How Does a Child Present with Anorexia?

anorexia signs symptomsToday, children as young as six years old are being diagnosed with eating disorders. In addition to the classic signs and symptoms of anorexia, a child may present with the following:

  • Classic self starvation behavior
  • Severe anxiety
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Obsessive thoughts related to a fear of eating and a fear of getting fat
  • Tremendous psychological torment
  • Desire to please their parents, but cannot bring themselves to eat the food as their parents request
  • Not typically an act of defiance, but a serious obsessive thought disorder which must be carefully treated by mental health professionals who are experienced with eating disorders and related co-morbidities
  • Persistent food avoidance and weight loss for emotional reasons
  • Some children may not have body image concerns or obsessions
  • Eating disorders in children need to be distinguished from feeding disorders that might cause failure to thrive and growth problems
  • Disturbed parent-child relationships often manifest with food and eating problems

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About Josh Spurlock

Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC is Director of The Relationship Center.

The Relationship Center provides Biblically Christian and Clinically Proven Professional Counseling services. TRC is a multi-specialty professional counseling practice with 8 therapists in Springfield and Branson, Missouri offices. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling, Sex Therapy, and Eating Disorder Treatment.