How to Help a Child With Teenage Anorexia Nervosa?
Teenage anorexia nervosa can be a very frightening condition for the families that are dealing with it. Parents need to realize that children who begin experimenting with this form of weight loss will eventually suffer from other medical conditions as well. Therefore, it is very important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms related to anorexia as well as a few of the ways in which the parents can help the child deal with and overcome this condition.
The first thing that many parents need to remember is that the children who are dealing with teenage anorexia generally do not realize that this is a problem. They are often dealing with teenage self-esteem issues and they believe that what they are doing is going to benefit them. These children are often dealing with distortions related to body image and they way that they view themselves. These issues are very difficult to overcome and may be out of the parent’s realm of understanding and capabilities. Therefore, when parents believe that their child is suffering from anorexia, he or she needs to contact a mental health professional immediately. This professional will be able to help the child identify distorted thoughts and help them work on their self-esteem.
Next, parents or teenagers suffering from teenage anorexia can spend some time doing some background checking related to what their child has been viewing on the internet. Given the amount of information that is available on the internet today, many kids are spending time researching anorexia nervosa online in order to better understand how to plan meals, what they should or should not eat, and possibly even how to hide it from others. If parents find that their children have been looking at these sites then he or she may also be able to use this knowledge as a way to address the topic with their child. Open communication will definitely be needed to determine if the child is suffering from this eating disorder.
Parents will want to find a dietitian that can work with the child suffering from teenage anorexia. This individual will be able to help the child develop healthy and appropriate meal plans. It may be very important for the child to start eating more balanced meals at a slow pace. A dietitian will be able to help the child accomplish this while getting the vitamins and minerals that he or she needs in order to be healthy. This professional will also be able to help the child select foods that he or she enjoys eating and that the child believes are healthy for him or her. That is best for children with anorexia because they want to be able to have control over their food options.
Finally, some parents may want to discuss the possibility of antidepressants for their child suffering from teenage anorexia with a doctor. Because this behavior may be triggered by anxiety and depression, psychiatric medications may help the child by stabilizing the child’s mood and decreasing some of the anxiety that also co-exists with it. While medications may help some children, parents should realize that it would not help all children. Medication may not decrease the possibility of relapse either. Therefore, all of these issues should be discussed with the doctor.
In the book “Solving Teenage Problems” several other tips have been discussed to deal with teenage anorexia. Parents need to realize that anorexia nervosa can be caused due to teenage stress and depression, hence it is important to deal with the root problem. Various tips to deal with teenage stress and depression have also been provided in the book.