I found out this past Saturday that my teenage daughter has been throwing up after dinner every night. I discovered this mainly because of certain factors that I just so happen to notice lately. Complaining about her weight, worrying about being weighed in in gym class and then spending time in the bathroom immediately after dinner, complaining about bloating etc. All of a sudden it hit me. OMG what if she's throwing up? A friend of mine's sister is bulemic, so I asked her advice. Signs and symptoms, things to watch for and so on. She gave me some great advice and I confronted my daughter that afternoon. She denied it at first and then started to cry. There was no denying it then. I sat down with her and we talked about the dangers, how worried I was knowing she'd been doing this, how long, how often etc. She is now on food watch and my husband and I have already made a Dr's appoinments for her and am going to get a referral to see a therapist to help her deal with whatever issues she has that is causing her to think she's fat which has lead to her purging.
I am scared to death! If it has been going on longer than the 2 1/2 months that she has told me it has, what kind of damage could my baby girl have done to her body? I was doing research and read that it can not only damage your teeth and esophogus but your stomach, heart and kidneys. Some of the signs of damage was bloating and stomach pains and I see that in her already.
She's been doing ok the past few days. I've been getting up with her so her and I can eat a healthy breakfast together. She was skipping breakfast all together. I make sure she takes a lunch or lunch money but I can't tell you if she'll eat it or not. And after dinner I stay with her for about an hour to make sure she doesn't purge. We spent 4 hours grocery shopping the other day, letting her choose healthy foods that she would like so instead of eating junk when she needs a snack, there are healthier options here. We always have lots of options here but we do have some junk food.
We've talked a lot. I've always been very open with her and I want her to be able to continue that relationship with me by being honest with me and letting my husband and I help her not only at home but by getting her the medical help she needs.
I think you've done very well. I would make sure not to hound her about every meal or if you do hear her throwing up ever, not to hound her about that. At the same time, letting her know that you are keeping her accountable. And as much as you want to, you aren't going to be the one to "fix" your daughter. She is going to be the one who has to want to stop doing that.
But I really do think getting up to eat breakfast with her and allowing her to buy healthier foods are two of the best things you could do for her. And also getting her into therapy and to see doctors right away is awesome. They do say the quicker you catch it the easier it will be to treat.
I am super-impressed about how you are handling this situation. I know because I am that daughter - minus the supportive parents. You sound like you are doing all of the right things and I am especially moved by how you went to the grocery store to purchace foods TOGETHER! The key word (obviously) is together.
Let her be COMFORTABLE; let her not come to mealtime with the family and quake with fear that she is being judged, watched, or, that at any moment, she may be pounced upon and pelted with negitive remarks and judgemental comments.
Do not judge yourself for not knowing of your daughter's condition sooner than this; this is absolutely not your fault. Her mind trains her to hide; naturally, any person would be ashamed of disordered eating habits, and she is no acception to this train of thought.
Please, cook with her. Let her see what is going into the food and let her make choices as well. I encourage you to spend quality mother-daughter time with her; perhaps she could keep a "Feelings Associated With Food" journal and share that with you. You could keep a journal of fears that you have as well, and share those with her. If you both expose your emotions to each other, this will balance any feelings of alienation on the part of your daughter.
Thank you all for your kind words and ancouragement. I understand it's not my faults or hers even and I would never judge her or use negativity as I know that would only make things worse for her. We've done a lot of talking this week and she has a Dr's Appointment on Friday. I didn't tell her yet though about the Dr's appoinment because I know she's nervous and scared and I didn't want to put any more stress on her than she already has. Do you think that's wrong of me not to tell her until Friday morning?
She has been spending a lot more time with me, though we do spend a lot of time together anyway. We always make dinner together and we always sit down as a family every night for dinner. I've always felt that the "Family Table" is extremely important. I've been letting her choose what she wants for dinner from the menu we planned together. It's helping her decide what to eat. She was telling me the other day that even though she'd feel full at dinner time, she couldn't help but to eat more because either it was really good or because she hadn't eaten all day. We talked a lot about portion control and being able to eat 3 regular meals a day and eating healthy snacks in between instead of gorging herself at that one meal makeing her feel stuffed and wanting to purge.
She's doing well, listening to all of our advice and talking to my husband and I.
What I was wondering though was if she goes to the Dr on Friday and he finds that she's damaged herself in anyway, are they going to admit her to the hospital? I don't mind having tests or meds or getting therapy but her being in a hospital will freak her out.
