According to a survey published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, a staggering 525,000 teenagers in our nation are dealing with an eating disorder. About 300,000 of these are struggling with a binge eating disorder, while 55,000 and 170,000 struggle with anorexia and bulimia, respectively.
There’s no doubt these numbers show an alarming link between teenagers and eating disorders. It is often problematic for a parent to recognize the signs. Rice Psychology Group knows that your children mean the world to you, so we want to help you identify the hidden signs of a teenage eating disorder.
Spotting the Signs
Excessive weight loss may be one of several signs that your teenager is dealing with an eating disorder. Unfortunately, not all signs are easy to spot. We encourage you to seek the help of a child psychologist if you notice your child:
- Hides food wrappers – If you find wrappers purposely hidden away in your teen’s drawers, under the mattress or behind the dresser, it could mean they’ve been overindulging.
- Pulls out of dinner plans – Teenagers dealing with an eating disorder often back out of dinner plans with family or friends. What could be happening? Eating alone may be a good way to hide habits such as overeating or not eating at all.
- Has become picky – Habits such as counting calories, nibbling around their food or eating small quantities may be normal for someone on a diet, but not for your growing child or teen. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean they absolutely have an eating disorder, but it could definitely be a sign.
- Comes up with too many excuses – It may seem normal for your child to say he/she already ate at a friend’s house or will wait to eat at school. However, if your teen constantly does this, they may be trying to hide their eating habits from you.
Getting on the Right Path
At Rice Psychology Group, we know that you’d do everything for your child or teen, and so will we. Our Tampa psychologists are completely devoted to helping people, young and old, deal with their behavioral or mental health issues. Let us evaluate your loved one and help them take the first step in the journey towards a better tomorrow.