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Forums / Welcome and orientation / *(Trigger waring: Eating disorders)* Teen girl not eating

Topic: *(Trigger waring: Eating disorders)* Teen girl not eating

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Saffi
    Saffi avatar
    2 posts
    19 December 2021
    Hi, I have a 15year old daughter who has pretty much stopped eating in the last week. All the signs of an eating disorder beginning are there. Wanting to eat in another room, saying she doesn’t feel well, using delay tactics, pushing food around the plate, taking minuscule bites, etc. Tried getting her to open up about any fears, concerns, things that may have been said, to no avail. Next therapist appointment not for a month. What else can we do to support her. This is now affecting my son & myself physically also, due to the stress of worrying.
  2. Gem17
    Gem17 avatar
    44 posts
    19 December 2021 in reply to Saffi

    Hi Saffi

    I'm really sorry to hear about the struggled you're all having at the moment. I've experienced this from both sides so I know how challenging it can be.

    I lived with my sister who battled with an eating disorder for years. It placed so much strain on the family that I moved out with her to try and relieve some of the stress my parents were experiencing. It was a really challenging time because I knew what was happening with her and her ed and she knew I knew but she was also so sick that it was like it didn't matter.

    I've also now experienced this from the other side, having an eating disorder myself. It's so tricky because sometimes there is a rational part of my brain that knows what I'm doing isn't healthy or right but the bigger and louder part tells me I have to do everything I'm doing. It's a constant battle.

    The fact that you're getting her into therapy is a huge positive. Even though it's not for a month it will be worth the wait. In the meantime, Butterfly is an amazing resource. They offer phone and online chat support, a database for finding professionals and so much information. They might be useful for both yourself and your daughter. This time of year is particularly difficult when it comes to having an ed. As stressful as it feels for you, it's also extremely stressful for your daughter. I know it isn't easy but as much as possible, avoid any conversation about food, eating or related behaviours. Your daughter will be well aware of the ed behaviours she is engaging in however having these pointed out will likely make her feel much worse.

    I really do have so much empathy for how tricky this situation is for you all. I hope you can get through the next few weeks without too much trouble while waiting for the therapist appointment.

    If you have any questions or want to share any frustrations, please reach out - I'm here for you!

    2 people found this helpful
  3. Saffi
    Saffi avatar
    2 posts
    19 December 2021 in reply to Gem17
    Thank you Gem17! Your feedback is extremely helpful and comforting. And of course, I have already said and done all the wrong things 😕. It is SO difficult as a parent to just sit back and not take control of the situation. I was trying to think back to my 15 year old self, as I went through something similar. My father ranted and raved for months, as I lost weight, even threatening hospitalisation. I was a chubby teen though who really needed to lose some weight, but it didn’t help when my father (who I idolised) told me I was getting fat. So I set out to prove him wrong, and ended up enjoying that power almost too much. My daughter on the other hand, is beautifully tall and slim, and we have never criticised how she looks. Thus my absolute despair and confusion. I know how all powerful that negative voice is, and the damage it can do. What have you done that has helped you personally? Do you feel that with an ed, you need to come to a realisation yourself before things can improve? I am going to look into Butterfly, but any other helpful tips would be appreciated.
  4. Gem17
    Gem17 avatar
    44 posts
    19 December 2021 in reply to Saffi

    I'm sure you haven't said and done all the wrong things. Everything you have said and done would have been out of your love for her which she will see one day. It's such a fine line between gently pushing while being supportive but not encouraging behaviours. It feels impossible and honestly, sometimes it is. The best thing you can do is love her, let her know how much you love her and continue to encourage/push her to seek support from the doctor and therapist.

    EDS are so tricky because they can happen to anyone and for so many different reasons. They can be about body image, control, obsessions etc. It sounds like you had a horrible experience with your father. Your daughter is lucky to not be experiencing this with you, especially given how isolating EDs can be.

    I think it definitely helps if you get to the point where you realise you want/need help but this doesn't happen quickly. I have suffered for over a decade before reaching this point. Your daughter is lucky to have you fighting for her and picking this up earlyish before it completely destroys her, like EDs so often do. You could encourage her to chat to the people at Butterfly while she's waiting for her appointment. In the meantime, I would say just continue to love her like you are and look into doctors and Psychologists with experience with EDs as it can be quite traumatic trying to be open and vulnerable with professionals who don't have experience.

    1 person found this helpful
  5. Gem17
    Gem17 avatar
    44 posts
    28 December 2021 in reply to Saffi

    Hi Saffi

    Just checking in to see you and your daughter are going? I know this time of year isn't easy at the best of times!

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