Here at Fairwinds Treatment Center, we know how devastating it can be to watch your child struggle with an eating disorder. Anorexia is one of the most common eating disorders among American teens, and it can take an enormous toll not just on the victim but on their loved ones as well. So how do you know if your teen might need treatment for anorexia? Here are some warning signs:
- Loss of weight or lack of gain:
Some children and teens who unhealthily restrict their food intake may become dramatically thinner, which is a definite warning sign of anorexia. A growing child whose weight has hit a plateau could potentially have a problem.
- Health problems:
Keep an eye open for unexpected health problems, such as spontaneous bone fractures, anemia, hypotension, hypertension and amenorrhea (lack of a menstrual period). These can all be indicators of a possible eating disorder.
- Symptoms of anxiety, depression or other psychological issues:
If you suspect that your child may suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder, they may be more vulnerable to eating disorders. Writer Harriet Brown shares the story of her daughter's fight against anorexia and depression in the memoir Brave Girl Eating: A Family's Struggle with Anorexia.
"I watched as the upbeat, affectionate, empathetic girl I knew became furious and irrational, withdrawn and depressed, obsessed with food but unable to eat," Brown writes.
Underlying, undiagnosed psychological, mental and/or emotional issues often cause or exacerbate eating disorders. That's why Fairwinds Treatment Center uses its unique dual diagnosis methodology to help heal patients minds, spirits and bodies. Internationally recognized eating disorder expert Dr. Pauline Powers employs personalized combinations of therapeutic counseling and clinical treatment to promote a lasting recovery.