National Eating Disorders Association

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Minor refusing treatment

I have a 16 year old daughter with anorexia who has been in res treatment three times in the last 20 months. She says she will not comply with the meal plan when she is at home. The residential treatment centers don’t want her to come back because they say she needs to be in psychiatric treatment. The psychiatric treatment centers say they won’t treat the eating disorder so if she restricts there they will have to send her to the hospital. She tells us she is just going to keep doing this until we run out of money. Basically this is all a game of manipulation. I don’t know what to do. I feel like there is no place to take her and we are most definitely not able to afford to keep this up-especially for her to tell us on the front end that she is doing it on purpose. Help!


Hi! Thank you for posting. We’re sorry to hear about what’s going on with your daughter! We hope that you’re able to get the support you deserve here on the forums. When you get the chance, please take a look at our community guidelines here: If you’re looking for resources, please feel free to contact the Helpline at (800) 931-2237. Phones are open Monday-Thursday 11AM-9PM EST and Friday 11 AM-5PM EST. Our Click to Chat is open Monday-Thursday 9AM-9PM EST and Friday 9AM-5PM EST. You can click the chat now option at the top right hand corner! Please continue posting.

control and defiance

Dear Carirussell, I am sorry to hear your story. I am learning about ED lately because I suspect my 13 year daughter might be heading down that road. One thing I hear again and again is that the kids want to have control. See if you can give her some control. And honor her decisions. I wonder if she decided that she won't comply, how do you enforce the food plan? She is almost an adult! There's some resources online that provide different approaches. I agree with one I found and use that approach.
Make sure you let her know that you love her no matter what. I pray this storm will pass.


Hi Illusion-of-control! It's great that you are offering support for others, however we did want to let you know we edited your post. Names and medical advice goes against our community guidelines, which you can review them here. Keep posting!