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I have a 28 year old daughter suffering from anorexia nervosa. Where do you go for help?

By Anonymous January 12, 2012 - 8:03pm
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She lives in a separate city and is in the medical field. We live in a smaller town and we do not have any type of help for anorexia. We would be willing to travel to get her any kind of assistance but everywhere I have contacted, has instructed me that there is nothing I can do because she is over the age of 18. She thinks she does not have a problem. She was hospitalized last year for a blocked bowel and I thought for sure the hospital would keep her because of her obvious anorexic condition, but because she is in the medical profession and I am not, she skirted her way around any questions they asked and they released her after 3 days. Where do my husband and I go for help for her? This has even changed her personality from a caring loving person to being self obssessed with exercise (at least 4-5hours per day), no calories, & several days she does gym time instead of eating anything. I feel reasonably sure she does not weigh more than 70 lbs and is 5'4". Where do we go from here?

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jwcfrarvc ,

You have a valid point on being a harm to herself-- I wonder if a court order would apply in her case. Unfortunately, what makes sense sometimes does not apply. Would you care to call the NEDA at the 1800 number I posted above to see if this is possible? It may be the answer to your daughter's need for help and for many other mother's, sisters, and daughters that may need help for their loved ones.

Best Wishes,


August 9, 2012 - 7:04am

I would love to hear how this turned out. I also have a 27 year old daughter with anorexia, and she has been slowly returning to her old ways of restricting, only, this time, also restricting sleep. I live thousands of miles away and am afraid she is spiraling downward, being less and less willing to listen to my request that she get help. I wonder if it might be possible to get a court order over someone who is in the kind of condition described by the writer here - the usual standard for being able to impose medical care or other restraints on someone is that they are a danger to others, or a danger to themselves. Clearly, people suffering from anorexia but not willing to get treatment suggests they are a danger to themselves. I pray, hope and wish all power to the mom who wrote, and to for her daughter - that she can have a window of sanity through which she can see a path and begin on it - toward recovery and management.

August 8, 2012 - 4:19am

Hi Anonymous,

I'm so sorry that you are going through this as a parent. Because she is over 18, she needs to get the help on her own-- you cannot force her to get help that she isn't welcoming. However, you can speak to her about getting help and I think that if you call the National Eating Disorder Association at 1-800-931-2237, they may be able to help you get her to voluntarily get the help that she needs.

Please keep us posted,


January 13, 2012 - 6:03am
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