My daughter gets weight loss tricks from pro anorexia websites. How worried should I be?
anonymous Asks ...
My 14 year old daughter gets weight loss tricks from pro anorexia websites. I have told her to stop this but whenever I see her doing some new trick like chewing on ice chips while watching TV or making diet coke popsicles or drinking a huge amount of water and trying to be sneaky about it before eating then I know she has disobeyed me and is looking again. If she was too thin I would be very worried but she is what I would call a healthy weight and what she would call too fat. I do not know what to do. I talk to her about food and nutrition and I know that she believes me but there is a stronger part of her that wants to believe her friends and these website girls with their tricks. I am a single dad and I am out of my depth trying to fathom the emotions and pressures she is living with as a teenage girl. How worried should I be?
William Anderson Says ...
This is a legitimate cause for worry. You need to act.
See if your daughter's school has any program in place that addresses this issue. Sometimes, schools have already put protocols in place to help girls and their families who have had this happen. Talk to the superintendent of schools or the principal. If they are clueless, make an appointment with a licensed therapist who specializes in eating disorders. You talk to her first and develop a plan of how to bring your daughter into the conversation.
Don't back off on your efforts to be helpful and don't try to figure it out by yourself. Get a professional on the job with you. Write to me and let me know how you do.