Winter break is a most welcomed time for college freshmen across the United States. Many families will be reunited with their college student over the holiday season, and for some parents, this time may lead to the discovery of the development of an eating disorder in their child. The transition to college has been recognized as one of the two most common life stages in which an eating disorder can develop and progress, and it is particularly important for parents to be attentive and observant of symptoms of eating disorders as their teens arrive home for the holidays. Examples of some warning signs to be aware of that may indicate the development of an eating disorder include withdrawal from family/friends or avoidance of social gatherings and/or perceptible weight loss or weight gain since entering college. Early recognition of these and other symptoms is essential to intervention and treatment. Continue reading here to learn of additional warning signs to be aware of as well as suggestions for addressing the concern of an eating disorder developing.
If you are a parent of a child/teen who has struggled with an eating disorder, what were some of the early symptoms that you were able to recognize? How can parents effectively approach their child who may be struggling?