Belfast Telegraph

I can't stop stuffing myself with food

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

My friend said I ought to write to you because she thinks I have a problem.

I am 12 years old and I can’t seem to stop myself from eating.

My dad has a shop and whenever I go there I stuff myself with food until I’m sick, but I just can’t stop myself.

When I’m at home with my mum it doesn’t happen — well, not very often, anyway.

I told my mum I thought I was fat but she said I wasn’t.

I feel so unhappy but I don’t know how to change things. What can I do? TI

FIONA SAYS: DON’T IGNORE IT. TALK TO YOUR PARENTS

I'm glad you wrote to me because I think your friend is right and that you do have a problem.

That doesn't mean I think you are fat but I think your problem has food as a focus and I think you need help to get over it. I don't know what the real problem is but you describe being at home with your mum and going to your dad's shop, so have your parents separated?

Could this or something similar be what you really feel upset about?

And are you using food to help you deal with whatever problem it is?

Whether or not you are overweight, I am sure both your parents will want to help when they know what you are doing to yourself.

Try to tell your mum what you've told me here and then go to see your family doctor.

Your dad needs to know that you can't resist eating when you go to his shop and he needs to help you to stop doing that.

If that means you avoid going there and see him somewhere else, then I am sure he will understand.

Your doctor will help you to establish if you are overweight but whether you are or not, you clearly have a bad image of yourself.

Don't ignore this problem; eating until you are sick is something that needs to be sorted out as soon as possible as it can have long-term health risks.

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