Teen Anorexia is a serious mental illness, in which teens have a distorted perception of their own bodies and therefore view themselves as being overweight, which leads them to consistent and extreme efforts to lose weight, including eating very little or starving themselves; exercising excessively; purging their food; and more. In addition to these unhealthy eating behaviors, teens with Anorexia often have extremely negative views of themselves in general and a low sense of self-worth. This can cause serious disruptions to the teens’ development of identity.
When teens are struggling with Anorexia, they do not see themselves as they really are. Physically, they see a different from than the one they actually have. Mentally and emotionally, the often view themselves as being invaluable and insufficient. Because of this, teens will continue go to extreme measures to drop weight and will never believe they are thin enough. These obsessive behaviors and perceptions can cause teens to behave recklessly with their own bodies, and can lead to considerably negative symptoms.
Some of the symptoms commonly associated with Teen Anorexia include: dry and brittle skin, growth of unusual body hair, brittle nails and hair, brain damage, low body temperature, extreme fatigue, disruption of hormonal balance and endocrine system, thinning of bones, and sleep disturbances. Because of malnutrition, it’s also not uncommon for teens to experience organ damage or failure.
Beyond these physical symptoms, teens with Anorexia often suffer from Teen Anxiety, Teen Depression, distorted belief systems, and other behaviors of self-harm, such as cutting. While teens with Anorexia don’t see themselves accurately physically, they will often hide their behaviors from others and/or go to extreme lengths to defend their eating behaviors as attempts to just stay healthy or fit. These attempts of secrecy can lead to tension in their relationships, especially as they may be defensive toward anyone who expresses concern regarding their weight and/or eating habits, and may often isolate themselves as a result. Moreover, it’s also common for teens with Anorexia to become so obsessed with their weight and eating habits that the illness causes negative effects in other areas of their lives, including academics, extracurricular responsibilities, and their relationships.
Paradigm Treatment Centers Teen Anorexia Treatment:
At Paradigm Treatment Centers, we provide residential Teen Eating Disorder Treatment for all eating disorders, including Teen Anorexia Treatment. The first priority of treatment is to ensure teens’ physical and mental safety throughout their time here. This includes implementing nutritious eating which will support their overall well-being, and especially their mental clarity, energy, and quality of sleep. These practices are always incorporated alongside meaningful conversations with therapists, surrounding the teens’ thoughts, feelings, and belief systems surrounding food and their bodies. Our therapists are incredibly patient, supportive, and understanding of how difficult and uncomfortable these new eating behaviors might initially be for teens with Anorexia, and work with teens to ensure that they feel supported and respected, each step of the way. In some instances, the treatment team may also incorporate exercise programs and/or other practices that contribute toward helping teens to rebuild healthier views of themselves.
Beyond ensuring and supporting the physical safety of teens, the priority of our Teen Anorexia Treatment plans is to support teens to address the underlying sources of tension and emotional pain which have caused them to see themselves in this distorted way and which trigger their current harmful behaviors. In this sense, the goal is not only to help teens to improve their eating behaviors, but to heal how they view and care for their bodies and for themselves as human beings. In order to accomplish this, while in Teen Anorexia Treatment at Paradigm Treatment Centers, teens will receive individual therapy sessions every day, in addition to numerous other group therapy sessions and activities. We also provide supplemental services such as Academic Support, Recreational Therapy, and other practices which we incorporate to add positive presence to teens’ lives. The result is our Teen Anorexia Treatment programs don’t just help teens to heal their bodies, but to heal as people on all levels, and become empowered to care for themselves and to live their best lives.