I need as much information you can give about this.

I love my little sister.... but she's being very neglected, and neglectful.  I see her as an addict who needs an intervention and serious help to get out of her rather comfortable situation.

See, my sister has an eating disorder, like none I've ever heard of before, until recently.
Ever since she was 3 (around the age that babies stop putting everything in their mouths as experimental learning), she's eaten nothing but french fries for lunch and dinner.  It all started when my parents tried to add more food to her diet, opposed to baby food, and bottles. Whenever my mother would give her something, she would gag and wouldn't be able to swallow it.  At first we thought this was physical, but it turned out to be what many would call a food phobia.  Where we see a delicious hamburger, she sees a pile of dirt, infested with insects, germs and god knows what else.  Not literally, as if she's having hallucinations, but metaphorically that's how it is.    She looks at any unfamiliar food as something that could harm her.  For her to sit down and try to eat what we would call a tasty meal, would be like us sitting down and trying to eat a plate of live worms.  It would cause us to gag, feel repulsed, and we'd probably do anything to avoid being force fed them.  As it does for my sister. 

I remember, to this day, being 5 years old, and watching my sister (3 at the time) being force fed a piece of chicken in her high chair.  I remember her screaming bloody murder.  It really did seem as though someone was trying to kill her.  It was so bad - 15 years later, the memory is still very very vivid.  I remember her trying to stab me with a pair of scissors in defense to me chasing her around the house with a piece of potato.... yes she tried very hard to kill me at that moment.  I remember her at the age of 6, beating the living shit out of my mom after she asked her to sit and try a new food... I think it was mac and cheese.  She would get so enraged, you would honestly think someone was really trying to hurt her... and in her own mind, she thought they were.

My parents have long given up, and given in.  My sister has flat out rejected whatever help she's been offered to this point, and whatever help she has gotten, she was forced into.  One time, she got sick, and didn't eat anything for 2 days.  This wouldn't be so bad for the average person, but for her it had extreme effects.  She was admitted to the hospital, where they discovered that her blood sugar was off the charts.... they even thought she was diabetic at first, until my parents admitted her problem.  She stayed in the hospital for two days, and this scared my parents enough to get her in to see a specialist.   It was the wrong help, for the wrong disorder.  They took her to a food and diet specialtist, who only tried to make her eat more foods.  They put her on some vitamins, and informed my parents on how to use her current pallet to make better meals for her... for example, she likes candy, and chocolate, provided it doesn't have caramel, nuts, or "foreign" coatings.   We don't know why she'll try most plain candy... but she did, so we used it.  They put her on these chocolate milkshakes made with whole fat chocolate frozen yogurt, as a supplement for some of the nutrients she lacks in her diet.  We changed our milk to homogenized, for it's added and un-skimmed properties.
What they couldn't do, was give my parents any answers regarding a diagnosis, or solution/cure to the disorder.   After less than 10 visits, they stopped taking her there. They didn't believe they were helping her. 

Instead of taking her somewhere else besides our family doctor (who was more useless than the diet lady), they gave up.  They drew their own conclusions, and convinced themselves that she will one day grow out of this.   Since then she's developed anemia.... which depending on the day, is or isn't a result of her eating habits.   Now she's a frail being.  She looks like she's pretty far into anorexia... which isn't at all the case.  Her skin is very pale, she's extremely skinny... but she eats and acts the same way a 400 pound person would.  She goes to bed around 8pm, and can easily sleep until noon the next day.  She's completely unactive... she rarely leaves the house... because she simply doesn't have the energy.

But, she's comfortable.  She would honestly rather harm herself and deal with those consequences, than to deal with the issue head on.  I can't really blame her too much.  She's been this way for so long, and my parents have given up at least 10 years ago.  Plus the disorder it's self is a very strong mental force that causes her to have delusions regarding the goal of recovery, which is for her to eat more foods.  It's not a conscience choice for her to be this way... it never was.   My parents, have chalked it up to it being her strong will.. and that's only because no one really knows what's going on.

Things took a drastic turn not too long ago.  Thanks to our growing need for networking, and the massive increase in television shows featuring odd lifestyles and illnesses of people, I stumbled upon a show called "Freaky Eaters".  The first episode I watched was of my sister... well it could have been.   This lady, like my sister, only eats french fries for lunch and supper, and even breakfast.  She has a couple other foods that she eats, but her "rules" for them are an exact discription of what my sister also does.  Everything has to be plain - no condiments.  Minor imperfections are scrutinized, and rejected if found.   They sat this lady down and asked her to eat a blue french fry.   This was rather interesting, and really pulled it all together for me.  It seems easy for us to look at a blue french fry, and think "that's just a blue french fry... won't taste any different, and if it does... who cares?" and we'd probably eat it without giving it much thought.  This girl began to cry.  Eventually she struggled and put the fry in her mouth, and began to chew.  It looked just like a contestant on Fear Factor, trying to eat a moose testicle.   This very much conflicted with her disorder.  It was different, and potentially harmful to her.  My sister would act the same way... you couldn't make her eat a blue french fry.. even though it's still a french fry... her favourite food.   Something in their heads make them have extreme delusions regarding food.   Nature gives us a system that prevents us from eating things that may harm us, or are not food.  There is one known condition that is like the opposite.  It's called Pica... these people have the urge to eat items that are not food, and that can be harmful to them.  They don't do it for the attention, or because they lack intelligence, it's a disorder... they lack that little thing that tells us not to eat things, and why.   I believe my sister has the opposite. Instead of thinking that everything is food, she thinks that actual food is harmful, or inedible.  Turns out, and this is amazing news, that this girl had a genetic problem that MAY play a factor in this.  It has to do with taste... there's genetic categories that determine whether or not, we'll be picky eaters.  It's how we calculate and examine taste, texture, and smell in our minds.  Some people are more sensitive than others... the more sensitive are the most likely to become picky eaters.  This lady didn't fall under any of the average categories... they didn't even have a definitive connection... they just knew her "tasting" genes are different, and can go as far as saying, dysfunctional or deformed.

It would explain we why can't convince her otherwise...  We've told her time and time again.  "If everyone else is eating it, and turns out ok, it will be ok for you to"  "trying new foods isn't so bad... you may not like it, but it's not the end of the world."  "who knows... you might just find your new favourite food"  "there's a reason why most kid's favourite food is pizza - it's fucking good!".... she can agree consciously... but when it all comes down to it... it's like trying to convince her that poison won't hurt her.

I don't know what to do.  She can't and won't do it on her own.  She's completely down-played the whole situation for the sake of not having to deal with it.  I know shes confused, concerned and what have you... but I don't think she really wants to change. It will be very hard for her, and I know it must be harder when she's got no one to relate to, and no professional answers to help her understand this for herself.  

I don't know how to convince her to find help.  I've tried, and failed at trying to convince my parents that this is something that cannot be solved on it's own, or without professional intervention.  They once thought they would find the answer, when they couldn't they thought it would go away on it's own, when it didn't go away on it's own, they left it up to my sister to decide and take action...which she hasn't.  What's next?

Uploaded 10/18/2010
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