National Eating Disorders Association

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Worried mom

My daughter has been doing outpatient treatment with a team for 2 1/2 months. She is of age and refused inpatient. She is monitored weekly. She has made some progress but not enough and she still is not allowed to engage in any activity. Her therapist and nutritionist are seeing progress but the MD is not satisfied. This is devastating to her, however, progress is slower choosing this route of treatment. This was her wish but she seems resistant to the treatment at all. She wants to just do things on her own and says she wants to be done with the treatment team. I am not even sure what I am asking. I feel like I can't force her to do something she isn't truly ready for but am also just so worried.

Just wanted to reach out

Hello. I am new (as of this week, in fact) to this forum, and just wanted to reach out to say you are being heard. I am so sorry about your daughter, and though my circumstance might be different, we are clearly in the same larger boat (as we have come to this site). My daughter is back from her first semester at school, and while I knew she was in a bad place, I was smacked with the reality of how rough it actually is when she returned home. She is headstrong and self-destructive, and I am terribly worried. This is all just to say that I nodded my head in recognition when you wrote that you are not sure what you're asking, and that you feel you cannot force her into something for which she isn't ready. I am so sorry. You are not alone.

Thank you so much. I am

Thank you so much. I am sorry to hear about your situation as well and wish her all the best. Yes it is so hard... She is graduating this year from HS and wants to go away to college. Just can't even think that far ahead right now. Hang in there and thanks for helping me feel like I am not alone.

Hi worried moms,

I worried my parents as much as your daughters have done with you when I was 19. I almost passed from anorexia and at some point, I became bulimic. Anyway, what I want to tell you here is that when people are so immerse in their disorder, they do not listen to any reasons. However, there is a moment in life when you realize you want to change and you change. You get open to treatment and show real improvements.

What can you do for now if it is still not their time to change?

Let them know that you are worried about their health and wellbeing and if they ever need a listening ear, they can count on you.
Avoid any comments related to diets, people overweight, body image, etc.
Let her you know love her for what she is and not for the way she looks like.
Be an example of a healthy relationship with food and exercise.
Don't play a "police-role" at meal times. That will only make things worse.

I am in recovery from an ED for I do not know what number of times and I have become pretty aware of the way "normal people" eat. I also finally understand all the damage I have done to my body and when my eating disorder is the one talking instead of my healthy mind.

It took 19 years for this moment of change to come to me. BUT it happened!

So, continue to support your daughters and find a good therapist who help them realize they do have a problem. Sometimes, as anorexics, we do not even realize we have a problem or that we are slowly killing ourselves...


Thank you, Annet.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and perspective. What you say rings true. My daughter was the one who first came to me to tell me she started purging "sometimes" while she was in school. When she returned home, I recognized that it was or had grown much worse than that. The few times I have brought up the subject, I have done so with love and understanding; but any mention of fear about what it is doing to her body and mind are met with anger. It seems she focuses much of her outward anger on me. So, I back off but still let her know I am here. It is a delicate dance. For two days, she managed not to purge (which I figured but which she announced to me), but is back in the brutal cycle again. I can hear her and I can see it in her face and vacant stare. She has a good therapist. I just wish I could do so much more. I wish I could make her realize how precious she is.

I am glad for you, that you have gotten to this point and are here to tell us about it. You are precious, too.

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