With eating disorders having the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses, parents in today’s world have to sons are not falling victim to the disease called anorexia. Children as young as seven-years-old are developing eating disorders.
Some harmlessly begin a diet because an image of a celebrity made them feel fat. In a world where thinness is praised by every model picture you encounter, by other children and even teachers at school, some young people with other problems that may be completely unrelated to weight, possibly social anxiety, depression, or issues at home, may channel those anxieties unto their body and perceive that fixing them can be achieved by “fixing” their unappealing body.
The reasons for how anorexia develops in a child or an adult are vast. Whatever the reason, parents have to always keep their eyes open for telltale signs that a child may be developing an eating disorder. What follows is an extensive list of what to look out for, but please be reminded that not every sign in isolation is a definite signal of a child having an eating disorder. It may be a sign of a different problem. – Has your child started eating less at dinner time?
Has your child been asking for portions that are smaller than usual? This is sometimes a sign that they may be trying to restrict their food intake. Has a previous healthy, joyful attitude towards food suddenly changed? This may be a sign that their attitude towards their body has also changed, or, if their body image has always been negative, it may be progressively worsening.
Have you noticed your child not eating amongst friends, during social gatherings, or eating unusually small amounts of food when around other people? for such behavior like sickness, having already eaten enough, or simple loss of appetite? One needs to watch out for these signs occurring frequently. – Does your child have a sudden interest in becoming a vegetarian or vegan?
Do they no longer have an interest in some of the fun snacks they used to eat? While it is certainly a good and commendable thing that a child would change a junk-filled food diet to a healthier one, it is developing an unhealthy obsession of trying to control or lower their weight. A radical dietary change often times serves as a warning sign. With a vegetarian diet, it is easier to not get a sufficient calorie intake or to fool others into believing that you are getting enough calories.
Eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods does not mean that you are getting enough calories to sustain the body. When you see your child eating a salad, you may feel proud about the wise choice, but you may neglect to think about the calorie intake because you’re probably thinking, “Well, if it’s healthy, she must be getting what she needs.” It is important to remember that not only adults are perfectionists. Children are the same, especially with pressure from their parents and peers.
Tiny failures in life like receiving a bad grade, being constantly reminded by loved ones that they are too lazy are internalized. What they cannot control around them, they try to control internally. Fighting the urge to eat can make someone with anorexia feel accomplished.
To conquer feelings of being a failure, they conquer their body. Many anorexia sufferers search for a feeling of inner emptiness from within the cleanliness, purity, and ultimately, success. – Has your child started doing liquid fasts, other types of fasts, and various diets? This is a big warning sign. Unfortunately, because diets seem like such a normal, common thing among women today, seeing your child doing it may not register any type of alarm to you.
But the younger a child is, the more alarmed you should be if they make the middle school or high school is athletic, talks about fasts unhealthy preoccupation with weight. It was once believed that a person had to look anorexic and emaciated to actually have developed the disorder. But many overweight girls are on “anorexic diets” to lose weight.
The problem is, once they get to a regular weight, often times the goal weight just keeps getting lower and lower. Someone suffering from anorexia will always set a goal weight they believe they will feel comfortable with, but once they reach it, the goal always decreases.