Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to tell my parents I have an Eating Disorder and need help?

I've had one or the onset of one for about 4 years now. The only people I've told are some of my sorority sisters because it's easier to tell them instead of an adult. But one of my sisters got through to me and I've realized that I need my parents help to get better, but I am so scared to tell them. I'm terrified they're reaction will be to keep me home and make me commute to college (which wouldn't be good considering all my moms talk about her weight issues, and commenting on if I gained weight, or my dad commenting on what I eat just makes it worse). I'm also an only child and they're already over protective of me. i know I need help but I don't know how to ask for it.

Please if this was your child how would you react, and how would you want them to tell you?How to tell my parents I have an Eating Disorder and need help?
If it were my child, I'd ask them ';why?';

So, I'm asking you the same.

Then I'd educate. You're worried about your body image, but what you're doing doesn't make sense. Starving yourself makes your body store fat. And it will deteriorate your muscles. Your muscles are what burns fat. So you want to get rid of fat by ..... losing what gets rid of fat? See how that doesn't make sense? It makes you look ill, not pretty. It makes your breath stink. It makes you weak.

My sons grandmother (dads side) died from anorexia. She had a BAG connected to her throat for liquids and one connected to her lower intestine for bowel movements. Rotting teeth and hair falling out.

yea .... way more attractive than a healthy body.

Is that what you want?How to tell my parents I have an Eating Disorder and need help?
At least you're not 18 and telling your parents that you're pregnant!

I would go see them on a weekend and tell them face to face. Keep in mind that there are worse things that you could tell them. I am an only child too and if anything happened to me because of my health due to the fact that I didn't try and get help, my parents would feel horrible. I recommend seeing a therapist and a nutritionist. Since you are on your parents' insurance, those visits should be covered.

If they try and keep you home, tell them that you just need their support, not be controlled.
Your parents can't tell that your anorexia?

please get help fast!
Oh wow, that's a tough one.

I'd make an appointment to see your family doctor or school councilor. -- start with them. Tell them the full situation and let them give you some guidance, including helping to discuss the matter with your parents.

Be prepared to let your parents come to terms with the situation, remember you're four years ahead of them with dealing with all this. They will have fears, they will have a loss on what to say, they will have frustration and failure questions of themselves.

That's why having a professional is key -- they can help everyone stay on the right track.
Sometimes the hardest part is actually telling your parents. I know as a teenager I would sit my parents down to tell them something, but never actually spit it out. You could send them an email. This way you could tell them your concerns with telling them (their negativity, ect.)

They are your parents. It is their job to try to protect you. Even without you telling them that you blame them, they will probably feel guilty.

You need to tell your parents though before your eating disorder becomes out of hand.

Best wishes-
First of all, you should be proud of yourself for making such a huge realization. Many people cannot come to terms with their eating disorder or other ailment at all, and recognizing that you need to tell your parents, is a huge first step to recovery.

It is best that they find out from you instead of finding out in some other way.

I won't sugar coat it, it's going to hurt pretty bad at first. But you're their only child and I'm sure they'll just want you to be happy and healthy in the end.

In terms of college, I think you need to stand up for yourself and let them know that you are an adult, and that you need to be respected as such. You've obviously been responsible enough to take care of yourself this long, they shouldn't question your ability to continue living the way you do.

As for the initial shock, be ready for anything. But also remember that as bad as that confrontation could be, there is only good to come afterward. Healing is important.

Try a weekend at home. Just be honest and genuine. Let them know that you trust them enough to help you through it, otherwise you wouldn't have come to them. If it were my child, I would just want to focus on healing as a family. It's fortunate that you're still on insurance because those costs can be terrible.

And remember, you are an adult and do not live at home anymore. You can decide to leave if at any point in time the conversation becomes too much to handle.

It will work out in the end. But take the first step: Speak.

Good luck!
Talk with a professional before you have this conversation with your parents. Express your concerns to the professional, it certainly can't be good for someone in recovery to be in an environment that is so weight/food critical. You don't need your parents for recovery, particularly if they have food related issues themselves. You need a supportive environment. It might be best to tell them in a counseling session with the professional moderating the discussion, be open to this if it is suggested to you.

Your school may offer free counseling sessions, if your insurance doesn't cover it. Even though you are on your parent's insurance, you are over 18, and HIPAA entitles you to privacy. So if you go to the doctor for anything your information can't be given to your parents without your permission. If you have questions on how many counseling sessions your insurance covers or the specifics of how your privacy is protected, check on your insurances website or call. The contact info should be on your insurance card.

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