While it's true that both male and female teens face certain pressures that are inherent to growing up, adolescent girls are especially scrutinized for the way they look.
For most teenage girls, pressures to act a certain way, talk a certain way, and above all, look a certain way, are all-new and unfamiliar stresses. And, for many girls, living with these unfair and uniquely female standards to live by is all too overwhelming for their young minds to deal with. Needless to say, it's not uncommon for girls to feel as though they will never measure up to their society's overtly sexist and unrealistic standard for feminine beauty. Sadly, it doesn't take a behavioral expert to surmise as to why teenage girls are particularly susceptible to develop low self-images.
Society's Pressure For Girls To "Look Good" Are Irresponsibly Sexist
Make no mistake, American society's added emphasis on the importance of aesthetics for young women is unjust and overtly sexist. Additionally, these societal and sexist pressures to "look good" can easily cause a teenage girl to go to extra and unhealthy lengths to ensure they meet unrealistic, societal and personal, physical standards. Ultimately, these pressures to look 'good' cause millions of teenage girls to develop an eating disorder.
If a teenage girl develops an eating disorder, it is crucial for her to receive immediate therapy for her condition - failure to do so can potentially be fatal. More importantly, however, is the type of therapeutic treatment parents choose to employ for their daughter's potentially fatal condition. Whereas traditional therapy with a counselor may work for some of her mental issues, parents should instead opt for more intensive treatment, like that of a residential treatment facility.
Eating Disorders: A Severe Mental Illness
Eating disorders are made up of extreme eating habits that stem from a very severe, and potentially fatal, mental illness that should be treated for what it is: a disease. Unfortunately, since only 3% of teenage girls suffer from an eating disorder, extreme eating habits are also a mental illness that goes widely ignored - for which the lack of resources is deeply troublesome.
Lack of resources and awareness aside, the 3 % of teenage girls who do suffer from an eating disorder, live with a mental illness that puts them at risk of damaging their brain, teeth, kidney, or liver. In severe cases, girls can even die from their mentally ill-induced eating habits.
What Qualifies As An Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders are classified as any range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. Females are two and a half times more likely to suffer from an eating disorder than males. Although less common, teenage boys can be pressured into extreme eating habits as well. Nevertheless, there is good news; Although severe, eating disorders are behaviors that are highly treatable and can be reversed with proper therapeutic intervention.
The Three Most Common Eating Disorders Among Teenage Girls
- Anorexia nervosa
- Bulimia nervosa
- Binge-eating disorder
What To Do if You Suspect (or Know) Your Daughter Is Suffering From An Eating Disorder
If you suspect that your teenage daughter is suffering from an eating disorder, it is vital to act swiftly. But quick action is only part of it, you must also approach them in a calm and loving matter. In order to provide them with the confidence they so desperately need to overcome their psychological issues, your parental approach is paramount.
Approach your daughter with the love and care they need by first calmly addressing the elephant in the room. IT is crucial to come off as subtle and nonjudgmental as you possibly can. You might choose to say something like, “I’ve noticed that you aren’t eating much at dinner anymore. Are you OK?”It is important to allow your teen to talk while you listen to everything they have to say.
Lastly, tell your teenage daughter that you are here for her and that there is an abundance of treatment for their disease. Address the severity of their issue and then explain to your child that, although their condition is a serious one, there are many therapeutic treatments that can alleviate their symptoms and psychological need to suppress their eating intake.
After calmly addressing the severity of her mental issues, it is time to discuss treatment. Take the time to explain to your daughter that more traditional, less intensive therapeutic options, such as one-on-one sessions with a therapist might not be enough to save her from further pain and potentially fatal consequences. By this point, your daughter should at least appreciate why residential treatment may be her and your best option for saving her life.
Turning Winds: Expert In Providing Therapeutic Restoration In Girls With Eating Disorders
Turning Winds Academic Institute is a therapeutic boarding school in Montana that provides help for troubled teens and their families with an exceptional degree of success. Here, you’ll find the benefits of a wilderness program, a therapeutic boarding school, and a residential treatment center (RTC), all in one safe, beautiful, and peaceful location. Our clinical, educational, and operations staff are among the best in the country and share a passion for helping young people in crisis. But more specifically, our therapeutically certified staff is well-versed in providing therapeutic restoration for girls who suffer from an eating disorder.
For more information, please call us today at (800) 845-1380.