3 Reasons for Teen Eating Disorders

In many societies around the world, there are teens who are obsessed with their appearance. They are constantly searching for newer, more effective products to whiten their teeth, straighten their hair, or give them a flawless complexion.

A big portion of their conversations with one another revolves around looking good or catching the eye of someone they like, causing them to compare themselves against each other or even against those seen on the big and small screens.

Because of these, it is no small wonder why teen eating disorders are more prevalent now than ever before. In homes and schools, teenagers are either starving themselves or binge-eating and then throwing it all up. Such disorders, however, are very dangerous to the health which is why it is such a worrisome problem to parents and guardians.

Three Reasons for Teen Eating Disorders

Though there are may be many reasons why adolescents deal with teen eating disorders today, the following are most probably the top three:

1. There is too much societal focus on personal appearance

Shallow as it may seem to some, many teenagers develop eating disorders because they want to fit in with society’s standards of beauty, believing that anything less makes them substandard. Media now really bombards people with images of fitness, claiming such bodies to be the benchmark for healthy living.

This is then reinforced by people around – in social media posts, discussions amongst friends, and even preferences by people (such as their crushes!) around them, further cementing these wrong notions of “beauty” in the minds of the young.

Initially, it may begin with internal questions like “Why don’t I look like the other girls?” or “Am I buff enough to attract the girl I like?” But later on, this internal talk becomes even more negative in nature until they finally decide to do something about their weight.

2. Someone said they were not beautiful 

Words are very powerful. As stated in Proverbs 12:18, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

For some teenagers, it was not necessarily media that brought their eating disorder about, but the careless words of someone around them – be they a close family member or friend, or a complete stranger. Teens are still developing their self-identity which often makes them very fragile inside. As they are still not fully aware of who they truly are, spoken words can help build them up or shatter their idea of themselves.

Sadly, not all words may have been spoken because of spite or harsh criticism. It could have been stated matter-of-fact, such as “I think you are too big for that dress now” or “I think you look rounder than usual.” Though no harm was meant, the teen may have wrongly internalized the observation, further breaking down their confidence.

3. There is a lack of positive reinforcement in their life

The teenage years are a topsy-turvy time. At this time, bodily changes, the craving for acceptance from peers, and the new responsibilities and pressures from parents and school can really cause a teen to crumble inside. This is why positive reinforcement is necessary, most especially from parents and those closest to them.

Unfortunately, with the busy lives that many parents have today, such reinforcement is lacking. Many teens grow up believing that they are not loved or they are not “good enough.” This causes some to try and control a portion of their life – their eating habits – to become what the world expects them to be.

How to Help Others Overcome Teen Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is a serious condition indeed; thankfully, there are three things that can be done to help them.

1. Love them

Eating disorders develop because the teen no longer loves themself; thus, love is what they need, particularly from those closest to them. This, however, will require much sensitivity and patience from the loved one as the teen will undergo many trials, big and small, during this trying time. But it is imperative that there is someone there to contradict the teen’s critical inner voice and show them that they are truly loved.

2. Educate them

Sometimes even if a teen feels loved, they may still be obsessed with becoming slim. In this case, it is important to educate them on how to lose weight in a safe way. Teach them about the correct eating habits, the need for rest, and commitment to regular exercise so that they can achieve their desired look without resorting to throwing up their food or starving themselves. When done successfully, it may become a permanent part of their lifestyle, helping them even when they are much older.

Educating them also includes redefining what “healthy” looks like and teaching them what “beautiful” really is. They must be informed that a skeletal physique is not healthy, which is why they should NOT strive to be what the supermodel TV shows portray. But more importantly, they need to know about true beauty – that if they are beautiful inside, then they are truly beautiful despite the many curves or lack of them.

3. Be careful with your language

For parents and guardians, careful guidance continues well beyond the elementary years. Sometimes, though, people forget, uttering the wrong words like “big boned,” “chubby,” or “fat” that cause a teen to lose confidence.

It may seem like an additional burden to always watch what one says around a teen; but if the bigger picture is taken into account, then the sacrifice will be well worth it.

Seek Help through Christian Counseling

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3-4

In some situations, a teen’s eating disorder may be too much for parents or guardians to handle, despite attempts to change the teen’s mindset about how they look. When this occurs, professional help should be sought out before other complications (e.g. failing health, depression, substance abuse) set in. Sometimes teens choose to listen to a neutral party’s advice rather than the same sound advice from parents, which is why therapy is often quite useful for teens.

In Christian counseling, the latest counseling methods will be used to help the teen overcome their weight obsession issues. They will also be taught and encouraged to opt for the healthier methods of staying healthy.

