Mental Health: Does Your Kid Suffer From An Eating Disorder? Look Out For These Signs
Remember that these signs are not conclusive evidence of an eating disorder, but they can help you recognise potential risks.
Promoting a healthy diet and a healthy relationship with food is important for better mental health
An eating disorder causes physical and mental harm to one's health. An eating disorder is when a person resorts to unhealthy eating habits due to poor mental health. Eating disorders can be of different kinds.
Identifying if your child is struggling with an eating disorder can be challenging, as they often try to conceal their behaviours and emotions. However, there are signs you can watch out for that might indicate your child has an eating disorder. Read on as we discuss some of the common signs of eating disorders.
8 Signs your kid might be suffering from an eating disorder:
1. Drastic weight loss or fluctuation
Noticeable changes in your child's weight can be a red flag. If they have lost a significant amount of weight within a short period or their weight fluctuates frequently, it might be a sign of an eating disorder. Pay attention to remarks about food, body image, and self-worth.
2. Obsessive calorie counting
An unhealthy focus on calories, macronutrients, or portion sizes may indicate the presence of an eating disorder. Your child may meticulously track their food intake, read nutrition labels excessively, or limit themselves to eating only a specific number of calories or certain types of foods.
3. Strange eating behaviours or rituals
Look for unusual patterns in your child's eating habits. This could include cutting food into tiny pieces, rearranging food, eating only specific food groups, or avoiding certain textures. These behaviours might indicate a restrictive eating disorder like anorexia or orthorexia.
4. Frequent bathroom visits after meals
Frequent trips to the bathroom right after eating may be a sign of purging behaviours, such as self-induced vomiting or using laxatives or diuretics. Be aware of signs like running water, long bathroom stays, or flushed cheeks after meals.
5. Social withdrawal or avoidance of social activities
If your child becomes increasingly isolated or avoids social gatherings that involve food, it could be a sign of an eating disorder. They may feel embarrassed or anxious about eating around others, which can lead to self-imposed isolation.
6. Excessive exercise or compulsive movement
Pay attention if your child becomes excessively preoccupied with exercising or engages in compulsive movement. They may spend long hours at the gym, participate in multiple workout sessions per day, or become anxious or irritable when they're unable to exercise.
7. Psychological and emotional changes
Eating disorders often come with psychological and emotional shifts. Look for signs of depression, anxiety, mood swings, irritability, low self-esteem, or perfectionism. Your child may experience intense guilt or shame around food or their body.
8. Secretive behaviours around food and eating
If your child starts hiding food, cooking secretly or becomes secretive about their eating patterns, it might point to an eating disorder. They might also express increased interest in cooking or baking for others while refusing to eat the food themselves.
Remember that these signs are not conclusive evidence of an eating disorder, but they can help you recognise potential risks. If you notice any combination of these signs or have concerns, it is crucial to seek professional help from a healthcare provider, therapist, or eating disorder specialist. Early intervention increases the chances of successful treatment and recovery.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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