National Eating Disorders Association

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LauraMacey
How do I help my 17 yr old with Bulimia?

How do I help my 17 yr old with Bulimia?
I am reaching out to anyone who is going through this, has gone through this as a parent or has been through this as a child. I just confirmed a week ago that my daughter has been bingeing and purging. I have suspected for several mths and asked her and she denied every time. After finding evidence of her behaviors she had no way to deny it. The steps we have taken is that she has seen a Psychologist who specializes in eating disorders and we will be going once a week. We have an appointment next week to see a regular doctor for her to get a physical to see where she is right now. She wants help. I guess I just don't really know how to handle this. Her school work is suffering badly and I don't know how much emphasis to put on that either. I don't want to cause her to show any more eating disorder symptoms than she already has. She also agreed that when she does eat with us I will stay with her for a little while after she is done eating to supervise her and make sure she is not displaying eating disorder behaviors. This is all so new and it is such a delicate subject I don't know how to act. I know I am going to have to use some tough love, I would imagine. I know she is probably, at times, going to be very angry with me. I would love to hear from anyone who has been through this. I always said I felt so lucky because I never had trouble with my daughter and she never got into drugs or anything... it's so hard to watch your child suffer. Maybe I need a meal plan.... I don't know. I can force feed her and I can't make her eat food she doesn't want to eat. I don't know how to encourage this without making her feel bad about this. I don't want that. I don't think any differently of her and I am not judging her for this. I just want to help and I want her to be safe, happy and healthy! Please help! Thanks in advance!

PS - My daughter told me she has been doing this on/off for a while now, but has been doing this consistently recently.

LauraMacey
PLease help!!!

Please someone can you please help me help my daughter. I don't know what to do! I don't want to make things worse by taking too much control and having her shut down or rebel against what I am trying to do, which is help her. Keeping her at home, planning her meals, having her friends come to the house instead of her going to see them.... this is what I have in mind but I'm not sure if this will just back fire? I want to create new habits for her and help her be able to learn to cope and deal with her anxiety in a positive way or healthier way. Please someone help?

hannahls
LauraMacey

LauraMacey,

I am so sorry that your daughter is suffering from bulimia. But she is tremendously lucky to have a mom as strong and caring as you are. Just the fact that you posted on the forum alone tells me that you are passionate about helping your daughter through this process, and you deserve to pat yourself on the back. It's great that she is already seeing a psychologist, and you should be very proud of her for taking initiative and wanting help.

I am not a parent, but I'm a young women like your daughter who has certainly put my own mother through a lot (which I'm not proud of, but I have gradually learned to forgive myself for). Believe me when I say that she is not doing this on purpose. Mental illness is a complicated thing and it can make us say and do things that we will later look back on and say "what was I thinking?" Eating disorders make us irrational at times, and you are right that sometimes "tough love" will be necessary. While your daughter might be angry with you in the moment, she will one day thank you. I think it would be a great idea to consult with a nutritionist or something, as you mentioned maybe your daughter needs a meal plan. I recommend you call NEDA's helpline where they can provide you information about all sorts of eating disorder recovery resources in your area, including things like nutritionists. Here's their info: Monday-Thursday from 9:00 am - 9:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (EST), 1-800-931-2237

Also, while your main priority right now may be supporting your daughter, I encourage you to seek some support yourself, opening up about the issue to trusted friends or seeing a therapist, etc. You will be a better support system for your daughter if you are able to remain strong yourself.

Best of luck, and please continue to reach out to the forum in the future for help/advice :)
xx Hannah

nkirkland
Hey,

Hey,

I want to say My family is going through the same thing with our daughter. She just turned 15. We just found out a couple of months ago that she has been making herself purg. She was medical diagnosed as bulimic. She lost weight. I also noticed her grades suffering and her personality changed. I knew something wasn't right. I had a friend talk to her. She told him what was going on. We now she a psychologist and are going to an eating disorder clinic.

I just fell handcuffed when I have to discipline her. I don't want to make her act out or trigger her to do something. I know she is depressed. I'm just having trouble figuring out how to handle all of this. It's all new to my family.

hannahls
nkirkland

nkirkland,

I'm really sorry that you're going through this challenging time with your daughter right now. Regarding not wanting her to trigger her/make her act out, I recommend that you and your daughter try to have an open, serious conversatio about what her triggers are/what boundaries are going to be set in your home. Maybe including her therapist or another eating disorder professional could be helpful, since they have tons of knowledge about what kinds of in-house rules work well for situations like yours.

Please continue to be such an amazing and supportive mother to your daughter - she is very lucky to have someone like you who is so clearly motivated to helping her get better. I wish you lots of luck and strength during this journey.

Hannah

Wornoutparent2222
recovery

Any advice please!! Target weight reached and its worse than the physical affects of underweight and clinic!! depression anger violence mood swings siblings confused and showing signs of total unhappiness and dislike of family life Any advise please

jeadorele23
Sometimes, weight and the

Sometimes, weight and the physical effects of having reached that target might trigger a relapse, or different types of behaviors. Has your child considered seeing/continue seeing an eating disorder specialist? Perhaps the level of treatment (you mentioned a clinic) is not working for her/him, and you could consider other treatment levels of care: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/treatment-settings-and-levels-care

I know the NEDA Helpline can help with finding information or treatment options that would be nearby your location, so know that there are always other options open! Their number is 1-800-931-2237 and they're open M-Th from 9am-9pm, and F from 9am-5pm EST. You have mentioned she shows unhappiness and dislikes the family life. Have you considered talking to her about it maybe? Perhaps there are some misunderstandings or things one individual did not fully see before. Here's a link from NEDA on What-Should-I-Say to your loved one with an eating disorder. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/what-should-i-say

Or you can peruse: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/recovery to see what tips or information might help.

It can't be easy seeing your child show such symptoms and emotions, but if she could recover once, there is definitely the possibility of recovering again. So don't lose hope!

jjme1198
HOPE

Reaching out to Laura Macey ...Hello...As I read your post, I realized I could have been writing it myself because it is a mirror image of what I am going through with my 16 year old daughter. My heart is broken as I watch my precious child battle this horrible illness. In summary: we suspected it at the beginning of this year; confirmed it in April, and currently she sees a medical doctor every 10days - 2 weeks: and sees a psychotherapist once weekly: has had acupuncture; is on vitamins; has seen an acupuncturist: and has had her 11th grade class schedule lightened to only core subjects & still we are struggling everyday. She is well for a few days & then relapses for a day and feels lost all over again. She has mentioned "Not wanting to live like this anymore" and I am scared & desperate. I am looking into a day treatment facility because I have read that overnight facilities can sometimes trigger purging episodes amongst patients enabling each other. I see that you posted this back in January 2015 ad I was hopeful you would reach out to me and let me know how your daughter is doing and how you have coped along the way. Please.

Anabinge
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