Teen Eating Disorders: The Special Challenges of Summer

Summer is the season of balmy weather, sandals and sundresses, cookouts and lazy evenings lounging by the pool with your best friends. But for individuals who struggle with an eating disorder, summer can be a season of heightened anxiety and stress. As the weather warms up and the tank tops and swimsuits come out, we all become more aware of our body weight and shape. Pressure to conform to unrealistic standards can be overwhelming, challenging self-confidence and sometimes resulting in dangerous behaviors and deteriorating health. In this podcast, Mirasol clinicians discuss the challenges of summer for teen clients in residential treatment, and the tools we use to help them power through these challenging times and develop a more positive self-image.

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What Makes Mirasol's Teen Program So Special?


Mirasol's teen residential eating disorder treatment program has always been a trend-setter, not only for its extraordinary individual attention, but for its emphasis on experiential therapy and strong bonds between staff and clients. In this interview, Clinical Director Jodi Tudisco discusses in detail the program's underlying philosophy and how that philosophy plays out in day-to-day interactions with the clients and their families.

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Seven Reasons Not to Delay Treatment for Your Teen

  1. Brain Shrinkage — Excessive weight loss can actually shrink your child's brain. The longer malnourishment persists, the greater the loss of gray matter.
  2. Heart Damage — An abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure increase the risk of heart failure for anorexics, and elevated triglyceride levels increase the risk of heart disease for binge eaters.
  3. Family Relations — Eating disorders are extremely isolating, creating distance and animosity between family members.
  4. Social Anxiety — The negative self-talk that accompanies an eating disorder results in heightened social anxiety and further isolation.
  5. Problems at School — The rules that the eating disorder imposes prevent your child from paying attention to the skills they need to develop and the knowledge they need to acquire in order to be successful.
  6. Loss of Identity — The eating disorder deprives your child of the opportunity to develop a unique identity, and makes it harder to learn to function autonomously.
  7. The Sooner, the Better — Reseach shows that early identification and treatment improves the speed of recovery, reduces symptoms and increases the likelihood of full recovery.