A teen eating disorder is a hidden disease. No one openly talks about it. But this is one thing that parents should watch out for, especially with their teenage girls. Teen mental health is a very complex condition. There are times that teens would have a drastic change in their eating habits because of so many factors.
Teens are still growing and they need to eat properly. Prolonged teen eating disorders can have a negative effect on health, and can even lead to death. It is very important to monitor their eating habits to avoid problems like this. If you think that your teenager needs professional help, then you need to look for the best residential treatment centers for teens.
Important Things That You Need to Consider
According to statistics, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness that was ever reported. Anorexia is the 3rd most chronic illness that can be commonly diagnosed among adolescents. There are over ½ of teenage girls and ⅓ of teenage boys who do unhealthy weight control practices like skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting and taking laxatives just to lose weight.
The Most Common Eating Disorders
There are different types of eating disorders that are diagnosable which are common among teenagers. But two of the most common are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Most people think that these two are the same. Truth is, these two are totally different disorders that you should understand.
- Anorexia is commonly associated with deliberately refusing to eat, or they intentionally decrease their amount of food consumption. Most of the time, the focus is the calorie intake. They often use laxatives to lose weight. They are obsessed with any food and will usually look very thin. Fatigue, insomnia, and dizziness are the most common signs. Thinning of hair, loss of menstruation, dehydration, constipation, and osteoporosis are some of the more severe effects of Anorexia.
- Bulimia is something that most parents will not usually recognize. Why? Because their children will still eat normally, or sometimes excessively. But right after, they deliberately expel their food usually through forced vomiting. This is a hidden secret that teenagers will usually hide. People who have this kind of eating disorder will normally have an average weight and are sometimes overweight.
Binge eating disorder is a disorder where an individual will commonly consume a large amount of food in an uncontrollable manner. A person will eat even when they are not hungry, and once they are full they will feel uncomfortable. Depression, guilt, disgust, and shame about eating will also be experienced. Unlike the other eating disorders, binge eating disorder does not compensate for the act of overeating. This is usually the result of failed dieting.
Eating disorders do not happen with girls alone. There is an estimate of 10-15% of males who have anorexia or bulimia. Sadly, most parents are not able to discover their kids’ eating disorder until symptoms are obvious and it’s already too late. No one realizes that these kids who have eating disorders are considered the good kids who are doing good in school, obey their parents and have a very healthy social life.