How to Approach Someone with an Eating Disorder
The following set of tips for how to approach someone whom you suspect has an eating disorder, has been provided by Dr. Ramani, a licensed clinical psychologist and Professor of Psychology:
In terms of approaching them, parents often feel fearful and their first attempts can often be accusatory and put their girls on the defensive.
Parents must create a healthy food space and model healthy eating and exercise behavior.
Create open lines of communication. Be present with your daughter.
It is critical that they see a physician. Frequent purging may result in electrolyte imbalances, anorexia at the extreme can result in cardiac problems, and getting them to see a physician may open a discussion with the doctor that they may not be able to have with you.
A doctor may also be able to observe physical signs (e.g. dental damage, arrhythmia, discussion of amenorrhea (missed periods) that are danger signs -- and then work with the parents to come up with a treatment plan if needed.
Don't let fear stop you from talking to your daughter.
Talk to a mental health practitioner with a specialty in this area about how to approach your child specifically. You do not need to suffer alone.
Make sure you and your partner are on the same page (and if there is shared custody, ask your ex about whether he or she is observing any patterns).
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