Communication between parents and their teenage kids are, at times, rocky. It’s not uncommon for kids between ages 13 and 19 to shut people off, especially their parents, when it comes to feelings and emotions.
Even though this aloofness gives teens their much-wanted personal space, parents might miss out on the important aspects of their lives. Health problems could go unchecked, for instance. The symptoms of some behavioral and medical issues are hidden. Take eating disorders, for instance. Some teenagers may be going through a tough time, but they care not to show it during dinner time.
In this article, we’ll talk about signs that your teenager may be experiencing an eating disorder and when to them to a bulimia nervosa treatment center.
They Stash Food in the Bedrooms
Seeing your teenager bring a bag of chips to his or her bedroom is normal, but if he or she stashes a lot of chocolate bars, bags of chips, and jars of cookies, be wary. This might signal an eating disorder. Survey his or her room and check for hidden food or food wrappers. If you’ve uncovered a sizable stash, talk to your teenager about it.
They Play with their Food
If your teenager plays with the food on their plate rather than eating it, this might be a sign of an eating disorder. Teens might trick you into thinking that they’re eating when in fact, they’re just pushing bits and pieces of salad and potatoes around.
Moreover, if your teenager has become an extremely picky eater recently, then this might be a sign. So does being meticulous about the number of calories or grams of fat in the portion. It’s alright to be mindful of consumption, but if it worries excessively, and if they don’t eat a balanced diet even after all the calorie-counting, a visit to the doctor might be in order.
They Excuse Themselves Immediately after Eating
If teens always excuse themselves to go to the restroom immediately after eating, it might be a sign that they’re purging food from their bodies. Teens who eat but force themselves into throwing up right after is a tell-tale sign of bulimia.
Follow them discreetly to the bathroom to check. You can also opt to ask them, but chances are they’ll deny it.
Wears Loose Clothing
If your child suddenly wears loose clothing, even if he or she didn’t in the past, then this might be a sign that your child is hiding a dramatic weight loss. Healthy weight loss is gradual. If your teen’s weight drops all of a sudden, it’s a medical concern. In fact, extreme weight loss is one of the most dangerous symptoms of an eating disorder — it might require a visit to the doctor.
Not all problems have obvious symptoms, which is why it’s important to communicate with your teen and be mindful of how he or she acts. Your child might feel hesitant to talk to you about medical problems, but if you choose the right words and make them feel safe, then he or she will open up eventually. You are their safe space, after all.