I would say, from what I have learned in my abnormal psychology class, your daughter might have something called bulimia, which is a type of eating disorder. A person with bulimia eats a lot of food in a short amount of time which is binging and then tries to prevent weight gain by purging or getting rid of the food. Purging might be done by:
* Making yourself throw up
* Taking laxatives, which you have found in her room. Laxatives can pills or liquids and speed up the movement of food through your body to produce a bowel movement more quickly, making it an easy and appealing way to lose weight.
* Exercise excessively, as you have described
People with bulimia often fall ...view middle of the document...
It can be triggered by dieting, stress, or uncomfortable emotions, such as anger or sadness. Purging and other actions to prevent weight gain are ways for people with bulimia to feel more in control of their lives and ease stress and anxiety. This is also a way to “please” the people in their lives they feel will judge them for their supposed lack of body control. There is no known cause of bulimia but they have been able to link it to several different parts of us, that may be helpful in understanding
* Culture. Women in the U.S. are under constant pressure to fit a certain ideal of beauty. They are reinforced when they do what society’s supposed expectations of women are. Seeing images of flawless, thin females everywhere makes it hard for women to feel good about their bodies. Since success and worth are compared to and shown with thinness that is what women strive for. Peer pressure and bullying are particularly prevalent among young girls, and the desire to fit in often drives younger girls to develop eating disorders and a preoccupation with food.
Traumatic events, like rape or witnessing a tragedy, as well as stressful things, like starting a new job or new school year, or expectations of high academic achievement, etc. can lead to bulimia.
* Psychological. A person with bulimia may not like herself, hate the way she looks, or feel hopeless. She may be very moody, have low self-worth, distorted body-image, have problems expressing anger, or have a hard time controlling impulsive behaviors. Families may have a tendency to have more conflict, along with more criticism and unpredictability. Sexual abuse is also a possibility.
* Biology. Genes, hormones, and chemicals in the brain may be factors in developing bulimia. Poor impulse control, emotional instability, and perfectionist traits can be contributing factors. Younger girls with a biological mother or sister with an eating disorder are at risk, which may indicate a genetic link. It may also be possible that serotonin, a chemical in our brains, may influence eating disorders because of its connection to food intake regulation.
To help your daughter with this possible problem, there are a few things I would suggest that you do.
Set a time to talk. Set aside a time to talk privately with your daughter. Make sure you pick a place and time to talk where you won’t be distracted or interrupted. Tell her about your concerns. Be honest. Tell her about your worries about her eating or exercising habits. Tell her you are concerned and that you think these things may be a sign of a problem that needs professional help. Ask her to talk to a professional. Offer to help her find a counselor or doctor who knows about eating issues, and offer to go with her to the appointment. If she won’t admit that he or she has a problem, don’t push. Be sure to tell you’re her you are always there to listen if she wants to talk. Don’t place shame, blame, or guilt on your daughter. Don’t say, “You...