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#1 of 11 Old 10-12-2011, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I finally put some pieces together and figured out my 16yo DD is purging.

This afternoon, after much internet research, I gently but directly asked her if she was doing it.

She said she was.

She also said she'd stop. She doesn't want to discuss it further and pointed out that if I hired any "fucking touchy-feeley therapist" there was no way she'd talk to them.

Thoughts?

I'm particularly interested in hearing from mamas who  purged as teens and recovered. What do you wish your mom had known/done?

I never purged or starved myself.

My  numbing activity  of choice was drugs and alcohol. That I could deal with.

I have no personal experience with this.

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#2 of 11 Old 10-12-2011, 04:37 PM
 
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I guess my solution would be to find a therapist who isn't touchy-feely and go with that.  This is a problem she needs a therapist to help her with. 

 

My mom didn't know I was that ill as a teen, but I was pretty much out of the house by that age, so there's really no way she could have known.  

 

It took a really amazing therapist who was willing to essentially tell me how stupid I was being to work through it.  Touchy feely wouldn't have worked.  Direct and to the point did. 

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#3 of 11 Old 10-12-2011, 05:27 PM
 
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I have a son with an eating disorder.  Touchy feely won't work for him either.  I would ask everyone you know for recommendations. 

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#4 of 11 Old 10-12-2011, 06:04 PM
 
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#5 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you.

Of course I want to trust her word that she'll stop. She said she just experimented with it. I'm just not sure. We have a family friend who works with teens. He knows DD well. I've asked him for a referral. 

I feel responsible. I have seen signs of her having an unhealthy relationship with food for a while. I just thought that by modeling healthy habits, not getting in her face, things would work themselves out.

They haven't.

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#6 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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It's kind of hard to just stop.  And you'll say anything to get people off your back about it.  I was anorexic and moved to purging because I found it easier to hide.  I said I stopped lots of times to ease my moms fears.  For me it was all about control.  I could control that.  Or atleast I thought I could.  I still fall into my anorexic ways but I know I couldn't get away with purging in my house.  It's a habit... an addiction. 

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#7 of 11 Old 10-13-2011, 08:23 AM
 
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#8 of 11 Old 10-14-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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You're so right. It's a control issue. I "dabbled" in eating disorders as a teen, but it didn't become serious until I was in my mid-twenties. For me, I turned to anorexia as a means to exert control over the only area of my life that I felt I could. When everything around me was falling apart, I would console myself by starving myself. It sounds illogical, but it is a very powerful feeling.

 

Eating disorders are a lot like alcoholism -- once you have them, you have them forever. You can be a "recovering alcoholic" or a "recovering anorexic/bulimic" but that disease is always there, and is a constant battle. I really feel for you and your daughter -- when I was going through this, unfortunately there was nothing that anyone could have said or done that would have made me stop. It was a decision I made, when I woke up one morning and realized that I could see my internal organs, and that that wasn't attractive. 

 

One thing that might help, especially if this hasn't turned into a full-on addiction yet (it usually doesn't -- just like people who start drinking aren't immediately alcoholics), is to expose her to some of the dangerous and ugly truths of ana/mia; the un-glamorous stuff that they don't tell you about until it's too late. The part where your body is so starved for nutrients that your hair starts falling out. Or the fact that your hormones will become unbalanced and you start growing hair on your face. Or that throwing up that many times will start making your teeth rot and fall out. 

 

I hate to sound ugly about this, but this is really an ugly, ugly disease, and I hope you can help her see that there are healthier options. My heart goes out to both of you. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Imakcerka View Post

It's kind of hard to just stop.  And you'll say anything to get people off your back about it.  I was anorexic and moved to purging because I found it easier to hide.  I said I stopped lots of times to ease my moms fears.  For me it was all about control.  I could control that.  Or atleast I thought I could.  I still fall into my anorexic ways but I know I couldn't get away with purging in my house.  It's a habit... an addiction. 



 

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#9 of 11 Old 10-14-2011, 10:01 AM
 
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#10 of 11 Old 10-14-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbow_mandala View Post

Well, yes and no.  If someone is predisposed to an addiction like alcoholism, whether there's a family history or they're genetically predisposed or what have you, even just in the beginning stages they are likely to have a difficult time with letting it go.  


You're right -- I was speaking from my own experiences; obviously there may be other circumstances at play in this case. 

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#11 of 11 Old 10-15-2011, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you again. 

It looks like we found her some help that she will likely accept. Someone she's worked with before who is so far from touchy-feely. 

Fortunately, she left on a school trip just a few hours after we spoke. It's given me time to process my feelings and I'm sure taken some of the charge off of it for her.

I don't know how ingrained the habit is...I've seen what I finally realized were indicators of purging probably since the beginning of school. She returns Wednesday. I am going to insist she at least see this person on Thursday.

Thank you again for the open discussion. I'll keep you all posted.

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