But more importantly, the Christian counselor will help connect the teen to our Lord Jesus Christ, through prayer and meditation on His Word, so that they can view their life circumstance through His eyes. When the teen is able to see how much they are loved by God and how beautiful they are in God’s perspective, then it becomes easier to break the eating disorder’s hold on them.

God wants everyone to know that they are beautiful and loved by Him. If your teenager is dealing with an eating disorder, seek help soon so that they may know about His perfect love.

“Makeover”, Courtesy of Andrei Lazarev, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Reflection,” courtesy of Ali Marel, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Contemplation”, Courtesy of Strecosa, Pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Altered Conscious”, Courtesy of Alex Perez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License

Anger Management for Kids: How You Can Help

School is a place where memories are made. The memories can be pleasant – made with great teachers and fun friends. Or, it can be a place of pain and struggles. When children display different behaviors than their peers do, they can be misunderstood which can ignite reactions that can be very hurtful.

Teachers and parents often try to make things better and to ensure that going to school is a good experience, but when concerning behavioral issues that center around a child’s anger, it is sometimes out of their control.

Anger Management for Kids: Therapeutic Techniques for Children

Below you will find a few of the top techniques used to treat anger management for children in the classroom which can be helpful to parents, teachers, and of course, to the children who are exhibiting the anger involved.

Getting to the Root Source

One method that can help children who are in need of managing their issues of anger is to actually understand their anger and anger in general. Oftentimes, where the anger is actually stemming from is a complete mystery to teachers, parents, the school staff, the child’s peers, and even to the child. It is extremely helpful to identify the source of it so change can begin.

Below you will find some questions to inquire of the parent and child or even for parents to ponder when figuring out which information they will ultimately share with the staff at the school in the even the child does have a behavioral change:

  • Does the parent/guardian or child acknowledge or recognize the angry behavior?
  • What do the child, parent/guardian, or therapist think is the root of the anger?
  • When the child is upset, what emotion do they express they are feeling?
  • How is the anger managed at home?
  • Is any help being sought from an outside situation such as therapy or a family doctor?
  • Is outside assistance being given by anyone in order to help manage the behavior and anger?

Information can be share in multiple ways so that the families and the school can keep open communication and are able to discuss ways the child’s problem can be properly managed.

It’s very helpful for a teacher to be aware of how the anger began in the child and to know if perhaps the issue started following a family loss in which case the teacher and staff can be sympathetic to the situation. Sometimes even being sleepy or medical condition may cause behaviors that manifest like anger. Some mental disorders (such as defiant conditions) give way to authority issues as well.

Diagnoses in Children

Moments in the lives of children can be completely confusing, overwhelming and unique. Listed below are some diagnoses that may be the source of anger in children:

  • Intellectual Disability (or, Development Disorder) It is common for the initial onset of this condition to occur when both intellectual devolopment and adaptive development is taking place. It affects practical domains, social functioning, and conceptual development and can cause problems in school, at home, and in the community as well.
  • Hyperactivity Disorder (Attention Deficit): This condition involves a constant and persistent pattern where hyperactivity and/or inattention interferes with the ability to properly function. It may lead to behavioral and learning issues and problems with peers, authority figures, and other social relationships.
  • Disruptive Mood and Dysregulation Disorder: To qualify for this disorder, the child must manifest the onset of symptoms prior to ten years of age. Severe, chronic irritability, aggression that is directed to other people, themselves, or objects are signs of the disorder. It is imperative to get help given the serious nature of the issue.
  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (females who are teen and pre-teen): Anger and irritability are two prevalent signs of this condition. The last week before menstruation often marks the peak time of emotional outbursts and exaggerated moods. The week after the period, symptoms usually disappear.
  • Social Phobia and Anxiety: When a situation of a social nature produces such intense anxiety the child clings, freezes up, cries, or won’t speak, it is quite possibly the sign of a social anxiety or phobia.
  • Reactive Attachment: When a child seldom seeks comfort at times he is distressed and has few affections that are positive yet displays frequent episodes where he has unexplained irritability, extreme sadness without cause, or exaggerated fearfulness, there is concern that he may have the disorder of reactive attachment.
  • Oppositional Defiance: A child who easily and often loses his temper and who is touchy and frequently and easily annoyed may have oppositional defiance issues, especially when it involves an adult or person of authority.
  • Intermittent Explosive: Initiating verbal or physical fights or aggression displays is a sign of Intermittent Explosiveness. Throwing temper tantrums, hurting animals, and/or destruction of property are other symptoms.
  • Conduct Disorder: A child who frequently bullies or threatens others or has tendencies to be mean or cruel to humans and/or animals very well may have this serious disorder.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress: Especially following an incident that traumatized him, a child may exhibit irritable behavior and/or outbursts of anger which apparently without cause.

