National Eating Disorders Association

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dlopez20522
11 year old sister is starting to show signs of an eating disorder

<p>hi, my name is diana and im 14 years old at the moment. my little sister told me just last night that she was depressed and had been eating less and less for a while. i didn't know to what extent, so i told her that the first thing she needed to do was tell me what she had eaten that day. she told me what she ate, i thought that was fine so i asked her if that's what her usual meals consisted of, and she told me no. she said that she usually eats only a little bit before going to sleep. to put some context into what i'm about to say, my little sister uses my mom's phone to text &amp; call her friends. today, i asked her how long she had had this problem with her weight. she told me that she had been bullied since 4th grade about multiple things, but mostly her physical appearance. eventually, she got to the point of staring at herself in the mirror and pointing out her flaws. the first thing she saw was her stomach. that's where it started. so, she let me read some of the texts she sent her friends, and the date that she told them about it was July 28th, 2018. her message read, "for a few months now i've been dealing with something and i think i should tell you." i'm worried that this has been going on for a long time and i don't know what to do. if anyone has any answers or suggestions, please please feel free to comment or reply. i need to do something, but i don't know what approach i should take.</p>

iwanttolive
dlopez20522

Hi. Is sounds like you have an amazing relationship with your younger sister. It does sound as if she may be in the beginning stages of developing an eating disorder and if she is concerned enough to reach out to her friends and you I would want to suggest you tell her you are concerned and you need to talk to a parent of both if you can. Eating disorders are serious and life threatening and if caught early the early intervention can prevent a life time of suffering and serious consequences. I would let her know you plan on telling a parent or someone you trust so she doesn't feel betrayed but I think she is asking for help and is scared herself. The best thing you can do for her is to let someone know who can bring her in for an assessment and get her help. The best approach is letting an adult preferably a parent know and if nothing is done or it isn't taken seriously then let someone else know. This isn't something that is easy to deal with and you are in a position that you may not want to be in. But now that you know, you are right, you need to do something. You sound like you love your sister. I am sorry she is suffering. You too are young and to be in this position is difficult. I wish you the best and hope that you let us know how things go. Take care, I hope this helped you some.

iwanttolive

BobJ48
Diana.

Like iwanttolive said, it's great that you and her are able to talk in the ways that you do. People can really feel alone with these sorts of feelings, so the more you are able to communicate with her, the better things will be.

I was sondering : Are you talking with her fact to face, or are you guys texting each other?

Sometimes it's easier for people to talk in a text.

One other positive thing is that she seems to understand that this might be a developing problem. Maybe not the eating part,right now, but the self-critical stuff with the mirror, and the bullying parts at least. This sort of insight can be important as well.

As was said above, getting on top of this stuff *soon* will be important, as EDs can begin to imprint themselves on a person's brain pretty quickly, so the sooner these concerns start getting addressed, the less likely it is that things will begin to get worse down the line.

And yeah, you'll need to tell your parents what's going on. Even better would be if your sister could tell them herself.

Having said that, parent's don't always take these things seriously though, so that could be an issue as well, so it will be important that they take some initiative and educate themselves about the seriousness of the matter. If they just see it as some kind of silly kid thing, that won't be helpful either.

Bob J

Lissylou
Eating disorder

Hi diana, I hope you have been able to get your sister some help. It is so wonderful that she opened up about this, that she realizes it is bad and that she seems to be looking for help. Her chances of recovery are higher the earlier she gets help and having you and the rest of her family involved in her treatment therapies has been shown to also give her the best chances for recovery. This is a serious condition, be brave in getting help from a trusted adult if you haven't already. Stay strong, it is not easy to see someone you love hurting this way.

Lissylou
Eating disorder

Hi diana, I hope you have been able to get your sister some help. It is so wonderful that she opened up about this, that she realizes it is bad and that she seems to be looking for help. Her chances of recovery are higher the earlier she gets help and having you and the rest of her family involved in her treatment therapies has been shown to also give her the best chances for recovery. This is a serious condition, be brave in getting help from a trusted adult if you haven't already. Stay strong, it is not easy to see someone you love hurting this way.