Dubai Counselor Jared Alden answers a father’s question regarding his daughters eating disorder. ‘Ask Your Doctor’ is a GNC Facebook initiative that answers fans questions related to Neurology, Psychiatry, Psychology and Counselling for free.
I am worried about my 18 year old daughter who is always concerned about her weight. She permanently counts calories, loses weight and is very sleepy since a couple of month. Is this an eating disorder like Anorexia? How can I convince her to search help?
this is an important question as you are not the only dad in Dubai who is noticing these symptoms. The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders estimates that 11 per cent of high-school pupils have been found to have an eating disorder.
Due to my experiences with eating disorders I recommend to start by relaxing as much as possible around your daughter. Try pulling back some of your emotions in order to encourage your daughter to talk about and show her feelings. When she talks about food and weight you ask what her emotions are. Don’t try and directly challenge her distorted thinking about her body and weight. Don’t force her to go to a doctor or a counselor but gently and consistently encourage it. Set up the appointment for her. See if you can get other people to support this. This can be her favorite older cousin, or anyone that she trusts. Tell her that this is not about controlling her but just helping her and giving her options. Try this for a couple of months and see if you are able to get her the evaluation she needs. All the best to you and your family.