Gradually over a period of perhaps weeks or months you have seen a change in your child, at first it was hardly noticeably perhaps a change in there mood or there habits were the first sign that something was amiss. The change probably didn’t give you cause to worry too much, being a teenage girl isn’t the easiest of times for either the child or the family.
Boyfriends arise on the scene at this age as does every teenager’s nightmare, acne, falling out with friends; school work and exams all play a significant part in this stage of a teenager’s life. It has happened to us all and will continue happening throughout time.
Gradually though the changes have gotten worse, your child isn’t the happy smiling young lady blossoming into womanhood you expected her to be. The changes happening to her body aren’t the ones you thought you would see, along with the terrible teenage years you now have a much more serious problem to contend with. Your budding teenage daughter is losing weight rapidly; the jeans that once hugged her hips are now falling way below them. Her cheeks which were always fresh and rosy red have now begun taking on a sallow look, her skin perhaps a little ashen or clammy.
It’s not the fact that she’s “going through a stage” for the underlying reasons for her spending more time in her room or that she’ll eat while doing homework up there, the plain fact is that she has a more sinister reason for not wanting to eat with the rest of the family.
She doesn’t eat or if she does then it’s very little. Something that maybe started out as noticing she was a few pounds heavier than most of her friends has quickly turned into a deep seated phobia, she doesn’t particularly want to lie and deceive her parents that alone is probably adding to the problems she now has.
Your child has developed anorexia, she has now actually gone beyond just losing a few pounds and is convinced she is still overweight. She is herself totally different from the person you see.
There will be many more underlying symptoms and if not caught and dealt with very serious consequences for her painfully thin body. Anorexia will begin to have an affect on the heartbeat and blood flow, the body becomes dehydrated from lack of fluid and the sufferer may become dizzy or faint.
If not caught and help sought eventually the disease will damage kidneys, bones, muscles and ovaries. This is the worst case scenario of course and if recognised and dealt with in the early stages a full recovery with no lasting damage is made.
It is therefore important not to quickly strike off those mood swings as “teenage troubles”, however difficult times can be bringing up a teenager there may actually be a much more serious underlying cause.