One of the worst things you can go through as a parent is watching your child suffer and over the last few years there have been real problems with eating disorders, with hospitalisations growing during the pandemic, and the problem still being far from over.

According to reports in the USA alone, there was growth of around 7.2% per month in hospital admissions, with it a particular problem for young adults and adolescents. It’s always been a concern for parents, especially in a day and age where social media gratification is high and the pressures that come with it to “look a certain way”. 

That’s only having an increased impact on the amount of people with an eating disorder, and that can lead to potentially life-threatening illness.

Of course, as a parent tackling such a problem if your child is suffering from a problem is a must, but it isnt often all that easy to spot.

So, how exactly do you identify if your child does have an eating disorder?

Physical Changes

Naturally, one of the first and most notable things that will be noticed is that there will be a significant shift in weight that will be noticeable. For eating disorders such as anorexia that will be weight loss, while binge eating disorder will see weight gain on your child. 

Alongside this, those suffering from such a problem will often be exhausted much more easily and frequently, as well as enduring stomach pains and faintness as they aren’t getting the nutrients they need.

Behavioural Changes

You may also see behavioural changes. For example, your child may want to eat alone or in secret, or go to the toilet directly after eating, which can often be children suffering from bulimia.

Alongside this, a child repeatedly weighing themselves or taking a much more excessive interest in exercise can also raise questions as to something not quite being right.

Psychological Changes

A person suffering from an eating disorder can see their mental health disintegrate. Many celebrities have spoken out about the impact an eating disorder has had on their mental health, with the disorder leading to:

  • Low self esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts

Which you wouldn’t wish upon anybody, never mind your child, so if you notice any changes in their attitude or general mood, alongside potential behavioural changes, it could be time to reach out and ensure they get the help they need to overcome what can be a horrible, horrible disease.