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to think my DSD may have an eating disorder? Tell me. Honestly.

(32 Posts)
BoccadiLupa Mon 13-Feb-17 16:21:15

Have been with my OH for 5 years. We are on the verge of moving in together. I get on with his 2 kids very well, no issues there and it has all been quite seamless.
However, we all went away this weekend together and I realised that DSD (15) was a bit weird on the food front. I had noticed that she had lost a bit of weight recently but she doesn't look too skinny.
But this weekend I saw her all weekend and could see what she was eating and not eating.

So - she barely ate. Well, she did, but always a very small amount, like half a piece of toast for breakfast, refused anything vaguely calorific, etc. She did eat, just not much.
And then - she talked about food constantly - "oh wow I LOVE x or y" and then having precisely none of it.
And the last thing - her younger sister (9) loves her food and ate quite a lot. And DSD constantly mentioned it to my OH "Dad, how can you let her have that - she's having another coke? Dad- she's had far too much sugar today" etc - like she was a bit jealous of her getting to eat what she likes?

Am bit worried but quite nervous of raising it with my OH and have no experience with this and don't want to come off as sounding bitchy...

specialsubject Mon 13-Feb-17 16:23:43

Yes, sadly. It is very abnormal to think of nothing but food and to have no other topic of conversation. She's also probably picked up stupidities from blogs and so on and so may have a seriously distorted idea of a proper diet.

Hop someone now listens.

ImperialBlether Mon 13-Feb-17 16:25:22

It does sound odd, doesn't it?

My friend was anorexic and she used to monitor what everyone ate. She screamed once, "Have you any idea of the calories in that?" when I was putting ketchup on my dinner.

Anorexics are typically very clever about hiding the amount they eat and are also clever with the clothes they wear. Do you find she says she's eaten a big meal in school, or been eating sweets all afternoon, or just had this and that, which means she can deny food at home?

Will she be living with you full time?

BoccadiLupa Mon 13-Feb-17 16:27:40

She'll be living with us 50% of the time. She is such a lovely, gorgeous and popular girl. It pains me to the core to think this might be the start of a battle with her body which may (if she is unlucky) last a lifetime.

BeIIatrixLeStrange Mon 13-Feb-17 16:28:56

I don't think it is PROOF as such - of an eating disorder.

I say this because I have a friend who is on a diet. and all she talks about is food at the minute. My friend is quite a bit overweight but she does literally go on about food all the time

Solasum Mon 13-Feb-17 16:32:05

I think you have to say something to your OH. At the very least he can be keeping an eye on her to judge for himself. Unless you frame it as 'you are a bad father, your DD is a mess' any decent parent would surely want to be made aware of a potential issue, and would realise raising it sprang from concern nor jealousy.

BoccadiLupa Mon 13-Feb-17 16:32:57

I agree, not proof, just strange behaviour and there is no way I am going to worry my OH unless you guys tell me that it is clearly too weird...

LadyPeterWimsey Mon 13-Feb-17 16:39:50

I think you do have to say something to your OH. I have a friend who is an ED specialist and she says the best thing is to catch a potential ED early. It is much, much harder to treat once it is entrenched.

MiddleAgedMother Mon 13-Feb-17 16:41:18

Sounds very much like it.
I hope not as it is a horrible illness and also so hard on the whole family including other DC.
An early intervention may be possible. The earlier you catch it, the better the chance of recovery.
Mention it to your DH.

MiddleAgedMother Mon 13-Feb-17 16:46:55

Not eating much, talking lots re food, commenting younger sister. All v typical.
Does she exercise lots more than usual?
Shower or room v cold?
Baggy clothes?
Any foods that suddenly aren't eaten?
New interest in vegetarianism?

If you do go to the GP be aware that NICE guidelines are changing to aid early intervention.

katronfon Mon 13-Feb-17 16:51:47

there is no way I am going to worry my OH unless you guys tell me that it is clearly too weird...
It may or may not be weird, it's quite hard to say from the other side of a computer screen...but I absolutely do not get why you would not share your concerns with DP. You've ben together for five years, you are planning on moving in together, and it's HIS daughter - how can you NOT discuss this with him?
Whether it is anything to worry about at the moment may be unclear, but you both need to keep an eye on the situation.
As the mum of a DD with an ED, I'd be keeping a very close eye...
fingers crossed for you all

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Feb-17 16:52:07

It's too hard to tell based on what you've written, but definitely worth keeping an eye on.

For example, most people go through periods of not eating much to eating much more, and especially when your body is still growing.

Equally, if she feels her sister is having too much coke/sugar, she might just be reiterating what her Mum says about it.

Do you ever get the chance to see her eating in other circumstances?

