According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common eating disorders are Bulemia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder. These eating disorders can have a devastating effect on teens, and are more prevalent in girls than in boys. Bulemia Nervosa is a cycle of binge eating followed by behaviors such as self-induced vomiting. Anorexia Nervosa is trying to maintain a below-normal weight and distorted body image through starvation, food restriction or too much exercise. Binge Eating Disorder is frequently eating unusually large amounts of food in one sitting and feeling out of control in regard to eating.
Although the exact cause of eating disorders is uncertain, there are factors which may put teens and adults at risk for developing one of the above disorders:
The Mayo Clinic offers certain signs that may indicate a possible eating disorder or the early onset of an eating disorder. Keep in mind, however, that the signals listed will vary depending on which eating disorder a person might have:
If a parent sees any of these signs, it is important to seek professional help. Do not rely solely on discussing the situation with your teen. Eating disorders can be life-threatening. Treatment for an eating disorder will vary depending on which disorder your teen has. It can include family and individual therapy, medication, and/or hospitalization.
Parents can reduce the chance of their child developing an eating disorder by:
Eating disorders can be very serious and life-threatening. Do not hesitate to seek help for your teen if you suspect a problem in this area. Our counselors are ready to help with preventative strategies or treatment interventions. We are ready and willing to be part of your support group and journey toward wellness. Give us a call.