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Publication: Dear Abby
Sister Sees Naked Truth Of Teen's Eating Disorder

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          DEAR ABBY - June 13, 2008 
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SISTER SEES NAKED TRUTH OF TEEN'S EATING DISORDER

ABBY: My younger sister "Marni" is 15 and paranoid about 
her weight because when she was younger she was teased 
about being fat. From what I have learned on the Internet, 
she may suffer from anorexia.

Marni barely eats most of the time, but occasionally 
she'll stuff herself and then get rid of it by throwing 
up in the bathroom. She has also started taking laxatives. 
We share a room, so I see her without her clothes on, and 
her body is wasting away. It's not obvious when she's 
dressed, but when she's undressed she's literally skin and 
bones.

Marni says she's "fine" and will stop her behavior "once
she gets her weight down," even though she's already much 
too thin. She won't let me say anything to Mom, who doesn't
seem to realize what's going on. What should I do? I know 
she needs help. 
-- ANXIOUS IN LEXINGTON, KY.

ANXIOUS: Marni is NOT fine. You should tell your mother 
immediately what she has been doing because her life 
could depend on it. Her distorted body image is not her 
fault. She needs professional help and should be seen by 
your family physician immediately.

Throwing up after meals and taking laxatives are symptoms 
of a severe, life-threatening eating disorder. As you 
probably learned online, anorexia has the highest 
mortality rate of any mental illness.

Nearly 10 million women and 1 million men suffer from an 
eating disorder. The National Eating Disorders Association 
has many thousands of members and offers programs and 
information to support individuals, families and friends 
who have been affected by eating disorders. 

Eating disorders are treatable if caught in time, and 
recovery is possible. Marni is fortunate to have a loving
sister who cares about her welfare, and I'm glad you wrote.

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ABBY: My daughter is 20 and finishing her second year of 
college. She lived in a dorm the first year and now shares 
an apartment in another city.

When she comes home for the weekend, do I have the right
to expect her to follow a few rules while she's under my 
roof? She thinks she should be able to do whatever she 
wants since she is 20 and living independently while at 
college.

I think she should show us respect by abiding by her 
curfew (2 a.m.) and not spending the night with her boy-
friend. I am tired of lying awake waiting to hear her come 
in so I'll know she's safe. What she does at school is 
different because I'm not so tuned in to her comings and 
goings, but when she's here, I worry.

Am I asking too much, or is she being inconsiderate? 
-- EXHAUSTED AND FRUSTRATED, HAMILTON, OHIO

E AND F: I think we both know the answer to that question. 
If your daughter were as mature as she thinks she is, she 
would understand that it's a parent's job to worry. She'd 
have more sensitivity and respect for your feelings, and 
be less centered on herself.




ABBY is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as 
Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline 
Phillips. Write ABBY at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box  
69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. 
____________________________________________________________

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