Try to establish a dialogue around how difficult it must be for her to keep hearing medical recommendations that she wants no part of and how puzzling it must be that measures intended to help her don’t feel helpful. Your nonjudgmental approach and your focus on not pressuring her can open her mind to follow-up discussion and give her the space she needs to reconsider the possibility of trying medication. You and the other members of your child’s treatment team will continue to share ideas about how to encourage her to take steps, such as trying medication, that are hard but potentially rewarding.
Your child’s primary care physician will remain a valuable resource not only during her initial weeks of medical stabilization, but throughout the entire treatment process and into recovery. As your child’s health improves, her primary care doctor won’t need to see her as frequently. However, he or she will be in communication with the other members of the treatment team. Feel free to call on the primary care physician or any other team member as your questions arise. They understand what you are going through and will welcome your calls.
David B. Herzog, M.D., Debra L. Franko, Ph.D., Pat Cable, RN
David B. Herzog, M.D., is the Harvard Medical School Endowed Professor of psychiatry in the field of eating disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital and the director of the Harris Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Debra L. Franko, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology at Northeastern University and the associate director of the Harris Center at Massachusetts General Hospital
Pat Cable, RN, is the director of publications at the Harris Center.