Discovering and understanding what lies behind the behavior of a child can help pave the way for solutions. Management techniques can be set into place and followed through with by parents and family members, teachers and other school staff members, and the child himself.

Anger Management for Kids: Top Techniques

Here are a few top techniques that can be helpful in managing anger issues in children:


Taking the focus off the problem is one way young children can be taught to deal with things that tend to stem their negative behavior. If a troubled child is having problems with another child on the playground, inviting the child to play in a different area can discourage conflict and detour the child’s focus.

Redirection gives a child the opportunity to discover alternative options and to play with other people in other places. Some children do not yet possess the skills to redirect their own selves so the supporting adult can introduce the redirections instead.

Identifying, Expressing, and Sharing Feelings

It takes a good bit of awareness from the person who’s responsible for the redirection but involving the child when doing so will help the child learn to problem solve on his own eventually.

It is very important for the child to be able to pinpoint when they’re experiencing a certain emotion which could cause an anger outburst. Charts that measure and identify feelings are priceless tools to use for this cause. Encouraging the child to chart his feelings can lead to him better understanding them over time.

When confusion sets in, children may not be able to identify emotions and feelings on their own. The chart gives the child choices to identify with rather than having to think them up all on his own. Parents and teachers can choose what they are feeling too which adds to the chance of success and will make the child more comfortable in sharing his own feelings.

Expressing emotions is a difficult thing at times for anyone, especially when it is a child doing so. They are not always mature enough to distinguish fear from anger or to tell the difference between being hurt and being mad.

Children who are creative and like to draw or write can be prompted to express their feelings through their writings or through art. Not only will they be able to get their feelings out but they can also learn more about themselves and begin to explore positive solutions to negative feelings or emotions.

A child might draw a picture of how they are feeling which might involve something like a frown and hair that is haphazard. A teacher might study the picture and begin to note that the child feels out of control. This discovery can spur the teacher to implement measures that will help the child feel they are more in control again.

There are some children who possess verbal skills that can adequately express to others their feelings after they begin to recognize what’s going on. It is imperative to listen to a child who is speaking of their feelings without any form of judgement or even correction. Just allow the child to talk freely.

Self-expression is the key to identifying and dealing with emotions. It can help both the adult supporter and the child find where anger may be stemming from. The goal is to allow the child to share whether it is through art or by speaking. It is vital the child feels he can express his emotions safely.

Other helpful measures can be set into place like allowing the child to have snacks when he is hungry. There can be a designated time and place for snacks or the child can approach the adult in charge when he feels the need arise. Other children in the class may be allowed to partake in a snack too if the teacher feels such a thing would be of value.

There are many solutions that can be put into play that will be a great help for teachers, parents, and even the child. These things may take a little time to set up and to implement but they are well worth the extra effort.

Regulation of Self

Teaching children ways in which to regulate themselves is very powerful. Those who learn to can begin to take steps to identify, express and share. The child, school and even the parents can all work synergistically to create a plan that all are aware of in which the child can learn of new choices he has when feeling angry or upset. Some suggestions are listed below:

  • Encouraging the child to take some breaks during the day with a person who is safe or in an area that is safe is wise so emotions don’t just build up and fester.
  • Since hunger and blood sugar issues can aggravate behavioral problems, having healthy snacks available is a good idea.
  • The use of a behavioral chart which is created by the student is a tool that can assist in accountability and can be an opportunity for good behavior to be rewarded.
  • When the student is experiencing a feeling of emotion, encourage him to draw or write in his notebook. The notebook can be given to him by any supporting adult like his parent or teacher. He can even be allowed to create his own.

When children are first learning to regulate themselves, they require the diligent support of the adults who are around them. It is a good idea to have a list of plans that you and your child have created and studied over. These pre-planned actions and reactions are helpful so the child does not have to rely upon his own actions and impulses which may not be mature or conducive to the situation.

By incorporating a plan, children can experience the freedom to control and regulate by simply choosing one or more of the approved choices so they will ultimately be able to control more of the behavior and can more effectively manage their anger.

Support Systems

Finally, a prime technique for managing anger in class is having support from the staff and teachers at school, parents and other family members, and even those at church like Sunday school teachers and youth group leaders. The more support and love your child has, the better his chance of overcoming is.

When your child feels understood, supported, and unconditionally loved, it sets the scene for positive changes to take place. Having support from others is priceless. It helps the parent and the child know that they are not in

Being aware of what takes place in all the different arenas of the life of your child is a huge help. As you learn more, changes can begin to take place.

