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Archives de pédiatrie
Volume 21, n° 10
pages 1149-1152 (octobre 2014)
Doi : 10.1016/j.arcped.2014.06.003
La fratrie de l’enfant anorexique
Siblings of prepubesecent anorexic children
 

L. Noël a, , L. de Maynadier b, 1
a Service de psychopathologie de l’enfant et de l’adolescent, hôpital Robert-Debré, 48, boulevard Sérurier, 75019 Paris, France 
b Institut d’enseignement à distance, université Paris 8, 2, rue de la Liberté, 93526 Saint-Denis cedex, France 

Auteur correspondant.
Résumé

Dans un service spécialisé dans la prise en charge d’enfants souffrant d’anorexie mentale, les professionnels sont très souvent interpelés par le devenir des frères et sœurs de leurs jeunes patients qui sont confrontés quotidiennement à la maladie d’un membre de leur famille. Alors qu’il s’agit d’un sujet de prévention indéniable, les recherches dans ce domaine sont peu nombreuses. Cet article propose donc de donner quelques repères, tirés de notre expérience clinique, aux professionnels de santé susceptibles d’accompagner ces fratries afin de prévenir l’apparition de troubles anxieux, dépressifs ou encore de troubles alimentaires. Ces enfants ont en effet besoin d’êtres soutenus et guidés par leur entourage. Ils doivent aussi être informés sur l’anorexie mentale. C’est dans ces conditions qu’ils peuvent adopter des stratégies adaptatives adéquates qui préservent leur santé mentale mais également, au-delà, leur relation fraternelle et leurs relations familiales.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.
Abstract

As professionals working in a specialised unit for prepubescent anorexic children, we are very often concerned with the siblings of our young patients who are daily faced with anorexia nervosa. Although it is an undeniable subject of prevention, research on the topic remains scarce. Based on our clinical experience, this article thus proposes to give a few landmarks to health professionals likely to support these siblings in order to prevent anxious and depressive disorders as well as eating disorders. If guided, supported and informed on anorexia nervosa, siblings can adopt adequate coping strategies when confronted to their sibling's anorexic cognitions and behaviours. We also encourage parents to pay close attention to the needs of their other children, especially to remain receptive to the youngest ones or, if unavailable to find adult carers (grandparents, family, friends). We also guide these children, who are eager to help their anorexic sibling, to remain in a brotherly role. Siblings must be informed about anorexia nervosa. Such information enables them to have a better understanding of their sister's thoughts and attitudes. It also leads to a better understanding of the reasons why anorexia has such a significant impact on family routine, among other things by reducing parental availability. Beyond enabling siblings to adopt adequate coping strategies, such provision of support also contributes to the prevention of mental illness and the maintenance of adequate sibling and family relationships.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.
1  Psychologue libérale, 49, rue de La-Gourmette, 44300 Nantes, France.


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