Psychologist Questions Bulimia

My 17 Year Old Daughter Has Bulimia.

I am at a loss. She's refusing to continue talk therapy. At what point is she putting her life at risk? Do I force her into a treatment program? Can she outgrow it? I am worried sick but also don't want to risk her lying to me. Right now she's being honest and talking to me about it. If I push too hard, she'll just get sneaky. She is my world and we've been through 3 therapists. She's a good kid but has body and self esteem issues.

Female | 17 years old
Complaint duration: 2 Years
Conditions: Anxiety/ Eating Disorder

11 Answers

Because bulimia is destructive to her physically and emotionally, I do recommend an inpatient program specifically for eating disorders. She is almost an adult at which time you will no longer have that opportunity to help her get appropriate treatment. As a parent, you will know you have done all you can and hopefully both of you will feel good about the decision in retrospect.
Consult your primary care physician or family doctor. She will not outgrow it without help. If your PCP feels that her condition is serious, I think you should enroll her in an inpatient treatment program. She will be unhappy and angry, but there is no other way you can help her. Sometimes we have to make tough decisions about our loved ones. Good luck!
Eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) are extremely dangerous and difficult to treat. Psychotherapy is often helpful. Most individuals with eating disorders are often depressed, which might need to be treated with anti-depressant medication. Eating disordered individuals are constantly obsessed with their weight and body image. Most severe eating disorders need eating disorder groups or psychiatric residential hospitalization. Eating disorders need a therapist and medical doctor to work together.
Your daughter might consider participating in a group that practices dialectical behavior therapy.
Bulimia is a very complex and difficult problem to treat. It is not unusual to get someone with an eating disorder engaged into treatment. Be sure the therapist specializes in eating disorders in their practice.
Bulimia is dangerous and can cause physical health problems. The first thing is to get her to a physician and have her evaluation for any health conditions. Second, it is important to get her some help with a psychologist or treatment facility that has experience with eating disorders. Bulimia is usually more about her sense of lack of control than about weight. But, body image may be a concern to be addressed. Relationships are very important to be considered in therapy.
This is a serious condition - since you tried OP services, consider IP services where they specialize in eating disorders and dual mental health issues.
Bulimia is very serious. If she is very active with this, she may need to be admitted in a facility that treats eating disorders. You can always speak to a therapist to find ways to handle her.
I am sorry to hear about this, that is a very scary place to be! I would recommend an eating disorder treatment program for her, unfortunately. I also HIGHLY recommend family therapy so that you two can develop a relationship in which she feels completely comfortable talking to you about her problems and you can develop a way to communicate your love for her without her getting defensive. I know it's a hard journey, but her health and your relationship are worth it! I hope this helps!
Bulimia is nothing to dismiss. It can cause many serious health issues! I would consult a Psychiatrist and get her into a program. This is Serious.
She can ruin her heart more than anything and her body organs. She truly needs some treatment. See if she would try a rehabilitation center where she can come home and not have to stay there. She really needs help. Sorry.