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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Engaging Team Awesome! 
1st-Mar-2013 11:15 am
One Person can Make a Difference
A friend of mine is trying to help a 14-year-old girl who's important in her life and who is trending toward anorexia. She is, in my friend's words, an impatient, distrustful-of-authority girl with some significant ADD/depression issues.

-hates food
-history of self harm, but not actively in that cycle right now
-has not made the connection yet between starving herself and self harm
-did I mention, serious trust issues?...yeah.
-convinced she's fat when she's more underweight
-needs to find healthy ways to feel in control of herself and her environment

I feel like I understand the issue all too well. I need to find
something that will appeal to her, so not preachy, long-winded, or
filled w/ technobabble. Something she can relate to.

This is not my area - I know these resources must be out there, but I don't know where they are. I know some of you do youth work. Any ideas?
1st-Mar-2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
I just watched this vid.
I'm not sure if quoting stats is enough. What do the more knowledgeable think?
1st-Mar-2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
Depending on where they live, there could be few or a ton of resources...one recommendation that I can make from my experience in the MH field is that the girl's family really needs to start getting involved with a counselor to work with her "from the outside in" and to build up some semblance of trust and open the lines of communication. If she's got a super-shitty home environment, with non-supportive family, then perhaps the friend who has reached out can fulfill that role.

NAMI has local support groups that may be of assistance.

There are also online support groups/forums for people in recovery from anorexia/bulimia such as this one.

http://www.mirror-mirror.org/ has some good info and articles.

Maybe some gentle direction to info about the negative effects of anorexia might be an eye-opener for her. Perhaps a BMI chart might be an "unbiased" way for her to see what healthy is?

Finding people who have been through what she's going through might help offer some other insight.

Someday, the girl may be open to counseling or a support group for herself - but forcing her into one will only cause bitterness and resentment toward "the system."

Good luck to your friend.
1st-Mar-2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
The thing that struck me most was the "needs to find healthy ways to feel in control of herself and her environment"

Honestly, I don't know what her situation is, or how much control she *can* have over it, but that's probably going to be the biggest thing. I keep thinking of the empowerment model here, and I think it would apply equally well in this case as it does in cases of survivors healing.

I don't know about resources, and everything I'm finding online is "make her have healthy self image" "make her have healthy relationship with food", so not helpful
2nd-Mar-2013 12:08 am (UTC)

Kate Bornstein's book has helped a lot of us, and the tone seems to be correct for this situation.
3rd-Mar-2013 01:57 am (UTC)
Maybe she would be interested in this ongoing webcomic, "I Do Not Have an Eating Disorder", starting here: http://misspixnmix.tumblr.com/post/3232725607/i-do-not-have-an-eating-disorder-p01-ive-been
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