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Mom needs support
Posted on: 10/07/2010
My 16-year-old daughter was in a residential program for three weeks for bulimia. Before going, even when confronted with evidence of purging, she typically denied engaging in purging behaviors. Once home, she tried at first, but she has not followed her nutritional program, eating well under the recommended daily guidlines. I have noticed that she has purged at least three times in the last two weeks, but she claims this is because she has acid reflux. I have found evidence of purging in the toilet and shower. Should she be going back into residential? She sees a therapist once a week, who has suggested that I not speak of the incidents with my daughter. I feel as though this is enabling her.
As a parent you are in a difficult spot and, if possible you might benefit from some supportive therapy for yourself to better understand your half of your interactions with your daughter.
If you can get to a point where your daughter can see you as an ally rather than the cops, then you might be able to be supportive. However to do this she would have to explicitly say that she accepts your help and you have to stay in the supportive role. So you might say ?If you would like me to be a support for you, I would be willing to go for a stroll with you after dinner and talk about non-problematic issues or I would be willing to go food shopping and prepare foods with healthy recipes while not asking you about purging or what you ate? (or whatever are the hot topics). This kind of a relationship can be very helpful.
You do need to have somebody on the team with whom you can communicate your observations and concerns. Sometimes the primary care physician can be the one who watches weight, vitals and problems related to purging. Your input can help the physician see the whole picture and not just your child's. The physician can be the one who sets the hard boundaries, such as returning to residential treatment (in conjunction with the therapist) This allows the therapy relationship to be private and more positive. Remember to stay hopeful. Most teenage issues do resolve with time.