If you discover that your child has an eating disorder, you may feel scared and disoriented. The last thing you want, then, is to further muddy the waters by believing false information. Unfortunately, many myths related to eating disorders in children make treatment more difficult for the affected children and their parents alike. To help provide some truth in the midst of chaos, here are four of the most common myths about eating disorders in children and the truth behind them.
It’s All My Fault
One of the first things that many parents think when they hear that their child has an eating disorder is, “It’s all my fault.” Although, that’s almost never the case. While there are certain comments that can trigger certain feelings in someone with an eating disorder, an eating disorder is largely linked to biological and environmental causes based on how an affected individual perceives the world around them.
They’re Doing it to Be Rebellious
Since an eating disorder is a negative behavior, some parents assume that their children are simply continuing in their disorder to be rebellious. However, once a child is in the throes of an eating disorder, they give very little thought to how it affects other people. Largely, an affected child is concerned with how they view themselves, an image that is grossly twisted due to the effects of the disorder.
It’s Because They Watch “That” TV Show
It’s certainly true that the impossibly thin waistlines of celebrities do contribute, at least to a certain extent, to eating disorders in certain individuals. However, children who spend much of their time watching TV will not necessarily be affected by an eating disorder. That’s why eating disorder treatment must be individualized to each child since the cause of an eating disorder can vary widely from child to child.
They Don’t Seem to Have a Problem to Me
Eating disorders constitute a wide range of disorders, only one of which is anorexia nervosa. In many cases, a child may not look unhealthy despite the fact that they’re struggling with some type of eating disorder. Therefore, if you notice other strange behaviors in your child, especially as it relates to food, there’s a chance that they might have an eating disorder.
Finding Help and Healing
Discovering an eating disorder, though important, is only the first step in a long journey. Once a diagnosis has been made, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible so that you and your child can find relief. In the midst of treatment, it’s a good idea to join a support group so that you can find additional emotional help and healing from other families who have walked the same road.
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