National Eating Disorders Association

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Help finding treatment for 14 yr old daughter

Hi. My daughter has been in inpatient hospitalization treatment for almost 7 weeks. She has almost reached the point of being medically stable but still needs some very intense theraputic treatment. I have several roadblocks that are preventing me from finding a treatment center that she can go to.
I am essentially a single parent. Her father is a part of her life and is somewhat involved but I am her main caretaker. He lost his job about a week before she was hospitalized so her insurance stopped. She is currently on Medicaid in Texas. I work full time and have a very limited income, basically 1 paycheck away from losing everything. Neither of us have family or friends that live near us or can help. The only place we have been able to find is a facility that requires the parents to stay with the kids, which we can't do. I can't take out a loan because I don't have means to pay it back.
I feel so completely lost and alone. I need to help my child but I can't figure out how. She has told me she will not eat if she comes home. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thank yoi

re: Help finding treatment for 14 yr old daughter

Hi Jqgarcia44--welcome to the forums. You've come to the right place for support and we're so glad you found us. First of all, I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. Supporting a loved one who's struggling with an ED is extremely difficult even under the best circumstances, so I can't imagine how frustrating and painful it must be to feel helpless in terms of getting your daughter the treatment she needs and deserves.

Have you explored the NEDA website much regarding treatment options? If you call the NEDA Helpline (or use the chat function), a trained NEDA rep can help walk you through the different options that may be available to you in your area--including those you may not have thought of, such as therapists with sliding fee scales (where you pay what you can) or low-price mental health services at local social or educational centers. Here's a page that should help you get started in searching for options: But I definitely suggest contacting the Helpline so someone can walk you through it personally, step by step:

In the meantime, there are other steps you can take to make sure you're being the best support system possible for your daughter. The best way to help her fight ED is to be an informed parent. Here's a page that offers a bunch of general information about EDs: And here's one that breaks down specific EDs: (I'm not sure what your daughter is struggling with specifically based on your post but hopefully this is a good starting point). Here are some basics about the recovery process so you can familiarize yourself with what your daughter is experiencing--like you said, just because she is weight restored does not mean the ED thoughts and behaviors will go away: And here are some tips to keep in mind in case your daughter is forced to leave treatment prematurely:

Finally, this is a really excellent resource that provides in-depth detail about how to support a loved one who's struggling with an ED:

The most important thing I want to remind you is that ultimately, this is your daughter's battle. You cannot force her to recover. I know your heart is breaking right now and you want to do everything possible to swoop in and make it better, but EDs are complex mental illnesses and your daughter must be ready and willing to accept help before she can truly recover. Are you making sure you're taking care of yourself? I know you don't have any loved ones in the area who can be of any assistance, but can you at least confide in a friend or family member regularly over the phone or via the internet just to make sure you're getting the emotional and mental support you need during this difficult time? Are you on speaking terms with your daughter's father/are you two able to communicate about what's going on in any helpful way? You can't pour from an empty cup. The best way to help your daughter is staying strong and taking care of yourself too.

We're thinking of you. Please keep us posted on your progress.


I just joined the forums today. I too have a 14 year old struggling. My situation is similar to yours in the sense of no family support, financial issues and government assistance insurance. I know that I lived chat witth this organization and they were able to come up with a few places. You could try and call the 800 number on your card they may know where to go or go to jobs and family. In my area both were not able to help but ever area is different. So between this organization and the other options you may find what you need. Good luck