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Introducing the new Ask-an-Expert Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Forum...
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Introducing the new Ask-an-Expert Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Forum

Hi,

We're pleased to announce the opening of a new Ask-an-Expert Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating forum where you can receive a personal answer from Dr.  Patricia Pitts, PhD the CEO of The Bella Vita.

The new Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating forum is located at: http://www.medhelp.org/forums/show/268

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My 16 year old daughter has had her ins and outs with eating disorders, cutting etc.  I thought we had it under control, she seems very happy, but when I got on the computer this morning I noticed that someone in my house has googled "anorexia".  Should this concern me?  How do I bring it up again?  She just seems happier than she has been in a couple of years, I don't want to bring her down again.  Any suggestions?
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Hi Becky,

I am in recovery right now and my advice would be to definitely keep your eyes open. People with e.d.s tend to begin obsessed with anything to do with eating disorders, food, weight, etc. etc. and I know Iooked stuff up all the time. If you think she's okay right now and don't want to bring it up, I can understand that but at the same time I would be sure to watch things closely. People with eating disorders can be very sneaky. Does that help at all?? Feel free to talk to me if you'd like or have any further questions/comments/concerns/etc. Thanks and I hope everything is fine!

Ashley
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Thanks so much for your help.  There is so many questions I have...I don't know where to start.  Like I said she is 17 and not home alot to watch or even know what she eats.  What can I say to her that might help her have a better self image of herself.  Everything I say just rolls off her.  

I wish you all the best in your recovery and to reach out to others to help.  Your simply amazing!

Becky
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Hmm, that does make things very difficult. I'm not saying it's the same with your daughter, but I was also rarely home at 17 and that made it super easy for me to get away with my e.d. behaviors. Like with you, my mom didn't really know if and when I was eating or not eating. You may already do this, but when you compliment her, don't make it based on her body, weight, figure, size, shape, etc etc. Focus on her inner qualities, her talents, maybe sometimes something like "those earrings look good on you" or "i love your hair fixed like that" etc. Those are physical, but not actually about her whole body. Does that make sense?

I guess until you really know it's hard to really do anything. My hope is that she's doing well and it was just a fluke. My advice would just be to keep your eyes open for now.

You know, I just now thought to tell you this. Ever since I first started struggling with my eating disorder, I've been really curious and interested in them. This wasn't always a good thing, but I could easily write papers about them, was trying to be proactive in helping people understand eating disorders, writing papers on how to know, what to do, who can help, etc etc etc. I just felt that people don't understand them and with them being on the rise, I wanted to do what I could to maybe help somebody else. So I was constantly looking things up, reading about them, etc. This is actually very very common for people with eating disorders, and sometimes even people who are doing better. It could mean she's debating it in her head, but not acting on it. If that's the case, it doesn't necessarily mean that she's going to either.

As for as what to look for if she is struggling with it again....Of course, with anorexia, weight loss is a noticeable sign. But that's not necessarily something that will happen with all eating disorders. It's good that she seems happy though. People struggling with eating disorders aren't truly happy if they're in a bad place with it. Would you be able to tell if she was faking it or putting on a front? Many do that also and get really good at it in attempt to hide the eating disorder. Have you noticed any changes in her at all like what she wears, her mood, her eating patterns if there are times she eats with you. I was good at giving excuses. Sometimes I faked sick so I wouldn't have to eat, lied about when I ate last, simply said I wasn't hungry, purposely avoided being with the same people consistently during meals because they would figure out I wasn't eating. Did she ever purge before??Hmm....I could go on and on. Some of these things are typical teenage behavior. They're all a little moody every now and then and stuff like that, but if it's a longer term change than what's more normal for teens, then it might be that something's going on, e.d. or not.

What are your thoughts at this point? As far as questions, feel free to ask away. I believe things happen for a reason. I think one reason I've struggled so long with my eating disorder is so I can help others. So I would be happy to help in any way I can. Thanks and good luck!!

Ashley
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