Anorexia nervosa: the role of parents

It is often very difficult for parents to intervene directly. The entourage feels helpless ... does not know how to approach the problem. First the disease appears at the time of the "teenage crisis" where the communication between parents and children is not always very simple. Very often, the young anorexic is in a family in pain where the communication is sometimes source of conflicts.

Then the girl herself does not know she is sick. She suffers from anxiety, depression sometimes, and her weight loss does not appear to her clearly. It is therefore difficult for parents to talk about anorexia directly with their child. And when they succeed, the solution does not arise easily. There are moments of doubt, anguish ... Families keep (wrongly) their secret. Other parents will need to talk, to be supported.

Parents must talk about it and especially not stay in denial. The best way may be to go through a third party that the girl will trust: the attending physician, for example, provided he takes the time to talk with his young patient.

Because of her symptom, the girl feels a sense of control and control over herself and her environment. It does not necessarily have "interest" or want to separate from this symptom, at least at the beginning of his illness. She will therefore tend, in her speech, to give rational arguments (vegetarian choice, professional reasons or aesthetic choice ...) to justify her eating behavior.

The young anorexic is often an intelligent and manipulative girl (in spite of herself!), With which it is difficult to approach the question of her pathology. All this creates a lot of anxiety, both for the young patient and for her family and caregivers. The role of the doctor will be to create a "therapeutic alliance". Family therapy can be advised. It will have the effect of guilt the girl.

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