Sarah is a healthy and happy child. She gets along well with her siblings and consistently gains good grades. She pushed herself to become captain of her cross-country team. During the annual physical exam, Sarah’s paediatrician found out the Sarah has lost 15 pounds from the previous year and her period has stopped altogether in the past nine months.
Sarah’s mother noticed that her clothes no longer fit her well. They looked loose on her body. However, the mother did not find anything strange with Sarah. When she was asked whether Sarah is eating well, the mother suddenly remembered that Sarah no longer eats dinner with them. Sarah always claims that she is not hungry.
Sarah’s story is typical that of a young woman suffering from eating disorder. Eating disorder is a complex group of conditions that usually result into weight loss or the failure to gain weight. Some individuals can suffer from eating disorder even if they have normal weight or excess weight. Children are susceptible to eating disorders because they are often praised when they start losing weight.
The root of the problem is not always food but coping up with negative emotions and feelings through eating. When an individual suffers from anorexia nervosa, she fears gaining weight because she might become fat. The intake of food is limited or restricted to maintain an ideal weight. However, they have a distorted image of themselves. They fail to see themselves as skinny or thin. When advised to gain weight, they are upset and feel uncomfortable.
Being underweight can result into serious health issues. On the other hand, those who suffer from binge eating try to compensate by exercising excessively or forcing themselves to vomit. Children with eating disorder do not fit these categories but their eating habits are odd. They refuse to eat certain food groups.
If you suspect that your child might be suffering from eating disorder, consult with a psychologist in Melbourne immediately to address the child’s health issues. Psychologists have the experience to treat eating disorders that usually start at a very young age. The emotional and nutritional needs will be assessed to provide the necessary treatment.