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  1. #1

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    Hello everyone, my name is Louise. I live in England and am currently studying at the University of Leeds. One of my recent projects is to investigate eating disorders in young teens. I have a younger sister who is becoming increasingly thin but refuses to talk about it. i have become so involved with my project that i am desperate to learn what it must be like to feel the need to starve youself of a healthy lifestyle. i have spoken to a couple of young teens in my local area who say they find it refreshing to talk to someone who has no experience of their own so can just listen. So please, if you want to tell me your story, press reply...
    thank you x

  2. #2

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    I don’t know that I would call it “refreshing” because people who haven’t experienced don’t understand and I know that I feel like I'm getting judged. At least if you’ve been there you, you understand and don’t look at you like your crazy. I always thought that people who claim to be addicted to shopping, for example, are full of **** and I don’t understand why they “don’t just stop.” I know this may be a stupid example but you get they point. If you check out my post under “ Where to begin help” you’ll see I too don’t want to talk about it, I'm thinking about getting help but you wont do anything until you really want to stop, even then you don’t want to tell people about especially the ones you love. One thing people around me could do to help is stop making food that makes me want to throw up, if they made healthy food in reasonable portions it wouldn’t be nearly as bad. Instead everyone around me eats horrible fatty food and I never have the option of not eating it. Just a practical tip. I wouldn’t push your sister, she may begin to ignore you so she wont have to talk about, I did that. But I cant really say how to approach her, I cant even think of the ideal way I would want to be approached. She needs to come around.

  3. #3

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    Dear Sonz, thank you for your feedback, i understand what you mean about feeling judged, i suppose the reason these girls didn't is because i didn't! i think you'll find that the people who love you and care about you really won't judge you, and you may surprizingly find that even strangers will sympathise. maybe the feeling of being judged is really you feeling guilty or embarassed!
    one of my best friends from school suffered from Bullimia and i caught her throwing up a couple of times, out at smart restaurants and at home but she always denied it and i never wanted to push her but felt so useless and almost annoyed that she wouldn't talk to me about it, reflecting on that now, it's probably because she didn't want help!
    were you ever 'caught' or suspected of anything?if so, how did you tackle what must have been such an akward situation?
    i can understand why my friend wants to keep it a secret and deny it but as her friend and this goes for my sister too, shouldn't i be pushing them down the right path?
    as you mentionned a shopping addiction, is this not the same thing, you would undoubtedly tell a friend to avoid the shops if they feel the need to spend and waste money...does this attitude not apply to the toilet and their health too?

  4. #4

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise
    shouldn't I be pushing them down the right path?
    "pushing" won't work usually -- they will simply stop confiding anything in you.

    You can certainly encourage your friend or your sister to see a counsellor and even offer to help arrange that. You can also, if you see that the weight loss starts to get to a dangerous level, make sure that a doctor is consulted/informed (for example, by talking to the parents about your concerns). You can even warn your friend or your sister that you will do this if you have to because you have no intention of watching them die or become seriously ill.

    But ultimately, they need to admit that it's a problem and then they need to want to do something about it. What you can do is offer to help arrange that...

  5. #5

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    Louise meant the word 'pushing' in expression form...'edging' them towards the right path.
    So is your advice to me not to contact medical help until a friend/sister were to become fatally ill? would the same advice be given to a young sufferer who did not want to seek help? to wait...

  6. #6

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise
    Louise meant the word 'pushing' in expression form...'edging' them towards the right path.
    So is your advice to me not to contact medical help until a friend/sister were to become fatally ill? would the same advice be given to a young sufferer who did not want to seek help? to wait...
    No. My apologies, Louise, if I wasn't clear: I certainly do NOT mean sit idly by and watch someone become fatally ill.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Baxter
    You can also, if you see that the weight loss starts to get to a dangerous level, make sure that a doctor is consulted/informed (for example, by talking to the parents about your concerns). You can even warn your friend or your sister that you will do this if you have to because you have no intention of watching them die or become seriously ill.
    However, you are "only" her sister - what I was trying to say is (1) she may not listen to you or accept you as an authority, and (2) if you try to "push" too vigorously, she may simply clam up and then you will not be in a position to really monitor what is happening.