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Feb-17 16:54:42

And no-one here can tell you 'it's clearly too weird', based on that tiny little snapshot.

Therefore you absolutely should mention it to your DP. So what if it worries him, he's her Dad confused

terrylene Mon 13-Feb-17 16:59:11

Maybe say to him Hmmm DS didn't really eat much when she was with us - is she usually like that to see where it goes.

pudding21 Mon 13-Feb-17 17:02:18

When I was 14 until about 17 I was very funny about food. I would get my lunch money and buy the smallest amount of food I could and at weekends I would barely eat at all. I might eat lunch but then avoid it for the rest of the day. I found a letter when I was older saying to my friend "I can't believe I am 5 st 9! It was the height of Kate Moss and Heroin Chic, and I felt I was fat. But it didn't develop into an eating disorder. I've always been slim and tall, but it could have turned easily. I worry about all the social media nowadays giving kids unhealthy ideas about body image (photoshop etc).

I would try and chat with her about it in general, maybe start off by giving her some experience from when you were younger. And ask your OH if he has noticed, say you might be reading too much into it but had he noticed anything....

user1471462115 Mon 13-Feb-17 17:06:44

Have a look at the BEAT website, as it tells you what the warning signs are. Everything you said is listed on their website.

She has loads of red flags , and the Team I work in would accept your opening post as a referral from her GP and would see her within a few weeks.

So yes, long conversation with OH and then your dsd

BoccadiLupa Mon 13-Feb-17 17:09:52

I think you've convinced me to say something. Thank you. She is actually quite body confident in other ways and wears tight clothes and things so it could just be an attempt to stay slim (and many of us do that). I do see her eating in other circumstances and she is very careful about what she eats but it didn't really click until I realised just how little she eats in a whole weekend combined with the obsession with food (she was always looking at instagram photos of food and posting photos of herself with food).

HyacinthsBucket Mon 13-Feb-17 17:10:12

As a mum of a teenager with an ED, it's a minefield and the sooner you and your DP chat about this the better. Do you get on well enough with their mum to casually drop in conversation that you noticed she didn't eat much and she seems to have lost weight - "should we be worried" sort of chat?? rather than diving in and saying that she has an ED. Teenage girls are very tough to read and the sooner you try and halt these things the better. My youngest DD hovers around a low weight and I'm very aware of what she's not eating rather than what she is if you understand. She buys lots of junk food but it sits in her room rather than her eating it. It's a tough one to help them with.

BoccadiLupa Mon 13-Feb-17 17:11:28

Thanks user1471462115 I will.

Greyponcho Mon 13-Feb-17 17:16:19

I say this because I have a friend who is on a diet. and all she talks about is food at the minute. My friend is quite a bit overweight but she does literally go on about food all the time. Assuming your friend isn't a teenager, then yes, this is typical behaviour of a dieter. For a teenager to be so concerned about dieting, especially while her body is growing, is a cause for concern.

Mention it to your DP, OP - might need a chat with her DM to see what she can add to it.

However, is there a possibility that she doesn't actually want what's being offered and would sensibly rather keep 'favourite foods' as a treat?

WorraLiberty Mon 13-Feb-17 17:16:35

She has loads of red flags , and the Team I work in would accept your opening post as a referral from her GP and would see her within a few weeks.

Based on just one weekend and without speaking to the resident parent first, to see how she normally eats?

I thought the NHS were in crisis, unless you mean private?

lemureyes Mon 13-Feb-17 17:25:12

You really need to discuss this with both parents to monitor her behaviour over the next week to see if you are all seeing the same things. If so book her in to see a GP and go from there.

What I would do when it is first discussed with her is to let her know that you are all there to support her in all aspects of life and try to get her to be a bit more open about how she feels.

lalalalyra Mon 13-Feb-17 17:31:00

I think it's something you need to speak to your DH because it sounds like it needs monitored closely. It could be that she has an eating disorder, but if she doesn't then the constant commenting on her sister's food needs watched as well. I used to eat in secret because two of my siblings constantly commenting on everything I ate. I was lucky and didn't develop any issues from it, except wanting to throttle them, but having someone comment on your food constantly can be damaging as well.

lalalalyra Mon 13-Feb-17 17:31:52

*but even if she doesn't the commenting needs monitored.

user1471462115 Mon 13-Feb-17 17:33:50

Recent weight loss, poor intake of <1000 kcals a day and obsessed with talking about food, which is a sign of starvation.
An assessement appointment takes a couple of hours. Early diagnosis means a few months work for us.
Another six months then we would be looking at over a year of working with her.
ED in CAMH s has recently had a big investment and our Team is nearly back to where we were 10 years ago.
We would rather get in early as it actually saves us time and resources.

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