when your daughter tells you that she has an eating disorder, believe her.
do not mock her, do not tell her she is wrong. though you could not hear her in the bathroom on her knees at christmas or on her birthday or after dinner, listen to her now.
know that after she reveals this and runs crying to her room that she will lie directly on her floor and place her ear to the carpet and she will hear you discussing her declaration like a bad movie, a critic to the fact that yes she still has all her teeth, but you do not know anything about disorders.
when your son mentions at the dinner table that your daughter thinks she may be depressed, do not shake your head. do not continue your meal, do not let her escape to her room immediately upon mention of the subject. do not shake your head, and do not continue your meal.
when you ask your daughter if she wants to see a psychiatrist and she does not say no, take her. make an appointment, do not cancel it. take her.
after an argument, when your daughter refuses to hug you, do not be offended. do not make a sarcastic remark about how she is "really helping the situation," that will not help the situation either. only know that she is hurt, and that she is only sixteen.
when you buy your daughter acne treatment and teeth whitener and brand new makeup and pore strips and she refuses to use them, do not yell. rather, attempt to fathom why your daughter may be boycotting your unrequested purchases, and try to find three things about her more important to you than her appearance.
when your daughter tells you that last night she sat in her closet for an hour so that she could be safe from you due to the way her her heart races and her palms sweat every time she hears the sound of your footsteps outside of her room, please reevaluate the way you talk to your daughter.
when your daughter tells you that she is sick and that she cannot go to school for the fifteenth separate time this semester, ask her about in what ways she is feeling ill, because one does not contract the flu fifteen separate days over the course of five months. that is not how the flu works. it is not likely that she has been physically ill to the point where she will lay in bed until past the time she was supposed to be getting home from school. do not accept the fact that she has a "headache" and do not let her tell you that she is just fine, because she is not.
when your daughter stays up all night doing homework but does not complete her work, do not nag at her. do not tell her that you and her father are "just waiting for her to have a mental breakdown" or to “stay out of your face when she loses her mind” like you know she will, do not tell her for the twentieth time to get her life together. it will not help her get her life together.
when your daughter tells you that she thinks she may be depressed, listen to her. do not fail to notice the words "years" or "finally".
do not simply forget about it, do not wake the next morning and assume that just because she is at the breakfast table eating her cereal that all is well. do not assume that last night she did not make a detailed plan to **** herself and that the only thing that stopped her was a line of a song, and a boyfriend.
when you notice that your daughter has stopped going out with friends, stopped going to practice and stopped trying in school, do not yell. do not lecture. try to predict what she may stop doing next. but do not yell.
do not say things like that she is “upsetting your household” statements like that make it very clear in the head of your daughter that the household she lives in is not also hers, and that you do not want her around. do not make careless statements in front of your teenage daughter.
though you may not know that the most common word in all of her google searches is “depression,” it should not take that for you to realize that she has a problem. though you did not see her ask the internet how many of her vitamins she would have to take until she could be sure she would not wake up, it should never have gotten this far.
do not tell her that you are sorry. it will be too late.