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

This article was first published on RemudaRanch.com

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.