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I think DD14 has an eating disorder

(8 Posts)
heylilbunny Thu 19-Feb-15 10:47:52

I have seen all the signs in the past few months and after a casual chat with my 11 yr DD this morning I am sure DD14 is restricting her eating.

I have NCed.

I feel like a crap mum as from what I read online eating disorders are symptomatic of emotional distress. I am concerned that DD14 is suffering and I don't know what I can do.

She has always been interesting in cooking and often cooks for us as a family and bakes for fun. Recently however I started to notice she was only ever eating salad in the evening. She was always fit and slim but now there is "not a pick on her" I think she is approaching a stage when she could begin to get underweight. DD11 said that DD14 is constantly telling her which foods are "healthy" and "not healthy" an example of not healthy is cheese. DD14 has also said to DD11 "I'm sooo hungry but I can't eat anything". She has also, apparently out of nowhere decided she wants ballet lessons, when she always enjoyed more free and lively type of dance such as hip hop. I am sure the ballet lessons are purely to do with her wanting to control her food and weight.

I don't know what to do. I called DH at work but he's busy and said he would get back to me.

She hardly ever has breakfast but we leave the house at 7am so that didn't seem to unusual. She gets up every morning at 5:30 to wash her hair for school and focuses on her looks a lot, but I thought that was in the realm of normal for her age. I am laid back and I don't emphasize looks or comment on peoples looks, size, weight etc. neither does DH. I am concerned that she and I don't have a good relationship if this can happen right under my nose.


DH just called me back and we agreed not to focus on food but to think of ways to show her love and encouragement (without being too blatantly obvious so she's thinks there's a conspiracy!)

I feel sad.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Feb-15 10:59:31

You need to talk to her about it. Say that you've noticed and you're worried and ask her if there is anything bothering her. Any problems at school or with her friends. It might all come out.

You could also contact her school and ask if the school nurse could talk to her.

cdtaylornats Thu 19-Feb-15 12:47:39

You could try discussing the general topic of nutrition with her. Try to persuade her to keep a nutrition diary measuring her inputs and outputs and try to logically explain the need for good nutrition, vitamins and essential minerals. Get her to set a goal not just for weight but to eat a balanced diet.

Dancingqueen17 Fri 20-Feb-15 16:19:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

heylilbunny Mon 02-Mar-15 12:33:59

Realised I never came back! Thanks for all your thoughts. I did talk to her before posting (a few weeks before) and after. I made sure to explain that to MAINTAIN a healthy weight you need to eat 3 meals a day. It is only if you want to lose weight that you eat less because I wasn't quite sure if she really understood that.

We are expats in another nation and might have to move again this year. We are currently renting and could not find a rental with 4 bedrooms so our two girls were sharing. After posting here DH and I decided to move our eldest into her own room and have the 2 youngest share, this definitely seems to have cheered her up and she seems more relaxed. I am making an effort to chat to her more and took the girls to the movies last week. Unfortunately I am sick with a bad cold as I was going to go out with her yesterday but I feel quite a bit better as she seems to be eating what we are. She does call her 11 yr old sister fat however and I told her I will ground her if I hear her saying that. My 11 yr is normal prepubescent girl except she is tall for her age so I expect her to be the tallest female in the house by the end of puberty.

heylilbunny Sat 07-Mar-15 09:18:36

I am worried - my dd just asked if she could make me an omelette (I am recovering from flu) and she said she was going to make herself an egg-white omelette. I have never made one in my life and I asked her where she got this idea and that she needed the protein for healthy hair (she is very focused on her hair). She just get laughing nervously when I asked her where did she get this concept? She is as skinny as a rail. She has just declared that she doesn't like the fast of the 'yellow bit'.

grumbleina Sat 07-Mar-15 14:48:09

I don't want to sound hysterical but I would be quite worried at this point.

As a former/mostly ok now person with ED, I would advise strongly against cdtaylors advice. Diaries and the like tend to encourage the controlling of food, placing the focus on counts and calories, which it sounds like your DD is doing already, and doesn't need to do more.

If she's heading for an ED, or already in one, then explaining about weight loss diets isn't going to help I'm afraid. She knows what she's doing, and she's trying to lose weight, so telling her that her diet will cause that is in fact an encouragement.

It's not always about emotional distress - or, not in a way where you'd have been able to prevent it. And don't blame yourself, please. If she does have an ED, think of it like any illness - you wouldn't blame yourself for your child catching the flu, you'd just do what you could to help them get over it.

It sounds to me as though she's getting information somewhere about weight loss and/or anorexia techniques - the ballet is a common one, along with egg whites etc. The most likely place is online. If there's a way for you to do it without making her feel too policed, it might be an idea to check her internet history to see what sites she's visiting. This might help give you a bit more of an idea of where her head is at with it.

I would speak to your family doctor. It's really important imo to catch EDs early. If they go too far they are very, very difficult to come back from - even if you end up maintaining a healthy weight in the long term, the psychological stuff is incredibly hard to get rid of, and it's really no fun. Take it from one who knows.

user1464695645 Tue 31-May-16 15:32:50

My 16 year old daughter is a competitive climber who is seriously underweight. Her BMI is around 16, but as she is all muscle and no fat, so she is thinner than this suggests. Essentially, she looks about 13, although she will soon be 17, has never gone through puberty and hasn't grown in around two years.
Her weight has been an issue for a couple of years now, and I've tried various things. To begin with, I took her to the GP - and she managed to gain around 3 kilos just by eating more (hot chocolate and peanut butter - that sort of thing). But she wound up dismissing doctors for knowing nothing about climbing and she completely refused to consider seeing an eating disorder specialist. However, she did agree to seeing a sports nutritionist who is also a top climber - this seemed to go really well for some time - she was given a food plan, with rough indicators of portions and food groups, and she put on another 4 kilos. Her climbing improved as a consequence too, so she could see the benefits.
But after a while, she began to find the diet really hard to manage, and she would argue constantly over portions. Sure enough, her weight started to drop again - she now hovers between 40 and 42 kilos (she's 158 cm tall). Generally, she puts weight on when she's at home and I'm pretty much responsible for what she eats, but as soon as she is away on a climbing trip or competition, she eats much less and loses it again.
Because she eats a lot, she doesn't think that she has an eating disorder - she doesn't see that she needs to eat a great deal in order to fuel all her training. She will also site top climbers who are tiny (there are a number of young women climbers with eating disorders).
Climbing is pretty much the only thing that makes her happy - I've tried a couple of times to use climbing as a bargaining chip - but her reaction is so frightening I don't think I'd dare carry it through.
She now insists that she simply has no control over her weight - that whatever she eats, she cannot put on weight - and is equally adamant in her refusal of any kind of counselling or medical support. This is what I really think she needs, but I don't see how I can force her to do it.
My GP has suggested that I need to stop running circles around her, and to hand over responsibility for her diet and weight to her. Soon enough she will be an adult after all, and I can't carry on micromanaging her calorie intake then. I feel he's right, but I'm also terrified of the consequences.
Has anyone out there had a similar experience, or have any advice for me? I know I'm really getting things wrong, but I can't work out how to get them right.

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