Psychiatry & Psychology--General/am i wrong?

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Question
I have a 16yr old daughter who is struggling with bulimia. My daughter along with my other 2 children live with their father. I have recently learned that my children's father has pretty much let them run wild..they do not have much discipline with their dad. My 16yr old is slipping deeper into her disorder, she was baker acted recently, and less than a year prior my other daughter was also baker acted. I am in the process of obtaining sole custody, and my children are upset because they will be leaving their friends. So in an attempt to help them understand, I asked my 14yr old what she would do in this situation. Is that wrong? I am very open..to a certain degree with my children, and I want them to feel like they have a voice and I will always listen. Is it wrong to ask her what she would do?

Answer
Rachel, of course it's not wrong to ask a question like that; rather, it's the opposite.  And it' natural for the three of them to not want to, as they see it, disrupt their lives.

But while it's easy to answer that question, it ignores what seems a more serious issue, because bulimia is often serious, sometimes even lethal, often challenging to treat, and I doubt related to permissive parenting.

I might be able to comment a little further if you send me a follow-up, but it really sounds like you and/or their father should be consulting a local mental-health professional, perhaps one who specializes in eating disorders. A good place to get information or help would be the facility to which she was committed under Florida's Baker Act. If not, let me know if you need a starting point to find professional assistance.

Meanwhile, thanks for asking us, and I hope these problems work out.

Alan  

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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Alan Auerbach

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Taught psychology for 30 years, authored four textbooks. Specialize in introductory and industrial/organizational psychology, but will tackle wider range of areas.

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