The teenage community today is based on the views and opinions of society. Though this may seem harmless on the outside, these opinions have become the poison apple of today’s culture, tearing teenagers lives apart. Specifically, teenagers are falling to eating disorders due to the pictures and habits in the everyday community. Large billboards of flawless models, magazines with dieting tips and get-skinny schemes flood the minds of teenage girls and boys, imprinting the thought that they are obligated to look perfect. Eating disorders have very serious health risks, which can be aided by extensive treatment. Specific habits and signs can identify each disorder.
The signs of anorexia nervosa and bulimia are vastly different. Girls that suffer from Anorexia tend to be perfectionists who want to control the amount of food consumed, where Bulimics tend to eat large amounts of food and purge the calories consumed. In anorexia, girls will start “Wearing baggy clothing, or clothing inappropriate for the season (long sleeves on a hot day)” (Is Your Child Showing Signs of an Eating Disorder?, PR Newswire). This is due to their need to hide the extreme amount of weight loss. Bulimics will hide their purges by spending a lot of time in the bathroom and running the water to cover the sound. Girls with these disorders are sneaky and manipulative. They will go great lengths to hide what they are doing. Although the person that is affected will be in denial these signs are easy to spot and more noticeable then they think. Some times these signs are what can save a persons life.
Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia are detrimental to the human body. Anorexia can lead to dizzy spells, irregular menstrual cycles, hair loss and breakage and eventually death. Bulimia can lead to damaged teeth, rips in esophagus, sores in the mouth and eventually death as well. The health risks are beyond physical but mental as well. Girls with eating disorders almost always have another psychiatric disorder. Some can suffer from depression and anxiety. Eating disorders are often classified as a “Dual Diagnosis”.
With the correct treatment, both disorders can be reversed. It is important for the patient to recognize their symptoms and realize that they are not alone in their situation. Parental support is normally the most important factor in recovery “”The most important thing a parent can do is listen,” says Susan McClanahan, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of anorexia and bulimia.” Treatment is the best answer and is an important step to recovery. Recovery is a slow process that needs a lot of understanding and patience. If the treatment is rushed the patient is more likely to fall back into old habits and relapse. These disorders should been taken seriously watched for in girls of all ages.
The ages of teenagers affected by the disorders varies greatly. “In the United States, as many as 10 in 100 young women suffer from an eating disorder.” (The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.) Due to societies pressure for perfection, the battle with each disorder is in many cases deadly. With the right treatment, severe health risks can be reversed and the disorder will begin to fade, as the signs of a healthy individual will shine through.
PR Newswire (2012). Is Your Child Showing Signs of an Eating Disorder? Journal of Business and Economics. http://aacap.org/page.ww?name=Teenagers+with+Eating+Disorders§ion=Facts+for+Families