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What You Must Know about Your Teens Eating Disorder-From Barrington and Crystal Lake, IL

Mar 6, 2008
Common eating problems for adolescents include compulsive overeating related to anxiety, depression and even food fads.

Also, anorexia nervosa and bulimia, are two psychiatric eating disorders that are on the increase among teenage girls and young women; also, they often run in families. In fact, it has been estimated that in the U.S. alone, as many as 10 in every 100 young women suffer from an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia also occur in boys, but much less often.

It is important to remember that the clinical psychologist is trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat these disorders. They are characterized by your teens obsession with food and the serious distortion of his or her body image.

How can you identify symptoms of these eating disorders in your teen?

Unfortunately, adolescents often are able to hide these serious disorders from those with whom they live for many months or even years. As a parent, you should be alert for various warning signs of anorexia nervosa and bulimia, including the following:

A teen with anorexia nervosa is typically a perfectionist and often a high academic achiever; however, she simultaneously suffers from low self-esteem. If your teenager irrationally believes she is fat, regardless of how thin she actually is or becomes, take note. Desperately needing a sense of mastery over their lives, these troubled teens experience a sense of control only when they are able to say No to their bodys normal nutritional demands.

If this is your teen, you will notice her almost single-minded pursuit to be thin by her drastic reduction in caloric intake. This dysfunctional behavior can even reach the point of inflicting serious physical damage to her and, though unlikely, even lead to her death.

In bulimia, rather than strictly starving herself, your teen would intermittently be binging on huge quantities of food, then purging her body of the calories by deliberately inducing vomiting or using laxatives. These binges would sometimes be interspersed with severe dieting which would result in dramatic and dangerous weight fluctuations.

Teenagers often attempt to hide the signs of vomiting by loudly running water while in the bathroom. Their caloric purging imposes a serious risk to your teens physical health; it can dehydrate the body, cause severe hormonal imbalances, seriously deplete important minerals and cause damage to the vital organs.

However, through the treatment of a psychologist, your teen can be relieved of his or her symptoms or reduce their intensity or severity. Therapy for eating disorders usually requires an interdisciplinary or team approach. This includes the use of individual therapy, family counseling, nutritional guidance and sometimes medication.

Your adolescent may also suffer from other psychiatric issues; including anxiety, depression, and alcohol or drug abuse and should get treatment for these as well.
Scientific studies demonstrate that early identification and treatment of these problems leads to better results.

If you notice symptoms of anorexia or bulimia in one of your kids, call a clinical psychologist who is experienced in the treatment of eating disorders.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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