Ask Dr. Orloff

How to help a 17 year old suffering from obsessive compulsive?

Question: A friend's 17 year old daughter has suffered with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anorexia for the last four years, having spent most of that time in a mental health unit. Six weeks ago she returned home and she seemed to want to heal but again she has stopped eating and is dangerously under weight. She has had to go back into hospital and has reached crisis point, she is being fed reluctantly by tube. Today the professionals looking after her were going to decide whether to section her to force feed her. Her will to live seems to be sabotaged by another side of her. Is there anything I can do to help? Thank you.

Answer: Keep loving her. Keep believing in her. Keep doing everything possible to get her to eat. And make sure she has a therapist who can help her with her deepest fears about her body and life. I'll hold you both in my prayers.
Best,
Judith

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