Anorexia nervosa is a psychological eating disorder which involves acute form of self-starvation. This eating disorder is usually characterized by distorted body image, low body weight, amenorrhea and an immense fear of gaining weight. The cause of anorexia nervosa is a combination of genetic, biological, psychological and socio-cultural factors.
Teenagers and adolescents are greatly affected by this disease and the number has increased to a great extent in the last few decades. Treatment for anorexia in teenagers differs from person to person. Since this disease is more psychological, hence it needs personal attention and not any kind of generalized treatment.
Diagnosis of Anorexia in Teenagers
Adolescents and people who suffer from this psychological eating disorder often keep their illness hidden. However, the diagnosis is done by mental health experts and psychiatrists.
The diagnosis is done through a process of psychological procedures and a detailed history of the adolescent’s behavioural pattern. Seeking early treatment for such a disease reduces the risk of further complications in the future.
Treatment of Anorexia
The treatment of adolescent anorexia varies from patient to patient. Therefore, the physician will treat the patient based on the following points:
- The psychiatrist/psychologist makes a thorough review of the patient’s medical history, overall health and also her mental state and health according to her age.
- The physician looks into the extent and intensity of the symptoms shown by the patient.
- If the physician wishes to go for a treatment involving medications then he/ she goes through procedures to check the patient’s tolerating capabilities of the specific medications.
- The physician makes an assumption regarding the expectation from the course of the condition and treatment.
- The physician also keeps the opinion of the patient in mind. This makes the treatment a lot easier and the patient also gains confidence.
The treatment of anorexic patients involves individual patient therapy, behavioral modification, family therapy, medical monitoring and also nutritional rehabilitation. The key point of the treatment is based on a complete and composite evaluation of the adolescent patient and his/her family. Individual therapy of the adolescent involves both cognitive and behavioral evaluation of the patient. If the adolescent suffers from depression along with anorexia, then the physician often suggests anti depressants for her to cope up with the depression.
Parents, nutritionist, physician and other close family members play a major role of support for the patient during the process of treatment. Complications related to weight loss and malnutrition may also require the patient to be hospitalized. However, early detection of the disorder can reduce the intensity and severity of symptoms encouraging the adolescent patient’s normal growth and lifestyle.