    If, AT ANY TIME, you feel that her health or life is in immediate danger, you should of course do whatever you need to do to stop that from happening. Is she at that point yet? In the long-term, anorexia/bulimia is life-threatening, depending on how severe it gets... if she has just started doing this, she may not be at that point and a more "gentle" approach may encourage to talk to someone like a counsellor who can help her before it gets to that point.

  7. #7

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    Louise, did you read my reply under “anorexic help, 13 yr old girl”? I mentioned some things to look out for. I have never been caught, only confronted. I always denied it, got upset and stormed away. I'm definitely scared of being judged and of coarse I’m embarrassed. Under “where to begin to get help” I mentioned that only reason I am coming around is that I have been having heart problems. I'm here to try to get use to talking about so that I may tell my boyfriend about it soon. We are very close and no doubt will live together soon, my hardest times are with him because he eats such crap! There is no healthy food in his house. That’s one the reason I am scared to tell him, because he’s part of the problem and I don’t want to tell him that. Don’t get me wrong, he is a wonderful guy, to him I am the most beautiful girl in the world, he just doesn’t know that his life style choices affect me this way. Like I mentioned earlier, I would strongly recommend supporting and taking the initiative in presenting a healthy life style. What I mean is making a healthy low cal low fat meal instead of stuff you know we wont want to keep inside our bodies, I know this simple thing would have made a huge difference for me. When I was growing up my mom only made super fatty foods and I would get lectured if I drank 2% milk, it was Vitamin D in my house all the way. And if I didn’t eat her food Id still get lectured, it was hard. By the way, I’m not a teen anymore, I’ll be 22 in November. Ive been dealing with this since I was 17. How would you want to be told?

  8. #8

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    dear Sonz, from hearing about your background and how your mum always used to make fatty foods which you had to eat, i completely understand! my mum was the same, except i was the only one out of my 2 other sisters who would actually enjoy eating the copious amounts of food thrown in front of us everyday, and of course as result, i gained weight. the only reason why i lost it recently was because i went travelling for 3 months and would only allow myself to eat what my two vfriends were eating (a healthy, reasonably sized meal), and because we had no car and everything was so beautiful and exciting we did alot of hiking and mountainclimbing. before i went away i never did any exercise and was really worried that i'd put the weight on when i got back, i guess if you really want something, you can aim to achieve it. i couldn't face the excercise when i got back so i did try throwing up after meals but quickly realised thart wasn't what i wanted to do, so i worked out! my advice to you about your boyfriend is that i wouldn't tell him it's his fault for having junk food in the house, simply ask him to eat more healthily or have a seperate cupboard for your food when you have meals at his place. i too am in a long term relationship and know it would kill my boyfriend to hear something like that, and to be honest i don't know how i would do it. but if he loves you like he sounds like he loves you he'll be supportive. he should encourage you by maybe having a light meal, then going for a walk or out for the night, this way you don't feel bloated and full, and you'll be having so much fun spending quality time with each other you won't think about it! i may be completely wrong but hopefully some of the advice i give will help.
    make a fresh start and make him a big part of it.

  9. #9

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    Louise, I finally told him and my doctor. The night my heart was acting funny and I stayed up all night crying because I thought I would die, the next day, after some more crying, I told him and of coarse he was great about it. Then I told my doctor. I am now seeing a nutritionist, psychologist, psychiatrist, a cardiologist and my regular doctor. I feel like I'm being treated like a head case.
    How is your sister doing?

  10. #10

    Giving Teens a chance to share their eating disorders

    Sonz, you are really to be commended for making the decision to seek help! Your boyfriend and all the specialists have your best interests and physical well being at heart, and I'm sure after initially getting you on the right, healthy track, you won't have to see them so much all the time. Stick with it! I'm sure it will feel just great to be in total, healthy control of yourself, and once you get to that point, you won't need all those specialists any more.

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