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Possible eating disorder? Help!

My niece has moved in with us and for the past two nights after dinner she's turned the taps on like really loudly and I'm pretty sure I heard her retching last night, I don't know how to approach this topic with her, as she hasn't been in the house long and I don't want her to flip out. Do you think it sounds like she has an eating disorder? Or could she just have been ill or something? You see the tap thing makes it sound worse.. And it's been after big evening meals :S Help!

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Asked by haleykarson at 1:12 PM on Nov. 18, 2008 in Teens (13-17)

Level 1 (3 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • It sounds like it. Talk to her about it.

    Answer by TiffanyLove18 at 1:15 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • I would just ask her if she's been feeling ok. Some people get upset stomachs everytime they eat big meals, I do! Maybe it embarrasses her. Either way, I'd ask her in a nice way just to see if everything is alright. If she says she's fine, then I would say she's hiding something. Maybe just say that you've noticed that she sounds ill after eating and you were worried. Let her know if she needs a doc you'll help her out.

    It really does sound like she's hiding it though...and it's not something you can just tell her to stop. It should be addressed by a professional :)

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 1:17 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • Sounds like it to me, my sister did this in her late teens and it last for years off and on. Something needs to be done if you notice its a serious problem they can forever ruin their esophagus and rot their teeth. I know this sounds really gross and TMI but what we had to do to confirm what my sister was doing was lift up to toilet seat after she would leave the bathroom and there was usually some splatter on there. Some people have loud bowel movements or fart when they use the restroom, when I was a kid I would turn the tap on really loudly so thats what was heard instead. Or if I didnt want people to know I was having a BM I would turn it on so they would think I was washing my hands or face etc. There is many reasons people turn the faucet on, go with your gut and intervene if needed.

    Answer by Crystal42683 at 1:17 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • If it keeps happening then you need to get her help ASAP. This shouldn't be ignored. Maybe an intervention would help. If it is and you do an intervention, get people who care about her involved. The worst thing to do is to do nothing.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:56 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • I'm bulimic so I know confronting her wont make her stop. Get her professional help

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:13 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • Maybe she was pooping. Why would a bulimic person go into the bathroom, and not even try to hide it? Water running is a little obvious don't you think? Calls attention. Does she even have any of the other symptoms?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:11 PM on Nov. 18, 2008

  • My niece started doing this when she was in middle school. Her mom immediately got her help. Watch your niece at meal time. does she keep all her food seperated (sp). I mean the potatoes can't touch the meat in any way or she is done. Or the gravy may hit her vegi's. Her food can't be touching. Also, when she eats. The fork/spoon can't touch her teeth. It will annoy her. Sounds crazy but anorexics do have this problem. Those are signs to watch for.
    I would try talking to your niece and see if she will open up to you. I would also look into getting her help.

    Answer by Xee at 12:15 AM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • anorexics are not as descried like xee said. i was one and didn't care if food touched in fact i rarely saw food since i wasn't eating. if she goes to the bathroom everytime after a meal i would suspect she is doing this. i would stand by the door one night and say honey i feel we need to talk....when you get somewhere private you can say isn't there something you need to tell me. don't ask her what is up act as if you know so that she will be the one to open up and tell you. standing by the door would make her think you know for sure what she has done. make sure that you follow her without her knowing an listen with a glass to your ear. so that you have a bit more solid proof. her guilt will come out and then you just need to be supportive and make sure she doesn't minimize the problem and get her help asap.

    Answer by melody77 at 11:10 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • Xee, that sounds more like bulimia. Anorexics do not eat. The reason why bulimics try to avoid forks touching their teeth is from purging their teeth are sensitive as it strips the teeth.

    Just do not confront her openly. Make sure that when you are ready to ask her about what's going on it's private. She might get mad but she needs help.

    Answer by OneToughMami at 1:34 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

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