Signs That Your Teenager May Be Struggling With An Eating Disorder

Every responsible parent wants his or her teenagers to be healthy, but the reality is that there are many health issues that teens can face. An eating disorder is something that may not initially have apparent signs. Although many people with eating disorders eventually lose enough weight that their struggle is evident, your teen may indeed be battling an eating disorder and hiding it from you. It's important to keep a watchful eye out for a series of potentially subtle clues that could suggest that your teen has an eating disorder. When you identify these clues, you can then work to get your teen help from a child psychologist who specializes in this subject matter, as well as any other relevant medical professionals.

You Find Diet Pills In His/Her Room

Generally, you'll have an idea about whether your teenager needs to lose weight or not. If you believe that he or she has a healthy body weight, it's a concern if you find diet pills or other diet-related products in the teen's bedroom. This is especially true if the pills appear to be hidden. There are a number of pills geared toward those attempting to lose weight, but this isn't necessarily a healthy way to shed pounds. Plus, if your teen has a healthy weight and shouldn't be dieting, you have a reason to be concerned.

There Are Inexplicable Wounds On His/Her Knuckles

One of the worst parts about having an eating disorder is purging after a meal. While a teen who has this habit may be able to disguise this behavior by running the shower or playing the radio loudly in the bathroom, there's one telltale sign that is difficult to hide. Those who purge will often have scrapes or wounds on their knuckles; these are caused when the knuckles grind against the top teeth when the fingers are in the mouth. If your teen can't explain this injury — or attempts to hide it from you — it could be a sign that an eating disorder is present.

The Teen Has A Weight Obsession

While many teens may be somewhat focused on their weight — for example, an athlete may be keen on keeping his or her weight to a certain range — those who suffer with eating disorders may often be obsessed with their weight. The teen could obsessively track calories, plan meals, and generally focus on what he or she is eating. This is a concern if the teen is of a healthy weight. For example, if he or she is counting calories and attempting to consume a low-calorie diet while already underweight, this could be an indicator of an eating disorder. If you identify one or more of these signs and believe that an eating disorder is present, get your teen help from a psychologist.