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Bit of a dillema!!!!

I have been keeping my 14 year old niece after school in the evenings so my sil can work. My niece and her mother aren't really getting along right now. Anyway, I think my niece may be anorexic. She always goes in the bathroom after she eats and comes out and looks like she's been crying. Do I say something to my sil with them not getting along? Or just try talking to my niece about it first? I'm just afraid with them on rough times this wont help. Any suggestions?


Asked by Anonymous at 4:34 PM on Mar. 9, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • I would talk to the niece first. She needs an adult like you she can confide in and not judge like her mother would. This is where you play the friend and not the this is what you should do parent act.

    Answer by at 4:36 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • If she is eating, she's NOT anorexic. However, if she is going to the bathroom after she eats (every time) she may be bolemic. Which is just as dangerous. Mrs. Coop is right, she needs a confidante right now. You have the opportunity to be that. Just sit her down alone and tell her that you are noticing this and that you're concerned for her. See what she is willing to talk about and go from there.

    Answer by specialwingz at 4:41 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • what you are describing is actually bulimia. I had the same problem when I was a teen. Everything was fine for years, then it got bad when I was in college. I still struggle with it from time to time.
    I would speak to your niece first, then I would see about talking to her doctor if it was me, then see about telling your brother (I assume that her father is your brother) that you did so.
    I'm sure many would disagree, but the few that suspected I had a problem went to my mother. The so called expert of everything since she's a nurse.
    her reactions didn't do a thing, it made it worse. She didn't get me real help, she just screamed at me asking how I could have humiliated her like this, letting the world know that a qualified nurse had a daughter like me.
    If mom or dad get mad, they can get over it. this is your nieces health at stake here. See about getting her help and do it quick.
    pm me if you want!

    Answer by ItsMe89 at 5:10 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • That's a really difficult situation. It sounds like she may have bulimia. Both anorexia and bulimia are very complex and serious disorders. I would try talking to your niece and asking her straight out if she's getting sick after she eats. If she is because of concerns about her weight, then she needs professional help of some kind and you would have to talk to her mom. If your niece is getting sick simply because of being stressed (which is a possibility), let her know you are there to talk and support her whenever she needs it.

    Answer by cege at 4:42 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I would start with her, talk to her about it and then have her talk to her mom. Its not your place to speak to her mom and you would destroy trust with her. Good luck

    Answer by parajumper3 at 4:39 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I would talk to your niece also. And maybe call your doctor/pediatrician and do online research to learn how to help.

    Answer by elizabr at 4:40 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • If shes making herself vomit thats Bolemia (sp?). They will eat then purge themselves after. A good way of knowing though is does she binge eat too? I was like this in high school and after a couple weeks I would get so hungry I would eat anything that wasnt nailed down, and then go back to my throwing up. Its really bad for you but there should be some signs. Do some research there are alot of sites out there now with info and some give you tips on how to talk to teens about it. Id talk to her directly though and see if you cant get the story.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:12 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Oh also depending on how long you have been watching her have you thought about pregnancy? Id talk to her either way and make sure it also isnt morning sickness.

    Answer by gemgem at 5:14 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Well I'm going to suggest something else...if it looks like she has been crying is it possible that she actually is. She could just as easily have the eating disorder so I would definitely do some research, but just talk to her without pushing about how dangerous an eating disorder is. She may just be really upset and the bathroom is here place to go and cry. Mine was always the shower. Good-luck!!!

    Answer by ramita at 5:37 PM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Initially make an effort to talk to your SIL. Come to a conclusion about the problem & later on talk to your niece. This way the things would get better sorted out...

    Answer by AnuMeha at 6:36 AM on Mar. 10, 2011