Eating Disorder Counseling: Why Eating Disorders Are Never a Laughing Matter

One common problem among today’s growing population of self-conscious teens is eating disorders. This can be described as a seesaw of excessive eating and lack of food intake. Some teens go through several periods of normal eating followed by episodes of purging out whatever it is that they have ingested. It also includes cycles of binge eating and purging as well. Yet another practice among teens with eating disorders would be the non-eating of food. The most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia. This serious illness messes up or disturbs ones physical and mental health. If left untreated, the consequences may be severe enough to actually cause long-term health problems or even death.

An eating disorder stems from an obsession with food and weight. And with today’s standards of beauty, it is not surprising to know that millions of teens are starving themselves silly because culture and society dictates that beauty is defined by a Zero dress size and a twenty-four inch waistline. Teen eating disorder is more common in men than in women, perhaps because of the notion that “thin is in” and skinny is the way to go if one aspires to become a model. This can put a lot of pressure on females, who develop eating disorders because they are never fully satisfied with the way they look – even though they are of normal weight. We can also look to media as a major root cause of this problem, as advertisers continually bombard and influence young minds through magazines, TV shows, commercials and posters.

As earlier mentioned, eating disorders range from the non-intake of food and compulsive eating. There are about eleven different types of eating disorders but all of them need to be addressed and treated seriously. While we said that media is one of the biggest problems related to the development of an eating disorder, there are also several factors that one might look at to determine its root cause.

One such factor is addiction. People who are at risk for substance and alcohol abuse are often more susceptible to feelings of inadequacy which may be unintelligently dealt with by binge eating or purging. Taking in food or purging brings an immediate feeling of gratification for the addicted person. This gives him or her a sense of power in control, especially if he feels that none of the other important areas of his life are within his command.

Others may develop an eating disorder as a way of coping with parental problems. When a teenager has difficulty separating from parents who dominate her life, and has difficulty communicating with them, she might feel the need to turn to (or turn away from) food as a way of coping.

Jeff Dodd is an expert in the field of Binge Eating Treatment []. Come by [] for more info.

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