We all see and hear how quickly the youth grow up in today’s society due to the amount of information and knowledge thrown at them. Everyone today seems to dress older, act older, and be involved in more adult-like situations from an increasingly young age. Children and teens today are completely immersed in the media from a young age, and have access to opportunities that seem foreign to many adults today. For some, this can be a great advantage and a way to begin their careers early or overcome their circumstances, while for others the stress and responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming. The result of these negative reactions can very well affect ones life indefinitely.
A growing problem facing today’s generation is the fact that teens today are dealing with very serious issues that can take a serious toll on their emotional, mental and physical health. A study posted by the South Carolina Department of Mental health had shocking information about just one of the serious conditions that are affecting our youth: it stated that 95% of people with eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25. The survey also stated that eight million people in America have a serious eating disorder, and that most people personally know someone who has or is suffering from a disorder. Furthermore, the study found that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate among other mental illnesses.
Perhaps even more shocking than the volume of people who suffer from eating disorders is the dangers that many do not see, and how so many fall so quickly into such a serious problem. Even though treatment is readily available, only one in ten of those diagnosed with eating disorders seeks and receives such help. Because of these startling statistics, it is important to teach and understand that there are options for those suffering with an eating disorder. Even though punishment may seem to be the easiest solution, forcing a person to change their habits or beliefs about themselves is not the most efficient way to help. Instead, offer support and listen while encouraging them to seek professional services. Since prevention is key in issues such as these, keep an eye out for symptoms to any illnesses, as the problems are always easier to treat when caught early on. It is most likely that the person will try to hide their eating patterns, but if you have concerns talk to the person and offer your help and support.
It is so important for us to help inform and educate all Americans about the seriousness of eating disorders, as well as the treatment options. If you or someone you love are suffering from an eating disorder seek help and save a life. There are many free services that allow you to learn more about these subjects, so if you ever have any questions utilize these resources to make sure you are fully informed.