Eating Disorders And Teenagers

Teen Girls and Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are mental illnesses that disrupt normal eating patterns for those who are affected. Typical eating disorders include Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating, each with their own warning signs and risks.

Anorexia involves the self-deprivation of food due to a distorted body image. Those afflicted with anorexia have harsh food and beverage restrictions that prevent them from eating healthy amounts of food.

Bulimia is characterized by binge eating followed by purging the contents of the meal, in order to maintain an ideal body weight. Bulimics will purge the food from the binge eating meal by either vomiting, by utilizing laxatives or by excessively exercising.

Binge eating is similar to those affected by Bulimia, except there is no purging. A teen struggling with binge eating will feel helpless to stop their eating session and then become depressed over the realization of what they just did. Binge eaters typically use food as their escape from some serious issue that is plaguing them.

Common Causes of Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders And Teenagers Troubled Teens

Eating disorders in teens today are typically caused by a distorted body image created from constant media messaging. Those media messages reinforce that you must look or feel a specific way in order to be happy. Chemical imbalances can also be a cause of eating disorders.

There are numerous symptoms of an eating disorder that can be seen in your teen, including visible weight loss, signs of vomiting, an obsession about calories, regular trips to the bathroom after meals and a fixation on how much they weigh. Other tells that your teen maybe fighting an eating disorder include a perfectionist attitude, an inordinate amount of exercise and the tendency to wear baggy clothing.

Parents need to take an active role in helping their child fight an eating disorder. Parents should help their children become comfortable in their own skin, not falling prey to ideal stereotypes portrayed by the media.

Eating disorders can be treated a number of different ways depending on the situation that is facing your teenager. Individuals can overcome Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating with a combination of antidepressants and behavioral therapy. Both the antidepressants and the behavioral therapy seek to change inaccurate ideals towards food and body image.

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