National Eating Disorders Association

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Terrified - Daughter Diagnosed OCD & Anorexic

I'm so glad I found this site! My daughter was diagnosed with OCD and Anorexia this fall. She is away at college and I thought things were going as well as could be expected - not gaining weight, but not losing any either. I visited her the other week and commented that I was so glad to see that she had gained a little weight. Since that time she has lost what little she might have gained and then some. Her therapist wants to go to an inpatient facility for the summer.

I'm terrified by the statistics that I read. I don't know how to help my child. A kiss won't make this all better. Any help would be so greatly appreciated!

Hi Teresa,

Welcome to the forums! NEDA has so many great resources, and the forums are a wonderful place to get support. I hope you'll find what you're looking for here.

It's so great to hear that your daughter is seeing a therapist--that's such an important step, as professional help is incredibly valuable. It's also great that you're doing your research and reaching out on sites like this. You're clearly trying to do the best you can as a parent. I encourage you to take a look around the forums, especially in the "Parents of Sufferers" section, as there are lots of posts from parents going through situations similar to yours.

Another NEDA resource I love is the Parent Toolkit: . This has tons of useful information about EDs and about treatment. You could also talk to your daughter's therapist and see if (s)he has any suggestions as to things you can do or say to help your daughter. As an example, you said that when you last visited your daughter you commend on her weight, and while I'm not a professional, I know I've heard in the past that sometimes it might be better to avoid commenting on an ED sufferer's weight at all (whether the comment is positive or negative). EDs make people spend so much time thinking about their shape/weight/appearance, so sometimes adding to those messages can unintentionally do harm, even if you mean well. That's something you could talk to your daughter's therapist about if you want to know more about what to say/do. Here's a great page on the NEDA site with links to more resources for family and friends:

If your daughter's therapist is recommending inpatient treatment, I think it would be wise to listen to a professional's advice. Inpatient treatment is very thorough, and your daughter and your family would have access to tons of resources so she can get help for her ED and for OCD. (Anxiety disorders like OCD very commonly co-occur with EDs, so an inpatient treatment center will have seen this kind of combination before.) And summer would be a great time for your daughter to get more intensive care without it interfering with her studies.

I think a lot of people can relate to how you're feeling. EDs can be very scary, and they're unfamiliar territory for many people. But please know that NEDA and those of us on the forums are here to support you! Recovery is possible, and your commitment to helping your daughter will be incredibly helpful as she works toward recovery.

Please keep us updated on how you and your family are doing! Good luck, Teresa! :)