It can be difficult for parents and family members to understand that pre-teens and teens can have significant issues with body image. Situational awareness is a key asset and can help identify the signs and indicators of an unhealthy lifestyle before it gets out of hand.
In some cases, parents can be focused on weight, appearance and equate this to health. The obsession with equating a skinny appearance to a healthy body may be an issue throughout the family, or with one parent. Kids are very aware of the weight loss or atypical behaviors they are using and may hide the change in their body with layered clothing, isolating themselves and changing their eating habits. This is done in an attempt to disguise their restrictive diets or their obsession with exercise and weight loss.
It is critical for parents to understand that eating disorder treatment in Los Angeles has a high success rate when there is a holistic treatment option. Treatment is not just about learning what a healthy weight is; rather it is about learning to love yourself. Having the ability to see yourself as successful and healthy individual is the key to change the link in your mind between weight and the ability to have self-worth and the love of others.
All eating disorders have two components that are important to address. Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating have both physical components as well as mental health components. When there is an early intervention, this means that physical damage from highly restrictive diets are limited. This means there is less risk of serious health implications both short and long term time periods.
Early intervention is also essential in allowing the teen to develop a healthier understanding of self and an ability to truly love and care about themselves. It is not uncommon for individuals with eating disorders have a distorted view of themselves and will see themselves as “fat” and unattractive, no matter what their actual weight and body size may be.
The earlier that eating disorder treatment is started, the lower the risk that health issues will also have to be addressed prior to treatment. For young men and women early help also means they are able to learn coping skills about weight, control, body image and self-esteem that will assist them in achieving their goals in a healthy manner.
Patience and Understanding
For parents in Los Angeles and around the country, eating disorder treatment is often a very different experience than what they ever thought their child would have to participate in. However, when parents are supportive of the treatment and work with the facility to become educated about eating disorders, they are an essential and critical part of short and long-term recovery.