Teen Anorexia Description:
Teen Anorexia is a mental illness, characterized by teens having a distorted image of their bodies, which causes them to see themselves as overweight, and to go to extreme lengths to control and/or lose weight, which often leads to dangerous behaviors such as starving themselves and causing serious malnutrition and other negative health effects.
Teen Anorexia Symptoms:
There are a number of different symptoms teens with Anorexia suffer from. All teens with Anorexia go to extreme measures to lose weight. They might do this by starving themselves, eating only very small, controlled amounts, and/or binge eating large amounts and then purging themselves of the food (such as via enemas or laxatives.) It’s also common for teens with Anorexia to exercise excessively.
The extreme behaviors can lead to serious negative effects in all areas of teens’ lives, the most urgent being the physical effect such as:
- low blood pressure
- low body temperature
- persistent fatigue
- dry skin
- brittle nails and hair
- thinning of bones
- organ failure
- brain damage
- in some cases, death
Meanwhile, as teens put their bodies through such extreme measures, it’s common for them to suffer in other areas of their lives as well, including their performance at school, their responsibilities, and their relationships. Moreover, teens with Anorexia also suffer from the extreme judgment and shame which they inflict upon themselves, for being overweight, which leads to teens having an extremely low sense of self.
Teen Anorexia Treatment:
Our Teen Anorexia Treatment programs at Paradigm San Francisco combine talk therapy and behavioral therapy strategies, in order to support teens to make changes to the behaviors, thought patterns, and belief systems that are present within this disease. Here is an overview of what teen anorexia treatment at Paradigm San Francisco looks like.
- Ensure physical safety – First and foremost, our treatment team will ensure teens’ physical safety, by supporting them to return to a healthy weight. We provide oversight throughout this process with our nutritionist and nurse practitioner.
- Develop a nutrition plan – Next, we work with teens to gradually help them to agree to a nutrition plan that they’re willing to commit to following, as they make intentional steps toward recovering healthy eating practices.
- Learn new, healthy eating habits – Throughout their time here with us, we’ll work with teens to continue eating healthily, while teaching them practical behaviors and resources they can employ, to help them in meeting these new goals.
- Address underlying issues – While helping teens re-learn new eating behaviors and end the old ones, we also work with teens during teen anorexia treatment to help them address the deeper, underlying emotional stressors and struggles that have contributed to and/or aggravated their extreme, controlled eating behaviors. In a sense, these abusive eating behaviors are a form of self-harm and it’s very important to help teens identify what sorts of thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are in place, such that they’d risk their physical health, in order to maintain a certain appearance. We believe that it’s crucial to help teens explore this deeper emotional terrain, in order to help them address their Anorexia at the deepest possible level.
While this provides an overview of teen anorexia treatment at our facility, it’s important to know that we develop treatment plans based off the individual needs of each teen to most effectively treat their eating disorder.
Paradigm San Francisco:
At Paradigm San Francisco, we provide adolescent residential treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders, including teen anorexia treatment. At Paradigm San Francisco, we take a holistic approach to teen treatment designing each of our treatment plans according to the individual teen and her or his goals, needs, environments, and symptoms. By working with teens one-on-one every day in individual therapy sessions, we ensure that they get the most thorough, complete treatment possible, here at Paradigm San Francisco.