Melrose Center: Care for Children, Teens and College Students

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Does my child, teen or college student have an eating disorder?

It can be hard to know if your child has an eating disorder. Is it a phase? Is it picky eating? Are they exercising too much? If you have concerns about your child’s eating or exercise, getting help early is the key to recovery. Talk to your child’s doctor, or make an appointment at Melrose Center.

To make an appointment, call 952-993-6200. We have immediate initial assessments available.

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Physical signs of eating disorders

  • Big changes in weight
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Diverting from their growth chart
  • Stress fractures
  • Fatigue or fainting
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Emotional and social signs of eating disorders

  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Negative or distorted self-image
  • Irritability or mood swings
  • Avoiding normal social activities
  • Fear of eating around family or friends
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Behavioral signs of eating disorders

  • Avoiding entire food groups
  • Skipping meals or making excuses for not eating
  • Hoarding food
  • Eating in secret
  • Only eating “safe” or “healthy” foods
  • Going to the bathroom or showering after eating
  • Wearing baggy clothing
  • Exercising excessively

If you think your child may have an eating disorder:

  • Start the conversation with, “I’m worried about your eating or activity level”
  • Start the conversation with, “I think it would be good for you to see a specialist to talk more about your eating and how you’re feeling about yourself”
  • Avoid using loaded terms like fat, weight gain and skinny
  • Avoid giving your opinion on weight or physical appearance

Support and therapy for the whole family

When children or teenagers have eating disorders, it can affect your whole family. Our family-based therapy program gives you the tools and confidence to help your child recover from an eating disorder.

The treatment your child needs is different from what an adult needs. We offer play therapy for younger children. This helps our team learn how the children are thinking and feeling. And they learn how to manage their feelings in a safe, healthy way.

Our programs include:

  • Family therapy: A chance to learn how to empower your child through recovery
  • Family day: A full day of learning for the whole family, including siblings
  • Family learning series: Eight weeks of sessions that focus on in-depth family skills
  • Play therapy: Help young children learn to manage their feelings in safe, healthy ways
  • Residential treatment: A place to get medically stabilized while receiving treatment

Our goal is to keep your child at home and give treatment through outpatient care. But sometimes, in serious situations, we recommend your child stay in our residential program for a short time. This allows your child to get medically stable.

To make an appointment, call 952-993-6200.


Concerned about picky eating?

Eating disorders impact the entire family. This video explains Family Based Therapy at Melrose and we hear from a family that participated in treatment.

Melrose Center Family Based Therapy

Heading to college can be an exciting and challenging time. This video explores ways you can stay healthy and keep your body and mind functioning at its best.

College tips: Feeding Your Body & Mind