How can I help my child with an Eating Disorder?

Families are an integral part of the treatment team, so the involvement of all team members is critical. The chances that your loved one will recover from an eating disorder will be increased if the family is involved. Many children find it helpful and encouraging when family members are part of their recovery. Getting help for yourself is very smart. 

Children and Eating Disorders

There has been an increased attention and focus to childhood obesity; however these efforts are becoming harmful to our youth.  Children labeled as overweight or obese from a young age may be more likely to experience greater struggles in life, such as low body image, a poor relationship with food, or an eating disorder. Just because a person is obese does not mean that they cannot develop an eating disorder. Nor, should someone’s eating disorder be overlooked because they are overweight. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case with obese children or adults.

  • Bullying used to be confined to the schoolyard.  Not anymore.  Today, bullying is evidenced in every segment of society in every possible venue from professional sports events to city transit buses. Relational bullying is escalating at a rapid rate throughout our country. This is bullying that transpires within female friendships. The bullying starts very young, as early as second and third grade in children, and can have profoundly negative long-term consequences such as eating disorders.
  • Cultural and societal pressure can have significant impact on a young person’s developing self concept.  These pressures are evidenced in television programming, magazines and social media.  Understanding the influence these mediums have on our children is a step in the right direction toward understanding why certain kids may be vulnerable to developing eating disorders.  Also, this article discusses the signs and symptoms of eating disorders that concerned adults need to understand. 
  • Children are increasingly developing eating disorders and there is a tremendous need for treatment for this special group.  Contributing factors such as: low self esteem, biological predisposition, cultural impact, trauma, and many other issues are behind eating disorders in kids.  Though anorexia and compulsive overeating are more commonly occurring among children ages 8 to 11 years, there are also cases of bulimia nervosa. A psychiatrist explores and shares her observations in the successful treatment of eating disorders for children with bulimia in this article.

    Getting help for yourself is very smart. Not only for your to help your child in a better way, and with better understanding, also for your own peace of mind. 
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