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12 year old son following my footsteps


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When I was a young child, really into early adulthood I had an eating problem. Actually I didn't think it was a problem, but my parents and the MD thought it was.

I would only eat a very select range of foods, and no matter what was said or done I would not deviate from this list. I would not try any new foods. My parents brought me to the doctor, he asked me various questions, i.e. do you think it is cruel to kill animals etc. He did mention the word anorexia, now I am not too familiar with this condition but I don't think I was underweight and I certainly did not have any concept of my body image at that time. Curiously as we left the surgery the doctor said to my mother "this is your fault you know". He was very abrupt. He was our family doctor for about 30 years - he even delivered me.

When I met my husband I started to eat new foods and now eat a full range of food - am now actually quite overweight.

Well my son who is now 12, has always been like me, would only eat certain very restricted list of foods. He has never been underweight, the foods he did eat he ate a lot of, mainly bread. My husband tried to force the issue and my son started hiding food. So we backed off, made sure he had plenty of vitamins, and now he is starting of his own choice to try new foods, much earlier than I did. He does have severe food allergies - eggs, fish and nuts.

I'm curious to know if this is an actual eating disorder or part of my early anxiety, is my son going to develop anxiety like I did? He has shown signs of anxiety, a couple of years ago he would always vomit before going to school. Although I felt sorry for him, I knew from my own past that avoiding was not the solution (my mother would often let me skip school when I had a pain in my belly - I have recently being diagnosed with avoidant personality), I always persuaded him to go to school and now he is more confident and the vomiting is a thing of the past.

Thank you for your opinions.


Edited by goose
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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Goose,

I will try to answer your question but my answer is limited because I do not personally know you as a "face to face" therapist would.

It is possible that you had an eating disorder. However, it is also common for kids to go through a time when they become "picky eaters." It is hard to know which one you were: eating disordered or temporary picky. I would guess on the side of an eating disorder. These things run in families and it is possible that your son is going through something similar. I think you are taking the right approach by backing off and not making a big deal about it. Just notice if he begins to lose too much weight.

As for your family doctor when you were a teenager, he was horribly wrong to say such a thing to your mother. Eating disorders are not a matter of "fault." There is more and more evidence that it runs in families and that means that it is inherited.

Does this help?


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