National Eating Disorders Association

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Daughter entering inpatient for first time

My 17 year old daughter (a rising senior in HS) is entering an inpatient program, voluntarily, for the first time. She has been seeing a psychologist and dietician for 6 months. She has apparently had anorexia (restrictive) for about 2 years. Any thoughts on what to expect regarding the inpatient program?

Also, she is going off to an, out of state, 3 week summer music camp (which is integral to her college aspirations) after 4 weeks of the program.
Any thoughts on going straight to an out of state camp so soon?

I’m so glad to hear that she

I’m so glad to hear that she is voluntarily getting help. That’s a great step. I can’t comment specifically on the inpatient program she will be attending, but generally speaking, the goal of inpatient first and foremost is addressing critical health concerns and extreme disordered behaviors. The NEDA website has a great link that provides an overview of the different types of treatment here:
The immediate post treatment time is critical. This is where your daughter will start to learn new coping skills and healthier behaviors. Without a full support team in place, it is much harder to maintain recovery. If going out of state to camp is a must, perhaps you can work with her to have a tight plan in place such as touching base with her therapist and dietician 1-2 times per week while she is there. My thoughts are with you and your daughter during this time. If you need extra support, the NEDA Helpline is a great place to find it! 1-800-931- 2237 M-TH 9-9 EST and F 9-5 EST.

Plan ahead!

I think the suggestion of planning ahead that ale2908 made is a great idea. It might be worth mentioning the summer program to the health care providers your daughter is seeing in the inpatient setting [or suggesting to your daughter that she mention it if she hasn't already]. That way, those already caring for her can incorporate strategies to stay healthy that your daughter can use at the camp effectively into her treatment plan over the next few weeks.
Also, having the NEDA helpline number in the last comment saved in your daughter's contact list may be helpful, just in case she needs a little extra support while she is at the out of state camp :)

Thank you for your responses.

Thank you for your responses. I had the terminology wrong. My daughter is entering residential, not inpatient. I have mentioned the camp to the facility and we briefly discussed setting up a support system when she leaves for camp.

So, residential shouldn't be traumatic for either of us? Anything we need to do to prepare?

I think one of the best

I think one of the best things you can do is keep an open mind, take it one day at a time, and trust that your daughter is getting the best treatment by professionals who care deeply about what they do. It will be hard work on your daughter's part, but also yours as you continue to be her support system. But it's so worth it and you're in this together. Many years ago, I entered a residential treatment program for 3 months that was 6 hours away from my home. Because I was a teenager, my parents had to split time staying with me. We had no idea was to expect or how to prepare. There were many days when I was so exhausted after the day of therapy, that I didn't want anything to do with them. But they could see beyond my anger, beyond the disorder, and loved and supported me anyway and for that reason it was definitely not traumatic. I am glad to hear that you will have a plan in place for when she goes to camp. I encourage you to keep reaching out to the forum throughout her recovery process. The NEDA Navigator is another great tool to offer your support. They are people have been there and can offer great advice. You can find more info:

Two thumbs up!

Two thumbs up!
My last treatment, I wanted to do residential. I was scared of it, but I was fully done with my eating disorder. I was 19 at the time and was struggling with it since I was 11. I couldn't because of insurance reasons. The reason I think it is helpful is because they make it more like a lifestyle in recovery rather than a hospital. So, once you are released... you can use the tactics and skills you learned to take on the real world.

Good luck to your daughter! Tell her she can beat anything, and dad is on her side!