Are you searching for a child counselor to help support you for anger based issues? Our counselors are ready and able to help you learn to manage anger and get to the root. Call today for more information.

“Shirtless Boy”, Courtesy of Vance Osterhout, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Smile,” courtesy of Andrik Langfield Petrides, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Hug,” courtesy of markzfilter, pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Jenga,” courtesy of Michel Parzuchowski, unsplash.com, CC0 License

4 Techniques to Manage Severe Anxiety

Severe anxiety attacks can present in a variety of different ways.

When you talk with a Christian counselor, they may use the phrase panic attack to refer to the event of the anxiety attack, while acknowledging that the effects can last for several hours. The term panic anxiety disorder describes a long-term condition in which people experience frequent panic attacks, often on a daily basis.

Signs of a Severe Anxiety Attack

While there are many different ways in which an anxiety attack can present, the most common signs include:

  • Chest pain
  • Headaches
  • Feeling hot or cold (flushes/chills)
  • Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
  • Feeling as though you’re detached, or that your surroundings aren’t real
  • Tingling and numbness
  • Stomach ache, cramps or digestive distress
  • Feeling nauseous and/or vomiting
  • Feeling like you can’t breathe
  • Hyperventilating
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heart rate and pounding heart
  • Feeling afraid you’re going to die
  • Overwhelming feelings of doom and danger
  • Feeling weak
  • Feeling confused
  • Feeling out of control
  • Racing, terrifying thoughts
  • Pain
  • Experiencing the sense as if you’re falling off a cliff
  • Inability to focus on anything

Treatment Options for Dealing with Severe Anxiety Attacks

There are a variety of options when it comes to treating severe anxiety attacks.

A Christian counselor can help you work through these principles:

  • Trust in Christ to give you strength. Embrace the promises that God has made in His Word.
  • Understand that Jesus empowers you. Remind yourself of the way that God has already worked in your live and depend on the power of the Holy Spirit within you.
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to quash your fear. People who experience recovery from severe anxiety know that victory can come through inviting God to enter and tear down strongholds of fear.
  • Stop focusing on the “what ifs” in your life. The best strategy to defeat severe anxiety, stress, and worry is to have a “so what?” mindset instead. Focus on this truth: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31b; NIV).
  • Take a stand against internal passivity and apathy. When you believe that anxiety is taking away your control, you are giving it power. Instead, surrender your control to the Lord.
  • Educate yourself and learn everything you can about your anxiety disorder. Having knowledge and understanding can help you to rationalize what is happening during an anxiety attack, which can counteract some of the fears associated with such attacks. Be an expert in your condition and tell the people who care about you how they can help. Partnering with someone supportive who understands your anxiety can be beneficial.
  • Don’t succumb to a feeling of helplessness. Anxiety can be beaten!

  • Be compassionate with yourself. It’s very easy to fall into patterns of self-loathing and self-accusation, but these patterns only benefit the enemy who wants to keep you trapped. Never believe the lie that you have less worth in God’s eyes because of your anxiety attacks. You wouldn’t think that of someone with cancer, so don’t think it of yourself.
  • Don’t allow anxiety to become your identity. You have anxiety attacks, but they don’t define you.
  • Instead of having a pity party because of the way your anxiety affects your life, take control by asking yourself what you can do to manage it.
  • Get support. There are support groups for Christians with anxiety disorders and being a part of such a group can help you avoid isolation and despair.
  • Never give up on God, yourself or your support network of family, friends and church community.

Things to Remember During a Severe Anxiety Attack

  • It’s important that you don’t try to run from your symptoms. This will only make things worse because activating the fight/flight/freeze mechanism simply floods your body with adrenaline that exacerbates the symptoms of anxiety. Ride out the attack instead, because anxiety attacks are always short-lived, even if the after-effects aren’t.
  • Remember that the symptoms will pass in a few minutes, and you’ll be back in control. Fear that the attack is going to last forever only makes the symptoms worse. Anxiety attacks are actually your body’s way of alerting you to more long-standing problems in your life that you could work through with a Christian counselor.
  • Use breathing and relaxation techniques as much as you possibly can.

Breathing Techniques for Severe Anxiety Attack Management

There are two principle types of prayer/meditation that Christians have been practicing for almost two thousand years. The first of these is a type of concentrative meditation, involving focusing on an object or thought, producing deeper thinking.

The best way to practice concentrative prayer is to restrict the senses. Try concentrating on God’s Word in Scripture. Concentrative prayer meditation is an excellent way of planting the truth of God’s Word in your heart and increasing your focus on what God wants to achieve through you.

