Don't Ignore Your Instincts If You Fear Your Teenage Son Has An Eating Disorder
If you begin to get a suspicion that your teenage son is struggling with some type of eating disorder, it may be easy to quell this thought under the premise that eating disorders are only for girls and women. While it's true that eating disorders are more prevalent in women than in men, the reality is that men can struggle with this issue. In fact, 10 million American men will battle an eating disorder over the course of their lifetime, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. While anorexia and bulimia are relatively rare among males compared to females, 35 percent of those who binge eat are male. Here are some indicators that your teen son could need help for an eating disorder:
He Laughs Off Throwing Up
There's little question that teenage boys will engage in some questionable behavior during these years, and this could include things such as eating contests. If your teen occasionally gets challenged to eat a pile of chicken wings or hot dogs, it may not be a concern. However, if he has lots of stories about eating to the point at which he throws up, and then attempts to laugh off this scenario, it could be a concern. Many binge eaters consume food to the point that they're ill, and while you may be able to chalk up sporadic examples to "boys being boys," an eating disorder may be present if this behavior repeats itself.
Many Activities Revolve Around Food
While many teenage boys enjoy eating, your suspicions may be aroused if your notice a trend of your teen's activities often involving food. This could indicate that he is a binge eater. For example, if your teen struggles to do certain activities without excessive amounts of food, it's a concern. He may go to the movie theater and be unable to watch the movie without a large bucket of popcorn and a large soda. Or, he may not be interested in watching football on TV at home without a plate of nachos or a bowl of chips in front of him.
He Appears To Be Obsessed With Body Image
It's reasonable to expect that more teen girls are concerned with body image than teen boys. This doesn't mean that you should be worried if your teenage son seems focused on maintaining a healthy weight, but it is a problem if his weight is healthy and he wishes to get thinner. In such a scenario, binge eating won't likely be the issue — instead, he could be a rare male case of anorexia or bulimia. If you have any suspicions about an eating disorder, seek help for your teen from a professional right away.
Contact a center like Anorexia treatment centers by Center for Change for more information and assistance.