Spotting An Eating Disorder In Your Teenager: 4 Signs

Anyone can develop an eating disorder, although it's very common in young adults and teenagers. Both males and females can develop an eating disorder. If you have a teenager, you're probably keeping an eye out for other things such as drug or alcohol usage, or you may be watching for signs of anxiety or distress, but you may not have thought to be concerned with an eating disorder. If you aren't sure what to watch for with an eating disorder in your teenager, read on for a few signs to keep an eye out for. 

1. Avoiding Eating Meals

If your teenager is suddenly missing from your dining table for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it may be because they're avoiding eating altogether. If you haven't seen your teen eat in a while, and you've seen a noticeable change in weight, it could be an eating disorder. Avoiding food altogether is one of the biggest signs of an eating disorder. Your teen views food and eating as a form of punishment and will use it to punish themselves in order to lose weight. 

2. Exercising Excessively

If your teenager has picked up an exercise routine and is constantly exercising, or is exercising to the point of complete exhaustion, it may be due to an eating disorder. Exercise is good for everyone, but there is a point when it becomes dangerous or bad for your teen's health. This is especially true if it's causing your teenager to pass out, as the lack of proper nutrition and too much exercise may cause light-headedness or a loss of consciousness. 

3. Mood Swings Or Lack Of Focus

Teenagers all experience mood swings. It goes hand-in-hand with the change in hormones, but if these mood swings are unbearable, and your teenager is lashing out for no reason at all, it may be due to an eating disorder. Your teenager may also have a lack of focus as well and could be exhibiting issues with focusing at school, or focusing on any task in general. A lack of food and water can all cause these things.

4. Poor Body Self-Image

If your teenager is always making negative comments about their body image or making comments about how "fat" they are, it could be an eating disorder, and these negative comments shouldn't go ignored. These comments are a cry for help, and you need to listen. 

As a parent, you don't want your child to do anything that can harm their health. An eating disorder is harmful to their health, both physical and mental. Be sure to get your teenager treatment for their eating disorder. Don't ignore these signs. Talk to a treatment center about how to go about getting your teenager help and what other signs to watch out for. For more information about eating disorder treatments, talk to a local treatment center or doctor.