National Eating Disorders Association

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Daughter refuses to admit her ED

Hi everyone...advice needed please! My 15 year old daughter has been dealing with her ED for over 2 years. She’s been anorexic, bulimic and at times, both at once. She’s been in an outpatient and residential program and neither worked. We have found yet another residential program for her to attend to see if another approach could help. She’s very much against going. Doing nothing is not an option however. My question is..:do I send her anyway? She’s in deep denial that she has a problem. She will hate me for sending her and there’s a good chance she won’t do the work and will come home the same but I have to try dont I?

That's so tough.

I'm so sorry for what your daughter and your family is going through - ED's are just awful. I only have the perspective as someone who has recovered from an ED, but my mom never gave up on me, and I will be so grateful for that always. Until your daughter really can admit she has a problem, however, it will be difficult for her to recover. Does she have a good ongoing relationship with a therapist or psychologist in addition to the treatment programs? I don't have much more advice other than that - my heart goes out to you and I'm sending you and your daughter healing vibes. <3, STP

Hi lcrippen,

Hi lcrippen,

I am sorry things are so hard for you guys right now, it must be so difficult to feel powerless. I wanted to share the parent toolkit that NEDA provides, which hopefully can help you talk to your daughter and find a way to get through. Here is the link:
You can also call the helpline as well for more advice! I am sorry I cannot offer more, but I’m sending you good vibes and love to you both.

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