Teen Eating Disorder treatment are caused by mental illnesses generally characterized by their relationship to food and teens’ eating habits. Within this category, there are several different types of Teen Eating Disorders, the most common of which are Teen Anorexia Nervosa, Teen Bulimia Nervosa, and Teen Binge-Eating Disorder.
While sometimes Teen Eating Disorders can be regarded as lifestyle choices or unhealthy habits, it’s important to understand that they actually have psychological basis and can be very dangerous for teens, if they don’t get help. Because Teen Eating Disorders often become increasingly more extreme, and therefore more dangerous, over time, it’s important for teens to get professional help as early as possible, in order to ensure their physical and mental safety. One of the predominant reasons why eating disorders are so dangerous in adolescents is they can seriously disrupt the teens’ healthy development, causing negative effects to all different physical systems, including neurotransmitters and hormones. Because of this, when teens have an eating disorder for a prolonged period of time, this can make them very vulnerable to developing a Co-Occurring physical condition, such as malnutrition or unhealthy blood pressure, or a mental health condition or mood disorder, such as Teen Anxiety or Teen Depression.
Teen Anorexia Nervosa
Teen Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder in which teens are obsessed with going to extreme lengths to lose weight, including starving themselves or eating minimal amounts. Teens with Anorexia Nervosa have distorted views of their own bodies, so they’re actually unable to see how they truly look, and therefore, see themselves as much heavier than they actually are. This distorted perspective not only feeds the unhealthy behaviors, since teens will never see themselves as skinny enough, but also can make teens very defensive toward people trying to help them or suggesting there’s a problem. Furthermore, as teens constantly judge their bodies as not good enough, it’s common for them to also be harsh and cruel toward themselves in other ways, often leading to teens having a very low sense of identity and self-worth.
Teen Bulimia Nervosa
Teens with Bulimia Nervosa also struggle with extreme body issues and desire to be thin and control their weight, to the point where they purge food (usually through induced vomiting,) in order to minimize their intake of calories. Teen Bulimia Nervosa is usually characterized by continuous cycles of teens binge-eating and then purging and these behavioral cycles are closely tied to teens’ complex feelings and false belief systems both toward food and toward themselves. Usually, teens will binge-eat in order to try to feel better about themselves, and then feel guilty about eating, which leads them to purge the food. (In some cases, teens may use strategies such as laxatives or enemas, instead of vomiting.) Teens might also go through periods of starving themselves and also may incorporate extreme over-exercise, as a form of controlling their weight and/or punishing themselves for eating. Because teens with Teen Bulimia Nervosa often experience shame for their behaviors, they’ll hide their behaviors from others and/or try to mask their illness as simply a desire to be healthy.
Teen Binge-Eating Disorder
Teen Binge Eating Disorder is a mental illness in which teens essentially try to address underlying emotional stress or unhappiness by eating. Teens with Binge Eating Disorder eat without regard to actual hunger or need for food, but in order to avoid or override other forms of discomfort. Beyond the physical risks of this kind of repetitive over-eating, one of the biggest concerns regarding Teen Binge-Eating Disorder is that as teens continue to hide and ignore the real emotional issues they’re struggling with, they will descend into deeper unhappiness and stress in their lives. At the same time, they’ll also be developing harmful patterns of self-hate and negative coping mechanisms, as well as often struggling to form a positive sense of self and/or meaningful relationships with others.
Paradigm Treatment Centers Teen Eating Disorder Treatment:
At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we work with many young people who are struggling with Teen Eating Disorders and/or Co-Occurring Disorders. Our goal in teen eating disorder treatment is to support teens to make necessary, positive changes to their behaviors in order to ensure their safety and health, while also helping them to dig into the deeper emotional aspects of what their feelings and beliefs are, which are contributing to and/or forming the foundation of these behaviors in the first place. Unfortunately, many teen eating disorder treatment centers that only focus on behaviors may help teens to correct eating habits, but don’t help teens to process their habits at a deeper emotional level. Because of this, any number of triggers or forms of stress can easily cause teens to fall right back into their old habits.
In addition to these therapeutic priorities, we also focus on helping teens to rebuild a positive sense of self, including implementing new ways for teens to practice being healthy, reduce stress, maintain relationships, and cope with challenges in their lives. It’s very important to address the aspects of identity in cases of Teen Eating Disorders, in order to ensure that teens heal deeply with regard to how they see themselves not just physically, but as people who hold value.