How to detect eating disorders (in adolescents)

With the arrival of summer, complexes also occur and especially among young people and adolescentsThey are related to your physique. These can lead to food problems, extreme and / or miraculous diets, destructive behavior, ingestion of “drugs” …

In this article we will see some warning signs, no alarm, to be able to detect a possible eating disorder in time.

What are the most common eating disorders in young people?

but before we will broadly define the two disorders that most concern parents of adolescents:

1. Anorexia nervosa

It is the refusal to maintain a normal weight according to age and height. Intense fear of gaining weight even below ideal weight, distortion of body image and denial of the disease. This usually results in amenorrhea (absence of periods).

2. Bulimia nervosa

Refers to the Pexcessive reoccupation with food resulting in repeated episodes of binge eating of food as well as the practice of extreme weight control measures (vomiting, abuse of laxatives, drug use, fasting, …) –

We must keep in mind that these disorders arise not only from poor acquisition of eating habits, but also from a combination of emotional, family, social and cultural factors.

The importance of prevention

Eating disorders (anorexia or bulimia) and obesity are problems where prevention is very important to be able to avoid them. These are really serious disorders and it is important to know that their consequences are very negative and that they affect all areas: personal, physical, social, emotional, discrimination, malnutrition …

Behaviors and signs that indicate that a person has an eating disorder

Certain behaviors and behaviors can alert us that something is wrong. Here are some warning signs, even if we detect some of them, it will be essential not to be alarmed and to go to a professional to guide and advise us.

Warning signals (no alarm)

  • Intentional restriction of high calorie foods
  • Decrease or excessive consumption of water or fluids
  • Strange behaviors linked to the habit of eating: eating standing up, cutting food into small pieces, ending up looking for excuses to move …
  • Increased physical activity or even compulsive exercise
  • Increase in study hours
  • Decreased hours of sleep
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • depressive symptoms
  • Excessive weight concern
  • Image disturbance
  • Denial of feelings of hunger, thirst, sleep and fatigue
  • Disinterest in leisure activities
  • Storage of food in different places
  • Intensive consumption of sugar-free chewing gum
  • Excessive smoking to reduce food anxiety
  • Rejection of social meals
  • self-induced vomiting
  • Decreased school performance
  • Denial of the disease
  • Difficulty concentrating and learning
  • To feel guilty
  • low self-esteem
  • Intense social life with intervals of isolation

Guidelines for helping a teenager with worrying symptoms

It will be necessary, at all times, to support the adolescentLet us not forget that the person suffering from some of these disorders suffers from a very difficult emotional situation and will need the support of his environment and in particular of his parents and his family.

They tend to have low self-esteem which makes them uninteresting which creates great insecurity and high anxiety states for them. In addition, they often have social problems, they can feel isolated, victims of mockery from friends or excessive pressure. Parents and families should prevent boys and girls from thinking that their looks are the most important thing for successful development in society.

Individual, family and social support

Therefore, what parents should do is promote the factors that will protect the child and future adolescent from these and other disorders:

  • Promote family cohesion, Provide good role models, display cultural values ​​about bodily beauty in accordance with health, improve self-esteem, self-confidence and self-efficacy, provide social resources and enable them to solve problems, d ” be aware of and adjust the expectations of parents. ..
  • Promote good eating habits, As well as the knowledge of the need to maintain a good diet and to promote self-esteem and self-confidence. These will be the essentials.
  • Sharing meals with children, Explain to them the consequences of a bad diet, teach them good eating habits and schedules from an early age, develop their self-esteem with them, make them feel able to cope with problems and concerns, encourage understanding and trust in parents who judge or blame children. .. parents and children should share their interest in good nutrition and parents should be role models.

We cannot demand what we don’t do, that is, if parents eat poorly or in a disorganized way, they cannot ask their children to have good eating habits, because these are the parents who are responsible for teaching them what the correct guidelines are.

If we are able to apply these guidelines and tips, we will be able to help the young person with eating problems. But it will also be essential to have professional support in order to cut the causes of the disorder.

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