Eating disorders are and can be one of the cruelest and scariest mental illnesses a teen will suffer from today. At one time I was more up to date on the statistics but I think it has one of the highest morbidity rates of all the mental illnesses. What concerns me is all the hype and growing press around youth eating habits we are experiencing. The media is creating a society obsessing about weight, that is more detrimental than preventative. One minute we are telling our teens they need to be happy with whom they are and the next minute we are concerned about their lack of exercise and what they are eating. Obesity is a problem in our youth today, but so is anorexia. How do we balance the two?
I will admit I am and have been a bit obsessed with my health and eating habits. My kids luckily have always been on the lean side. Then one day, I learned one of my kids (at 14) became overly lean and I did not realize it. He was exercising and seemed concerned about health, which I thought was a good thing. Fooled me, later I learned he lost 10 pounds. A growing teen losing 10 pounds, not good. From that experience I was bombarded with information on how to eat, control issues and I also felt that our society, the doctors, really did not know how to deal with this disorder. It was not until he ended up at a special clinic that we really got help. Before he went into the program I was told just feed him get calories in him, give him anything, they were not treating the whole person or what was causing the EDO. Eating disorders cause physical, mental disabilities and lead to “body dysmorphia.” The saying is “it is not about the food”, the healing process takes place when you get to the root of the issues.