Treatment Tips If Your Child Has an Eating Disorder

by Brent Woods

If your child has an eating disorder, you might be going through a very difficult time and not know what to do. Here are some treatment tips to get you started.

1. Take Your Child in for a Full Checkup

Depending on how long your child has been engaging in eating-disordered behaviors, he or she might have done some damage to his or her body. If your child is a girl and has lost so much weight that her period has stopped, then she might have developed osteoporosis. You want to detect that early so that you are able to take steps to fix it. If your child was vomiting up his or her food, you might need to take steps to repair his or her stomach lining. This is also a good time to see if your child is orthostatic. This means that your child's blood pressure and other vitals are radically different lying down than sitting up. 

Be sure that you take your child in for a full checkup as soon as possible after you discover that he or she has an eating disorder. He or she might need to be hospitalized for a time in order to be physically stable.

2. Look for Therapy

The next thing that you are going to need to do is look for a therapeutic program for your child. If you live in a larger city, you might have the option of using a therapy program that is specific to eating disorders. If this option is available, take it. If it is not, try to find a therapist who is willing to help you with your child's eating disorder. You will want individual, private therapy for your child as well as family therapy. A child who has an eating disorder can cause serious stress in the family, and you want to make sure that you have an outlet to work through this stress.

3. Consider Maudsley

Finally, consider the Maudsley approach to treating children with eating disorders. This is a highly effective form of treatment where the parents take control of the child's food, including where the child eats, how much they eat, when they eat, and how they eat it. Your child will have a hard time eating due to a voice screaming in his or her head that if he or she eats, he or she is going to be fat and unloved. By taking control of food, you can essentially give your child an excuse to the voice in his or her head. Your child can't help it; he or she has to eat. Hopefully, the voice in his or her head will scream at you, the parents, and allow your child to eat.

For more information, talk to a center that specializes in eating-disorder treatment, such as Center for Change eating disorder treatment center.