By the time girls reach puberty, they are surrounded by peers trying to be thin enough to fit in. Many have dieted, purged or starved themselves before adolescence. These behaviors can turn into an addiction if not treated early enough. Though not as common, teen boys can have eating disorders as well, especially if they are athletes and need to be a certain size.
Eating disorders often go undetected because the desire to be thin is so accepted in our culture. Also, teens with eating disorders often look good on the outside. This is especially true with Anorexia, where teens are often over-achievers and go to great lengths to be accepted.
Eating disorders have many causes. If there are addictions in the family, then children can be predisposed to eating disorders and other addictions. Also, when family members turn to substances such as food, drugs and alcohol to deal with their feelings, it conditions children to do the same.
Solutions For Eating Disorders
Like alcoholism, an eating disorder is a disease that requires professional counseling, coaching and educational support. Therapy provides the opportunity for youth to share their experiences with a trusted mentor, express their feelings, and receive counseling for dealing with confusing situations and intense emotions, like anxiety or depression.
Often teens with eating disorders have physiological imbalances that need addressing. Therefore, we collaborate with doctors and other professionals in Marin to ensure that each teen receives the appropriate care they need on all levels.