Human Service Workers

Human Services: Eating Disorders in Adolescents

By Heather Goods

                            BSHS 302/Introduction to Human Services/University Of Phoenix

Adolescence can be a stressful time when children come to a point in their life when they try and figure themselves out, have new and different attitudes, issues and behaviors. This is a transitional stage that can be hard to overcome peer pressure or even one’s own pressure. It may not be just a time to rebel or challenge rules but a difficult time in the eyes of the adolescent. Trying to look a certain way or how everyone else is perceived may be a difficult view from some adolescents. During this time in an adolescent’s life they become subject to social standards, pressures of others and themselves. Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa become common in the adolescent years. Anorexia can be stemmed from family problems in some cases. Bulimia however seems to have risk factors that include low self esteem and the dislike of the own make-up of an adolescents body.

Both anorexia and bulimia may be treatable through family counseling. Low self-esteem or sense of worth during adolescents can be linked to taking on these forms of severe, unhealthy dieting. These adolescents may want to appear thin or have muscles, whatever the case they take extreme measures to try and obtain their ideal look. The images that these adolescents view in their own minds may cause them to revert to the unsafe methods causing destruction to their bodies.

A majority of adolescents with eating disorders are not discovered by health officials. Adolescents have feelings and thoughts and having someone to talk to can deter so much in their minds. Social workers have found their ways into schools and groups for adolescents helping them with routine growth within themselves. Unless a healthcare worker is specifically screening for and eating disorder then symptoms may not be obvious or appear....