Most people have at least heard of anorexia or bulimia, and probably have a few ideas about who succumbs to these issues and what they look like. This, unfortunately, can lead family members and even medical professionals to overlook signs of an eating disorder in people who don't strictly fit the mold. Currently, the reigning image of the stereotypical eating disorder patient remains adolescent girls and young women, yet the body images that spur these destructive behaviors actually affect people of all ages and genders.
Recently, the regional news outlet Philly News shared the story of Tara-Leigh Tarantola and her teenage son, Zachary Haines. Haines had been severely overweight when he began shedding pounds at an alarming rate. He began exercising intensively and getting down on his food intake, but Tarantola explained that doctors, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals did not recognize the evidence of an eating disorder until the boy was hospitalized for malnourishment.
"We need the medical community, teachers, and even personal trainers to know the signs, know the stories, and be able to help these boys," she said. "I find it no different than assessing teenagers who may be addicted to drugs, cutting to hurt themselves, or who may be suicidal. Actually, this should be easier to spot. The medical facts are there along with the behaviors."
There is no single cause for an eating disorder, but perceptions about ideal body shape can certainly influence how adolescents see themselves. If you fear that someone you love may suffer from an eating disorder, don't hesitate to contact the experts at an eating disorder treatment center in Florida, like Fairwinds Treatment Center.