National Eating Disorders Association

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Wanted to just take a minute to welcome dads to tonight's forum. I'm a member of NEDA's PFN Steering Committee and also a dad of a now 26 year old daughter who battled anorexia for a number of years. I know there are lots of challenges that are unique to dads where eating disorders are concerned and welcome the chance to discuss them tonight, as well as some of the insights I gained through my daughter's and our family's struggles.


I am also a member of NEDA's PFN Steering committee and have a daughter that was diagnosed with anorexia at 10 and is now 22. I have a lot of experience in the eating disorder world

How is your daughter doing

How is your daughter doing now a days?

We are very new to this site

We are very new to this site and not sure how everything in a live chat works. But we will try to convey where our life is now. We Have a 20 year old daughter that has anorexia. We found out about it in June of 2013 by accident. YES I mean by accident. she was away at school and she came home looking very thin. Not emaciated thin but thin. We have tried over and over again to get her in a treatment center but she will NOT budge. She has a very promising job in the cosmetology world and does not want to loose her job.
She wants help but does not want our help??? We got her to a psychiatrist last week and he has prescribed PROZAC. She sees a counselor now 2 days a week for the last 2 months. nutritionist is involved but can only suggest a course of healing. We cant ask questions because she is 20. We pay the bills and that is it.
This is our question, Does PROZAC help?
Sorry for such a quick synopsis but we know that you are ahead of us in time zone.


The doctors wanted to put my daughter on prozac but my wife refused any medication. The other girls in the hospital were all on prozac which did seem to help with their moods and that is one step in the long journey back.

Challenges Associated With Adult Children With EDs

Thanks for sharing. I know, first hand, how difficult it is for "mom and dad" when you have an "adult" child who is struggling with an eating disorder, especially when, for whatever reason, they are resistant to your efforts to provide support and "insist" on doing things "their way." It's very common. Having said that, I'm encouraged that your daughter "wants help" and is open to meeting with a therapist, a nutritionist and a psychiatrist. That's a really good sign and I would be comforted in knowing that there are professionals in the mix who are attending to your daughter and "monitoring" her. Hopefully, the counselor and the psychiatrist are familiar with eating disorders. That's important because they are in the best position to assess the appropriate level of care. As for the Prozac, I would hesitant to offer any thoughts on that. It was prescribed for our daughter at various times (as were a number of other medications). My experience has been that every individual has a different constellation of issues and, therefore, responds differently to different medications. In the end, I would be inclined to trust the medical professionals on the medication call, assuming you are satisfied with their professional skill. I hope this is helpful? Happy to share my thoughts on other issues/concerns you might have.

Father of a 14 year old suffering anorexia

My daughter has been suffering anorexia for the last two years. She has been hospitalized twice and been an impatient twice. One of the problems is that her mother is in denial and thinks she can cure our daughter on soup and sunshine. My daughter who was very close to me has not spoken to me in two years. I was the one who got her help and it wasn't easy with wife that is an enabler. For about 11 months after my daughters first impatient stay I fought to get her help since my wife refuse to take her to therapy and my daughter did everything she could to avoid me. At one point I even tried to turn myself to the county child protection services but they told me that the judge would not look at it and would assume it was a marriage issue. Needless to say I am now going through a divorce.

Daughter Suffering With Anorexia

I can really feel your pain and frustration in your note. I'm sorry to hear that your daughter is struggling and that you and your wife aren't able to present a unified stance in encouraging her to seek the treatment she may need to heal. One thing I would encourage (to the extent your situation allows for it) is that you continue to work to maintain a relationship with your daughter - separate and apart from the eating disorder issues, which I understand are paramount in your mind. The fact that she may be trying to distance from you should not dissuade you from continuing to try and stay connected. Simple cards, letters, text messages, etc. that reiterate your love for her will help in that regard - even if they don't elicit an immediate response. Just a thought. Very obvious that you love her a great deal. My heart hurts for both of you. Did you have a particular issue that we might be able to help with?

In our household every Monday

In our household every Monday is stressful because she is alone in the house as she has the day off from work. Lately she uses this day to go to Drs. appointments for vitals and blood draws. So usually when we get home from work she is a little depressed.
She has state board exams coming up in a few weeks and she is stressing over that. Her memory isn't as sharp as it was and she has no confidence.


You are so right about the "world of beauty" and modeling. I hardly know what to say to or about those who insist on making comments like "you're not thin enough" - for anything! Important (from my perspective) that you find little/creative ways to "remind" her that you guys are there for her, that you love her unconditionally for all the intangibles and "invisibles" that make her who she is, that you value her above all else (all of which, I'm certain, are a given), but thoughtful reminders go a long way - even (especially) when our daughters get older. I'm a big believer in little well-placed notes and letters.