Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Dieting and Eating Disorders:
“My gf has Anorexia and I want to help her!”

Hey Terra,

I have been going out with this girl for 2 and a half years now, and she's been having this problem with eating. She is anorexic and has been to doctors, hospitals, and seen counselors but her problem still continued on for all those years. The reason I'm writing this is because I care about her and she is lost and confused about everything.

Before I go on about this, I want to explain that she is visually impaired, and that she explained to me that her Anorexia has nothing to do with her visual disability, however I don't know what to think about this if its true or not.

She tells me she's confused about all this because her parents don't understand what she is going through and act as if Anorexia is not real. She's been trying to make them understand for 4 years and they still haven't listened to her. Last night she cried about it and said she gave up on trying to make her parents understand, and doesn't know what to do.

Last year she had been to the hospital over a dozen times and has also been locked up for a month because of her eating disorder and They believed that she was capable of taking her own life.

I want someone to help her out, I've tried myself but she gets upset and says I don't understand and know nothing about her anorexia. I asked her about it, but it seems like she doesn't know much herself why she does it.

Worried BF

Dear Worried BF,

This is a very sad and serious situation. You are a wonderful guy to care so much about your girlfriend. She is obviously very troubled and needs a lot of help... immediately.

The fact that she has been dealing with this for years and with all of the interventions you have described: doctors, counselors, treatment facilities, she is still suffering from anorexia and depression, that gives you a clear indication of what a very difficult disorder it is.

I'm very sorry that her parents haven't woken up to what's going on here and given her more emotional support. But her parents aren't completely responsible for this problem and even with 100% of their emotional support, she could still be exactly where she is today if she doesn't make the choice to get help. Obviously this is a very complex issue and until your girlfriend realizes that she is sick and wants to get better and is willing to get into a treatment program and stay with it... with outpatient support groups, then she has little chance of recovering.

It's hard to imagine after all this time that she isn't aware of the kind of help that's available to people with eating disorders, but here is a link on my web site that will help you educate yourself (and her as well) about this condition (which is as much physical as it is psychological).

I'd like you (and your girlfriend, if she's willing) to check out these three "Been There" stories ... interviews with three young women who also have dealt with eating disorders. It might give you and your girlfriend some needed inspiration.

Stephanie

Vanessa

Barbara

I hope this helps!

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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