Eating Disorders And Teenagers
Teenagers are more prone to developing eating disorders than any other age group. This is understandably a big concern for parents. Eating disorders can be caused by multiple factors, from low self-esteem to fear and distress.
Many teens will start practicing extreme habits such as refusing to eat or over-exercising as a means of coping with these issues. This can lead to a number of health issues and can even put their life at risk. If you suspect your teenager might have developed an eating disorder, ignoring it is the wrong tactic to use. Instead, you should tackle it head on using the advice in this guide to help you.
Create a journal
As soon as you start to suspect that your teen might have an eating disorder, start a journal. In this journal, you can log information regarding your teen’s appearance and eating habits. This can provide evidence and back up your concerns when talking to your teenager and medical professionals.
You might also want to keep an eye on their internet history. There are many websites and social media pages that encourage and promote eating disorders of all kinds. So checking to see if your teenager has accessed these sites can also confirm your concerns.
Talk to your teenager
Talking to your teenager about your concerns is not the easiest task in the world. Some parents even put off starting the conversation. But this is a vital first step in your teenager’s recovery process. Let them know that you’ve noticed changes and feel concerned about their eating habits and their appearance. Listen carefully to their response but don’t be surprised if they become angry or deny that anything is wrong.
You may need to approach this topic a few times before you make any progress. Remember there are varying reasons why your teenager might have developed an eating disorder and no two cases are alike. Your child might want to lose weight to fit in at school or use food as a comfort when they feel sad. Encourage them to open up to you and that you won’t judge them.
Start searching for help
Despite what they may think, your child will not be able to overcome their eating disorder with willpower alone. They will need professional care not only to help improve their physical state but their psychological state too. Finding the cause and learning how to deal with it is crucial and can give your teenager a new perspective about food and their body image.
Starting looking at rehabilitation centers that specialize in teenage health such as Adolescent Growth. Contact the staff and learn how to get the process started. You should also take your child to see a doctor, who provide examinations and test and help to diagnose your child’s disorder.
It can be upsetting for a parent to see their child go through a suspected eating disorder. But it’s important that you put your own feelings aside and make them your priority. All eating disorders have the potential to be life threatening so the sooner you act, the better.