I really doubt that they will put her in the hospital, that being said....You should definitely tell her before Friday morning!!! I would probably have freaked out if my mom just sprung that on me. Either way it's going to be stressful, so I would at least let her prepare herself mentally for it.
I agree with mandabear, you should definitely tell your daughter about the doctor appointment before Friday. If you expect her to be truthful then you need to do the same. Not that you're lying to her but its like keeping a secret.
Yea I think so now too cause I've always been open and honest with her and I decided to tell her this afternoon. I know no matter when I tell her she's going to stress about it. I just wanted to not let her stress so long. Know what I mean?
I definitely understand your desire to protect her from feeling stressed or any other unpleasant feelings. But to be perfectly honest, you cannot protect your daughter from feeling those feelings. She is going to be feeling a lot of them when she is dealing with this and throughout the rest of her life.
Her Dr's appointment went well. She didn't stress out about it when I told her last evening that she had a Drs appt today. Phew! That made me feel better. I did tell her that I had made it earlier in the week and hadn't told her because I didn't want to put any more stress on her. She was ok with that.
He checked her out and said she seems fine but ordered blood work to make sure she's not anemic or have any other problems from her bulemia. He also recommended councelling which I had already decided from day 1 on doing. She also agreed that she should see a therapist. Another phew!
The Dr also gave her a prescription for some Zantac to help control the acids in her stomach so she can eat without pain which seems to trigger her to purge.
So from here we'll see how things go and I hope and pray we can put a stop to this before it gets worse.
I am mother in similar situation. I don't know that my daughter is throwing up but suspect it because she eats a normal amount and lost weight. She does take a shower after dinner, so I'm going to watch that more closely. She is in therapy, wants to get better, choses healthy foods, cooks or helps cook dinner, she goes food shopping and buys what she wants.
Took her to doctor and blood work shows she is not lacking nutrition or another reason to be losing weight.
She is high achiever, top grades, heavy course load, has friends and boy friend. It is a surprise that she is so tormented by something. She used to cut herself too.
She will be re weighed by doctor in a few weeks so we will see if she is getting better.
I am also trying to get her to psychiatrist for meds but the appointment is in another month, so I'm looking for someone who can see her sooner.
I think she is relieved that her secret is out. (but her father does not know about the therapy because she does not want him to know yet.)
I am interested in your daughter too. It is good to hear from you and the reassurance from the board members that we are doing the right things and for other suggestions.
Last edited by matter of time; 04-11-2008 at 02:53 PM.
Reason: remove numbers
Well if she was or still is a cutter it's because she's overwhelmed by something if not all of the things in her life. The heavy course load, the pressure to be popular and do all the things that kids do, the boyfriend, to get good grades etc. She may feel that she has to be perfect when in reality all the needs to do is be a teenager. I've read that some cut themselves to releive "pain" or "pressure" in their lives. One of my daughters friends is a cutter (I just found this out also) because her Mom is overly protective, highly religious and forcing her daughter to be someone she's not. She does't let her be herself.
Why does she not want her father to know? Isn't he a part of the family that will help her in her healing process? How is he going to feel when he finds you two have kept this big secret from him? The 1st person I went to was my husband because he's my rock and without him, my daughter and I would not be able to do this by ourselves.
I believe her father is a big cause of her stress. He is a high achiever/perfectionist himself who always says to "stay in shape". I told her we should tell him and she says no. I only hope a therapist will recommend talking to her father. I don't want to break her confidence in me. Now I am looking into a eating disorder center for her which provides therapy, group therapy, family group and psychiatry under one roof.
I think the cutting and purging is to relieve the stress. She seems to have replaced cutting with purging.
Any stress and perfectionism is self induced. I tell her to ease up on the course load...it's not important. I think she just keeps herself busy to escape her tensions.
There is only so much I can say.
That's horribly stressful on a young girl. Im sorry she's going through that with her dad. I do think though that "Family" councelling would do her wonders of good. I guess I don't understand from your point of view because I don't know your family. Maybe you can talk to him and explain to him about backing off of her a bit because you see that she's feeling the pressure from him to be perfect. Not necessarily telling him about her dissorders, though I can't imagine not telling my husband what's really going on. I don't know you or your family so don't think I am being rude. Just my humble opinion. Eventually he's going to figure it out and I think that would be worse that coming right out with it.