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Adolescents and eating disorders

October - 27 - 2018

It is not easy to identify a case when an adolescent is suffering from an eating disorder. There are various types of eating disorders and specialists have shared opinions when it comes to the factors that trigger this condition. We cannot refuse to admit that eating disorders are quite often, and adolescents seem to be the most affected ones. When a person is dealing with this condition, the chances they to also experience a mental health issue are quite high. Eating disorders are prevalent in the persons who are between 12 and 25 years old. Because their bodies are not fully developed, the effects of these conditions can be dangerous.

Why are eating disorders considered the deadliest mental conditions?

Statistics show that every hour a person dies because they are suffering from an eating disorder. Eating disorders are considered the deadliest of all mental disorders, because high death rates are associated with anorexia.

What impact has anorexia on adolescents?

Anorexia has life-threatening effects on the mental and physical health of people. The body is harshly damaged. The adolescents who are suffering from this condition are experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • Muscle loss
  • Infertility, because they compromise their hormonal system
  • Kidney failure because of dehydration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Abnormally slow heart rate
  • Increased risk for heart failure and heart disease
  • Weakness, fatigue, fainting
  • Brain shrinkage, because the brain does not receive the needed nutrition
  • Permanent loss of bone density

What causes eating disorders?

There are numerous factors that trigger eating disorders, especially in teens. Lately, specialists state that social media is one of the leading factors of this mental disorder. Media has a great impact on how adolescents perceive their body, and what role models they have. If they consider that their body does not meet the beauty standards established by social media, they will tend to eat less. Their body image is the one that makes them becoming anorexic.

In addition, other factors increase the risk a person to experience an eating disorder. Social, biological, genetic and psychological factors increase the risk of a person to become anorexic or bulimic. Some experts consider that people do not become anorexic because they want to get thin, but because they suffer from other underlying issues like anxiety, trauma or depression. They try to control these disorders by making changes in their diet and by self-medicating. They have the misconception that this is the best solution to manage their discomfort.

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