If you’ve noticed that your teen has been eating erratically or you never see them eat at all, then they may suffer from an eating disorder. While there has been a lot of stigma attached to suffering from them, these conditions are very treatable. There are a lot of resources out there that can help support sufferers of bulimia, anorexia, and other disorders. But teens need all the help that they can get, and you should give it to them. Here are some ways you can assist them in their struggle.
Trust Your Instincts
It would be best if you caught the eating disorder early. The longer a person has a mental illness, the more difficult it is to recover from it. The problem is that even those who suffer from eating disorders don’t think there’s anything wrong with their behavior. But if you feel that there is something wrong, then you should trust your instincts. Look closely at their behavior and look for warning signs. If you do find something wrong, you should sit down on have an honest discussion about their behavior.
Immediately Consult With A Professional
If you do confirm your teen is suffering from an eating disorder, you should immediately go to a mental health professional. Teens are underage, so they can immediately undergo treatment as long as you can confirm it. For younger teens, you should first consult with your pediatrician. They should be able to refer you to eating order specialists who know how to work with those who are younger. For those who are nearing adulthood, a therapist would be an appropriate choice for consulting about their treatment.
Understand What They’re Going Through
You need to understand what your teen is going through if you’re going to help them out. The best way to do so is by having a long talk with them about what is happening. It can be a delicate conversation, but if you do it right, you will have a better understanding of what is happening and how they feel. It can also help reassure them and make them feel better about themselves. Your focus should be that you love them no matter what and that you will be supporting them the entire way. However, it would be best if you didn’t force it. Your teen will likely be secretive at first and will not want to open up. Just be patient and tell them that they can come to you anytime.
Look For Treatment Options That Work For Them
There is no single treatment option available for eating disorders. It takes a lot of effort to handle it. It is mostly a team effort and will require you to work with their doctors on how to get them back into good physical and mental shape. The first thing to do is to get them immediate medical treatment. If you’re lucky, their eating disorder has not negatively affected their health too much. But if it has, they will need to get back into a healthy condition. After medical treatment, they’ll need some nutritional counseling so that they can eat better. A nutritionist will be able to give you a meal plan on how they can get back into a good weight.
Therapy is the most important part of the treatment. It can help identify the negative behaviors and attitudes that led to the eating disorder. With the right approach, teens can replace these behaviors with something more positive. Therapy can also prevent future relapses by teaching them how to handle the stress and pressures that can lead to an eating disorder. There are three types of therapy available. Individual therapy is for a one-on-one meeting with therapists. Family therapy can also be an option, allowing you to participate in the healing process. It can help in ensuring that you can
Finally, there is group therapy. That can be very effective since it allows your teen to connect with a set of peers that can understand their condition. This can help a lot in their recovery.
Get Support For Yourself
While focusing on helping your teen, you should also know how to take care of yourself. Caring for a teen with an eating disorder can be very demanding and difficult. You should seek support on how to help your teen. Look for other parents of those with eating disorders so that you can help each other.
Facing an eating disorder means resolving a variety of issues ranging from body image to peer pressure. It can be difficult for even adults to handle it, so teens are facing an uphill battle. Showing your support in various ways can make it a lot easier for them to overcome these trials and come out on top.