Eating disorders can occur for a variety of reasons. But it is important to understand anyone can ultimately develop an eating disorder. Adolescence can be a trying time for teens, especially those who struggle to foster and develop friendships with peers or who experience social ostracization. Teens and body image are strongly connected, as struggling with your body image can play a major role in the development of eating disorders.
Eating disorders can lead to serious medical and emotional problems, making it important to connect with treatment as soon as possible, as symptoms become more severe over time. If your teen struggles with an eating disorder, contact our North Carolina treatment center today.
Teens and Body Image
Eating disorders are linked to teens and body image. Each year, just under 3% of teens between the ages of 13 and 18 are diagnosed with an eating disorder. Teens are more likely to struggle with anxiety and conflict with peers than adults, as puberty, peer pressure, and academics can cause significant stress. Although teens and body image problems are common, only some teens who have a negative body image develop an eating disorder.
When teens feel rejected by peers because of their weight or appearance, they can believe that there is something wrong with their bodies. Many times, body image problems develop in teens who are a healthy weight. Bullying can make teens and body image problems worse. If peers make insulting comments about a teen’s appearance, it can cause anxiety, depression, and a distorted perspective.
These negative events can make teens and body image problems synonymous. When teens are struggling with mental health symptoms, it can be difficult for them to ask for help. Teens may worry about being judged for having an eating disorder or poor body image, which can create a barrier to accessing treatment.
Teens with a negative body image may:
- Make demeaning comments about their weight or appearance
- Attempt to alter their appearance
How We Treat Eating Disorders
With teens and body image problems common, eating disorder programs offer unique programs for adolescents. The reason it is important to start treatment early is that eating disorders can lead to serious medical problems, such as:
- Heart problems
- Organ damage
- Damage to the esophagus
While nutritional deficiencies can be remedied during treatment, they can weaken your immune system and impede growth. Factors like trauma, depression, and anxiety can lead to teens developing an eating disorder. That makes it essential to address the underlying cause to recover successfully. Failing to address underlying emotional problems can increase the risk of relapsing.
We treat eating disorders with evidence-based and holistic therapies. Since many teens with an eating disorder have a co-occurring mental health disorder, it is important to receive a psychological evaluation. A proper evaluation ensures that your treatment team develops an effective recovery plan.
At Foothills at Red Oak, treatment occurs at our inpatient teen eating disorder treatment center. An inpatient disordered eating program provides the highest level of care, which is perfect for teens with a severe eating disorder. Inpatient treatment programs provide access to medical professionals, which ensures that medical needs are identified and treated.
Finding Help Today
Because teens and body image problems are common, many teens struggle with eating disorders. Like other mental health conditions, eating disorders require treatment. Early treatment improves recovery outcomes, making it important to reach out for help when your teen shows signs of an eating disorder. At Foothills at Red Oak, we want to help your teen overcome their mental health condition and thrive. Contact us today at [Disorder] to discuss our teen treatment programs.