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What to Do If Your Teen Is Struggling with an Eating Disorder

Person thinking about eating disorders in teens

Growing up can come with several challenges. Especially with the rise of social media, teens are constantly exposed to unrealistic ways of living. Consequently, it is not uncommon for a teenager in 2023 to develop an eating disorder (ED). If you believe your teen might be struggling with an ED, Alleviant Rogers’s comprehensive eating disorder treatment program can help. Call 479.309.1427 to speak with someone from our knowledgeable and compassionate team at Alleviant Rogers about our treatment options for EDs in Arkansas.

About Eating Disorders in Teens

Eating disorders can look different in everybody. Generally, an ED is when a person focuses so much on their food and body weight that they go to extremes when it comes to eating. The three most common EDs in teens are:

  • Binge eating disorder
  • Bulimia
  • Anorexia

EDs most commonly develop during the teenage years and early adulthood. The most common teens with EDs are often adolescent girls. However, teenage boys can also develop EDs.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder can affect a teen’s self-esteem and physical health. Some symptoms to look out for are:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a short amount of time
  • Eating when not hungry
  • Eating to the point of feeling sick
  • Sneaking or hiding food
  • Eating alone
  • Depression or shame after eating large amounts of food

Somebody struggling with binge eating disorder will regularly—at least once a week for three months—consume large amounts of food in a short amount of time without any control. This is called binging. Somebody struggling with binge eating disorder might hide food to binge privately.


Signs of eating disorders in teens can look very similar or different depending on the type. Those struggling with bulimia are trying to control their weight dangerously and might use water pills, laxatives, or diet pills to achieve their goal. Some signs of bulimia in teens are:

  • Sneaking food
  • Hiding empty containers of food
  • Skipping meals or only eating small portions
  • Avoiding eating around others
  • Vomiting after eating
  • Using water pills or laxatives
  • Exercising excessively

People struggling with bulimia often binge as well. However, they will then throw up or use laxatives to remove the food from their body quickly. This is called purging. After purging, a person might not eat for an extended period or exercise excessively to avoid gaining weight.


EDs in teens can range from overeating to eating too little. With anorexia, the person struggling is usually focused on being thin. Some symptoms to look out for:

  • Feeling overweight
  • Body dysmorphia
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Obsessing about food
  • Constantly counting calories, carbohydrates, and fat grams
  • Creating food rituals
  • Missing periods
  • Feeling cold

It’s vital to seek treatment immediately because EDs can cause life-threatening health problems when left untreated.

Find Treatment for Teens with Eating Disorders at Alleviant Rogers in Arkansas

If your teen shows signs of an eating disorder, it’s best to act fast. Getting help early can help prevent the surplus of health risks associated with untreated eating disorders. At Alleviant Rogers, eating disorder treatment for teens is taken extremely seriously. Our team addresses every need because of the severity of the dangers of EDs. We use a combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy for eating disorder treatment in teens.

Our therapies combine holistic and integrative approaches. With this, we can provide our patients with a unique treatment plan based on several factors such as genetics, nutritional status, and biochemical assay. If you are worried your child is struggling with an ED, contact Alleviant Rogers today at 479.309.1427 and learn more about our facility, staff, and eating disorder treatment programs.