The rising trend of adolescent eating disorders.

Adolescence is such a hard time in which bodies are beginning to change, and children become more conscious of their image. It is also a time in which development of an eating disorder is more common. About 40% of the adolescents that are diagnosed with an eating disorder will be female between the ages of 15 and 19.

Adolescence is a time, in which our images about ourselves are formed and unfortunately our young people, who are going through this confusing time in their lives, tend to look to the media, be it fashion models or television celebrities, as role models. All too often to the young and developing mind, they see this body image as acceptable within society and strive to achieve what they consider to be “ideal.” Adolescents who have an eating disorder will do what ever it takes, to make them selves fit within that ideal.

Although, this can be a contributing factor to adolescent eating disorders, there are other causes such as; the family’s attitude on weight issues or if a family member has an eating disorder. Also, standards within athletics such as for gymnasts, ice skaters, wrestlers and so on, can put a lot of pressure on the adolescent to maintain what those fields consider as ideal body weight. Adolescence is a time of high emotions and chemical changes within the body, it can be very confusing time to our young people. Lack of self-esteem and a negative body image often can be the cause or the initial factor in the development of an adolescent eating disorder.

Often the adolescent who suffers from an eating disorder, have a tendency to view his or her life as one of being out of control. So the adolescent with an eating disorder, tends to be one that is experiencing a lot of stress within their life and uses food or the lack there of, as a means of controlling it.

Unfortunately adolescent eating disorders are on the rise, not only because of peer pressure, the media and the like, but now there are large online communities known as “Pro Ana” or “Pro Bella,” in which the adolescent who suffers from an eating disorder can connect with other adolescents who also suffer from eating disorders. Often this is to share tips and methods in which they can help each other maintain what the communities have termed “their lifestyle choice.”

All too often for the parent of an adolescent with an eating disorder, by the time it is recognized, the adolescent is already deep within the disease and professional help is more than likely needed. Treatment for an adolescent eating disorder is a long process that addresses not only the physical issues of an eating disorder within your adolescent but also addresses the psychological needs, as it is generally believed that all eating disorders amongst adolescents begin in the mind.