I think my teenage daughter has an eating disorder.

My 14-year-old daughter seems to be suffering from an eating disorder. Weight is a big factor for her and she feels that she is overweight. She is constantly looking in the mirror and I have caught her measuring herself on a daily basis. Needless to say her food intake has decreased tremendously. She managed to take multi-vitamins for a month but stopped when she decided they were causing weight gain. She is quite short tempered, verbally abusive and emotional. She has acknowledged and accepted the fact that there is problem. She was seeing a psychologist but has decided not to go any longer. She feels it is hopeless and that there is no one who can help or understand what she is going through. She has frequent melt downs and is often frustrated, feeling that this problem is taking over her whole life and consuming her. She has recently seen a pediatrician and has lost approximately 12 lbs since April. Is there anything that I can do or someone that can help me? I am really concerned as I don’t want her to have any serious mental or health issues.

You have done the right things so far. There are several other things that you can do:

  1. Return to her pediatrician and firmly insist that she monitor and assist your daughter on a regular basis or refer her to an appropriate professional for help.
  2. Do not criticize your daughter’s eating or try to push food on her. She already knows how you feel. She knows there is a problem.
  3. Find areas outside of her eating issues to maintain your relationship. Share some activities with her.
  4. Ignore her when she is short tempered and abusive. Don’t accept it. Just don’t pay attention to it.

Eating disorders can be life threatening. She has to be under medical care. You need to keep your relationship with her strong.

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