5 Myths About Teen Eating Disorders

Here at The River Source, our youth program treats male teens, ages 13-17, some of whom have struggled with past eating disorders, which needs to be diagnosed and treated before coming to our facility. We can provide you with resources for your son’s eating disorder and line up substance abuse treatment following that. To treat the addiction, we develop a customized treatment plan that includes detox, counseling, holistic therapy and sober living.

Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness of adolescents, and it’s not limited to just females. Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control measures such as skipping meals, fasting, taking laxatives, smoking or vomiting.

While society does place extreme pressures on the young to be beautiful and thin, there’s more to teen eating disorders than just looking petite. Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.

If these young teens aren’t treated early on, they may develop another problem: substance abuse.

There’s a lot to learn about eating disorders and teens. Let’s take a look at five myths regarding teen eating disorders.

Myths About Teen Eating Disorders

Myth #1: Eating Disorders Are A Choice To Stay Thin

Teens don’t choose to have an eating disorder. Often times, they start by feeling pressure to be thin from friends, a parent, a coach or society in general. To lose weight, they make changes to be thinner and end up becoming obsessive in their attempts. Underlying mental illness can also contribute.

Myth #2: Teens With Eating Disorders Are Just Looking For Attention

When you first lose weight, it’s bound to bring positive attention and praise. But an eating disorder brings negative and unwanted attention over time that teens try to hide. They may start dressing in baggy clothing or pretending to eat in front of others. Eating disorders are not used for attention; they are typically hidden or denied for as long as possible.

Myth #3: Teens With A Normal Weight Can’t Suffer From An Eating Disorder

The young track runner with a normal weight wouldn’t be the stereotypical figure of an eating disorder, but not everyone with this illness is rail thin. That’s because eating disorders aren’t just about weight. They include issues with self-worth, control and obsessive thinking.

Myth #4: The Cure For An Eating Disorder Is A Healthy Diet

Many people think that the cure for an eating disorder is a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be more wrong. Healthy eating is essential to recovery, but there is more to be worked out, particularly if the teen suffers from mental illness.

Myth #5: Eating Disorders Are A Teen Phase That End Up Going Away

Developing an eating disorder is not a normal part of adolescence. If a teen develops unhealthy habits that are not addressed, they will continue well into adulthood. They can also lead to other problems such as substance abuse. It’s rare for any behaviors of this type to be malicious, so it’s critical that teens with eating disorders are given prompt treatment.

Addiction, Eating Disorders And Your Son

Helping your teen enjoy a long happy and healthy life in all aspects is our mission. Our team specializes in the treatment of adolescent males for drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. We want to see your son succeed, and can provide referrals to eating disorder programs near you.

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Welcome to The River Source, the place where new beginnings are created. We commend you for taking the first step in your recovery, and we want you to know that we are here for you.