I am feeling totally drained and hopeless. I feel like I have lost my little girl because I don't even recognize her anymore. I feel like I have been fighting this for so long that I can no longer do it anymore.


I am so sorry for what you are going through. Before I begin anything, I just wanted to say that I am not a parent. I am a recoverer of the eating disorder but I saw the pain that my parents went through during that roller coaster of a time.

Is your daughter currently seeing a therapist? I know you say that she is always "unavailable" but there has to be a way to work around this. I have heard of therapists coming to your home so maybe that could be an option. Rather than getting your daughter to leave the house, maybe bringing somebody to her will be helpful.

I just wanted to let you know that you are doing a wonderful job as a parent. The fact that you have not given up on your daughter is amazing. I have heard of parents kicking their children out and that never ended well.

Have you ever given thought into putting her into inpatient again? Due to the fact that she is not a legal adult yet, she cannot take herself out of treatment. She will most likely go kicking and screaming but it will be what is best for her.

I wanted to share with you the NEDA Parent Toolkit. I hope that this helps:

Keep your head up! You are are a wonderful parent and don't let this time bring you down!


Thank you for responding. It

Thank you for responding. It is good to hear someone say that I am a wonderful parent. I am so glad that my husband and I have a strong relationship and are able to support eachother. I am worried that the last four years of stress are leading to an illness for me because I feel weak and beat down and sad.
There are good days, too - lots of them. It is not all bad.
I will check out the Toolkit. We cannot afford another inpatient stay even with insurance and frankly, with my daughter's attitude I don't feel like it will be helpful. The last time she stayed and wasn't bad or anything but would always just say it was stupid and boring and geared toward anorexics. She wouldn't follow up at home with any dbt exercises. I offered my support but she just treated me like I was a nuisance.
We are going to a new therapist in a few days - maybe that will help.


I know how you feel. Our daughter is only 14. We are looking at sending her away to stay with my sister for a while so she has a second chance. She hates school here and is turning into a loner. She does things when we ask but it is a battle. I would also encourage you to try to sign up for a NEDA Navigator--they help! One thing my Navigator told me was that it's difficult to distinguish what is the ED talking and what is plain old adolescence. Our children have to decide for themselves to recover, but it doesn't make it easy to watch, does it?
Hang in there!

Thank You For Responding It

Dear Hurtsoul,

Haley has provided you with amazing feedback. I too am a survivor of an eating disorder (ED). So, I know personally how hard this is on the family too. Just know that nobody asks for this disease. My family and friends thought it was as simple as saying, "Just eat!" An ED is very complex. The brain chemistry changes, which is one reason why one's image becomes distorted.

You ARE doing a wonderful job as a parent. I'm sure it's been the most challenging thing you've had to go through. You're on the right path to securing a new therapist. Your daughter and your family cannot do this alone. So, it's important that you have an ED-trained therapist on your team as a support for your daughter in her recovery. There is hope for your daughter and your family.

I hope the Toolkit was helpful!

Please feel free to call the NEDA Helpline #1.800.931.2237 (Mon.-Thurs. 9am-9pm/Fri. 9am-5pm/EST). They are a great resource for the individual battling an ED,and the family/friends supporting a loved one. The NEDA Helpline Volunteers are survivors of an ED and intimately understand all the challenges one faces. But there's HOPE and you have many people here to help your daughter and your family through this.

Please keep us posted and let us know how we can continue to support you and your family!

Healing Hugs,
Legacy of Love

Thank you Legacy of Love. I

Thank you Legacy of Love. I am going to give the phone number to my daughter and I also will try to get up the nerve to call.
We are seeing the new therapist today but I'm not sure she is ED trained.

Dear hurtsoul,

Dear hurtsoul,

It is so great that you are there to support your daughter through this difficult time. The NEDA Helpline (number above) is an amazing resource so I encourage you and your daughter to try giving us a call!

How has it been going with the new therapist? If you want to continue searching for an ED specialist, you can begin here on NEDA's website:

Just read and agree to the disclaimer and then you can search for therapists in your state. Not all of our resources are on here, however, so if you have trouble finding a specialist, definitely give us a call and we can search for referrals close to you!

Best of luck with everything and please don't hesitate to contact us should you need anything else!

Best wishes,