Disordered eating affects teens across the United States every day. Social pressure, fear of failure, and undiagnosed co-occurring disorders all impact a teen’s eating behaviors. Like many aspects of their lives, teens often hide food fears and eating habits from family and loved ones. They may binge or purge in secret or develop private food rituals. Disordered eating can often go unnoticed, and parents often struggle to provide disordered eating support for their teens. Disordered eating treatment programs can help teens establish healthy relationships with food and address underlying causes of eating habits. These programs also give parents tools to support their teens at home.
If you’re worried about your teen’s eating habits, Foothills at Red Oak Recovery can help. Our holistic programs help adolescent teens recover from disordered eating in the beautiful North Carolina wilderness. Call us today at 866.300.5275 to learn more about our disordered eating support systems.
Is Disordered Eating an Eating Disorder?
Many things can trigger a change in eating habits. Considered an unhealthy relationship with food, disordered eating is common. Irregular eating habits progress into anorexia and bulimia, which are also eating disorders. However, disordered eating covers a wide range of behavior and can be just as difficult to manage. These behaviors may involve symptoms such as:
- Body dysmorphia
- Binge eating
- Yo-yo dieting and fad dieting
- Food anxiety and calorie counting
- Guilt and shame related to food
- Food obsessing
- Feeling out of control around food
- Exercise and calorie restriction to balance binging.
There are also emotional signs and behaviors unrelated to food that accompany disordered eating. Teens struggling with food may exclude themselves from group meals and parties. They are preoccupied with calories, weight, and body image. They may severely restrict the food they eat (such as low carb, keto, or Paleo diets) for non-health-related reasons. Also, they often ritualize their relationship with food.
Any of the above signs can signal disordered eating. Teens also may show changes in weight, energy, and overall interest in life. It’s crucial to get teens treatment for disordered eating. Troubled relationships with food can cause long-term health problems, nutritional deficits, and other health challenges. For many teens, disordered eating may be a way of self-soothing. It can allow them control over their bodies during a difficult time of transition. Most times, professional help is the best way to help.
Disordered Eating Treatment and Support
Treatment for disordered eating usually begins with individual therapy. A therapist can assess behavior and diagnose underlying conditions like anxiety and depression that contribute to food behaviors. They can also help teens take time and space away from social media and identify other triggers that lead to disordered eating. Group and family therapy sessions can help establish communication and de-stigmatize. Many programs now include wilderness therapy to help teens connect to nature and rediscover food as necessary fuel.
Begin Holistic Treatment for Disordered Eating in North Carolina Today
If you’re not sure how to support your son’s disordered eating, the staff at Foothills can help. Our clinic serves adolescent boys struggling with a range of co-occurring disorders in the beautiful woods of North Carolina. We focus on individual, group, and family therapy to help teens reconnect with their loved ones and the world around them. Our clients thrive outdoors with our equine and large animal therapy. Through traditional and alternative modalities, teenage boys at Foothills build resilience for a long, healthy future.
Get your Son the Help He Needs at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
If you’re ready to help your son thrive, call Foothills today to learn more about our disordered eating support. Reach our staff at 866.300.5275 for more information.