When eating disorders are discussed, they are usually stereotyped as issues that only affect females. One of the biggest misconceptions that eating disorders have is that they do not affect males. The truth of the matter is that a male could be just as susceptible to developing an eating disorder as a female although females do have higher statistics. The main difference with male eating disorders is that they are not as widely talked about because the stigma that is tied to this very serious condition emasculates boys and men from being the subjects of research. This unfortunate stigma also keeps males, including teens, from coming out about their eating disorder which withholds them from getting the treatment that they need. A male teenager’s eating disorder can become apparent to parents with a few warning signs.
- Rigid and restrictive diet
- Excessive worry about weight gain
- Going to the bathroom after every meal
- Obsessed with body image
- Worried about how others perceive their body
- Guilt and shame about eating habits
- Abnormal discomfort regarding food
- Using unhealthy actions to lose or gain weight
- Eating alone from embarrassment
If you feel like your teenager is suffering from an eating disorder with one or more of these symptoms, there are ways to comfort them and get them the help they need. Use of these strategic methods can help your teen to adopt a healthy relationship with food and healthy behaviors with their body going forward.
Be rid of negative self-talk
Give compliments to your teen that are authentic and genuine so you can help change the negative vibe to a positive one when it comes to body image. How you talk to one another can help to set the example of how they should talk to themselves.
Be a good role model
To get them to eat appropriately, you must do the same. Practice what you preach and utilize a healthy diet for yourself. Consult your pediatrician or a nutritionist if you have any questions or concerns. This service could make a world of difference and give you some good pointers as well.
Support their eating habits
Talk to your teen about healthy eating habits and making nutrition a priority without forcing the issue. Make healthy eating a normal family topic so that everyone is on the same page and support runs rampant in the home. You never want to make your teen feel bad about their situation but you should never skirt the issue of food for the sake of their comfort. Therapy is also a good idea so that your teen can get down to the root cause of their eating disorder which is not about the food. Eating disorders are not curable although there are ways to change old patterns into new ones with some encouragement and awareness.
Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center can help your teen with their drug and alcohol abuse. Our unique, adolescent, substance abuse program provides our patients with a customized and comprehensive level of care to maintain their sobriety.
Call us today to start living in recovery: