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Cristi.Matt Offline
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Question Finding help - October 3rd 2013, 06:02 AM

I've been dealing with bulimia for over two years now and I've been telling myself that ill get help eventually. But now I'm in college and it's getting worse. My plan was to go to the mental health clinic on campus and talk to them and see if they could help me find help. My only concern is their policy in telling parents. They say they won't tell unless I am harming myself and technically this falls under that category. I want to get help but if at all possible I don't want my parents to know. My dad believes that people with mental illnesses (especially people who attempt suicide, cut, or have EDs) are freaks and should be locked up and my mother would probably make me go home and leave my college which I do t want to do because I've been happier here than I have in a long time. I guess my question is: if I tell the psychologists on campus about my ED, will they tell my parents?
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Re: Finding help - October 3rd 2013, 06:39 PM

Hey Christi,

Well done for deciding to seek some help. It's the first step and the hardest to take.
I'm not sure about your college but most places have the policy that under 18's are classed as 'children' and therefore parents have to be informed of everything. And similarly if you're over 18 your parents don't be informed. But then again it depends on the severity of your situation. Obviously we can't compare people with mental illnesses as being worse than one another, but there is a certain degree of health we get to before people really really start noticing. I'm just saying that on a personal experience. My friend was diagnosed with Anorexia two years ago, and at first nobody knew about her weight loss. When they did find out, and decide to help her out, she was in denial and adamant there was nothing wrong with her, until she looked skeletal. There was no life left to her, she used to walk so slow and would not speak to anyone, not even reply to 'hi'. She was like a ghost of herself, and at that point although she was 18 and classed as an 'adult' they told her mum, because she was a severe risk to herself. She was sent home that very day because the doctors thought she was going to die, and the school didnt want to be held responsible for not picking up on it sooner :/ But yeah sorry im rambling, until you haven't got a diagnosis i doubt they'd tell your parents because you are 18.

And if you think they still might tell your parents, book an appointment with the college mental health team anyway and find out exactly what their policy is like, and at what extent they breach confidentiality.

sorry if this didnt make much sense, hope it helps

Sabah x

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I'm always here if anyone wants to talk.

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Re: Finding help - October 3rd 2013, 06:58 PM

I don't think that they would have to tell them because when they say harming yourself they mean at risk for death or serious injury. With an eating disorder they would probably only tell if you needed to be hospitalized which would be an ABSOLUTE last resort.

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Re: Finding help - October 5th 2013, 06:24 PM

I don't think they'd necessarily tell your parents because a lot of people with ED's and depression and stuff (I'm thinking suicidal thoughts and ED behaviours) would never go get treatment if they were going to get told on every time they went to get help. And technically, for example, you are trying to get help to stop doing harm to yourself, so telling your parents would compromise the situation where they could help you by creating a situation where you cannot trust them any more.... I really think that there is a fine line in where they will and won't tell, like if they had reasonable belief you were going to kill yourself or something they'd have to, but unless your life is in immediate danger they need to work with you to help you out first, afterall people don't usually go to mental health clinics for fun, and those serious situations require a judgement call and they're trained to help you with your kind of situation, so that's why they won't call cause they're used to having those kinds of situations and identifying which ones put the person at the most immeidate danger

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Re: Finding help - October 16th 2013, 01:37 AM


I think it's really great you're trying to get help on this. Hope you can get some support from it. As for your question, you are 18 so I don't think they'd tell your parents unless you're at risk of seriously hurting yourself. Maybe ask them about their confidentiality rules?

By the way, I'm sorry about how your parents view things like this. I can relate, some of my close family sees people like this as "mental patients" and joke about stuff like this a lot. Kinda insensitive. Maybe your parents might behave differently towards this since you're their child though? Anyways, I hope you can get some support! Good luck.
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