Child Eating Disorders
Q: I am concerned about my daughter. She constantly talks about her
weight. I caught her vomiting after dinner the other night. She says
she won’t do this again. Should I believe her?
A: Your daughter may or may not be experiencing an eating disorder but she
has given you reason for concern from what you describe. Unless she had
some reason that you know of to vomit like illness, plus her frequent talk
and worry about her weight can be enough for you to suggest she see
a therapist to sort it out. Eating disorders are hard to treat depending on
a number of factors, ie willingness to admit the problem, duration of the
problem, age, etc. The longer the symptoms have existed the poorer the
outcome. Eating disorders are health and life threatening, so your concern
is well placed.
Shame and lack of trust are often present as well making the recovery even
more difficult. You do not want to put yourself in the position of a policeman
but you can be honest about your concerns. Letting it go and hoping it will
work itself out is not a useful strategy.