The second variety of prayer meditation involves listening to God’s word through the external environment. This might include nature, analyzing current events, analysis of historical events, biblical archaeological analysis, and looking at scripture through the eyes of culture and history. Mindfulness is often used to describe this type of meditation.

Christian mindfulness helps to understand the way the God is at work in our surroundings. It’s a type of prayer that requires listening rather than making petitions to God in prayer.

Many Christians misunderstand mindfulness and fear that it is un-Christian, largely due to the way it is conveyed and discussed in secular situations. However, Christian mindfulness is actually a way of communing with God that is beneficial for people who suffer from anxiety attacks.

Breathing exercises, likewise, are sometimes frowned upon by Christians, but again, there is nothing un-Christian about them. They bring about calmness and allow you to shift your attention from your anxieties onto God and His goodness and promises.

It’s been shown that breathing and meditation exercises have significant benefits for people with mental health problems, and for people with physical issues. These practices are ancient and pre-date all the other techniques that are commonly used for handling health issues.

Four Ancient Breathing Techniques to Practice

1.Sama Vritti (Equal Breathing)

The word sama means equal. The translation of vritti is the state of being. In our fast-paced world, we have become accustomed to shallow breathing, to the extent that we regard it as normal.

One major benefit of this breathing method is its ability to bring calm to the nervous system. It also helps with increased focus and reducing stress and anxiety.


This is a simple breathing technique that is effective with a count of 10 breaths. To start sama vritti you inhale While counting to 4, then exhale While counting to 4. The more you practice, the easier you will find it, and you can build up to counts of 6 or 8 per breath. Always breathe through your nose to get the best effects.

When to use

This breathing technique can be practiced anytime, anywhere. It’s great for slowing down racing thoughts, and if you’re having trouble sleeping. It helps to slow the mind, giving you the opportunity to focus on God instead of your thoughts.

2.Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

This breathing method has been developed as a means of uniting the two hemispheres of the brain and create balance in the mind. It is sometimes called a silent breathing technique.


This breathing technique is best done from a seated position. Hold one thumb over one nostril and inhale through the other nostril, deeply. It’s a method that’s suggested during pregnancy and is great for relaxation and circulation.

At the peak of the inhalation, momentarily pause so that you can place your ring finger over the other nostril. Then you lift your thumb and exhale through the uncovered nostril. Continue with this pattern, inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other.

It’s important to slow the pace of your breathing with this.

When to use

Nadi shodhana is a great technique when you need to re-energize or re-focus, for example during the mid-afternoon slump. It helps to relax the whole body when done correctly.

3.Sohum Meditation (Abdominal Breathing/ Ocean Wave)

Often referred to as being like an ocean wave, the imaginative aspect of this exercise can be especially effective for visual learners and creatives.


Place one hand on your chest and the other hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in (breathing through your nose) and make sure your diaphragm (rather than your chest) inflates so as to fill your lungs with enough air to stretch them. You should pause for 2-3 seconds after each breath.

Try to do 8-10 slow, deep breaths each minute, and repeat for at least 5 minutes every day. This helps to lower blood pressure and help you handle stress more effectively. It helps build lung capacity and can also have a positive effect on digestion and heart rhythm.

When to use

This is a perfect breathing technique to use before you take tests, attend interviews, or deal with stressful events. It can be difficult at first to get the hand of controlling the breath, but practice will help.

4.Anuloma Viloma (Intermediate Level of Nadi Shodhana)

Similar in technique to the alternate nostril technique, this requires a more forceful type of breathing, rather than controlled breathing at a slow pace. Ancient sources claim that this breathing method heals all types of internal disease. Regardless of the truth of that claim, there are a lot of benefits to be had from anuloma viloma.


Make sure that you are sitting in a comfortable position and blow your nose to clear any excess mucus. As with the alternate nostril breathing, you need to use your thumb to close your right nostril. Lift your right elbow in line with the right shoulder, making it parallel to the floor.

Force inhale through your left (open) nostril – it will sound like a noisy breath, but that’s how it’s meant to be. Now use your ring finger to cover your left nostril and exhale out of your other nostril. Immediately begin the breath again. It’s meant to be fast paced. The purpose is to clean your lungs to increase heart rate.

Be careful when practicing this type of breathing, however. Because it’s more advanced it may make you feel light headed at first.

When to use

The best time to practice anuloma viloma is when your stomach is empty – such as first thing in the morning. It can also be helpful to counteract the mid-afternoon slump that many people experience. The technique is intended to give you an energy boost that will help you cope with whatever the day throws at you.

A lot of research has been done into the use of breathing techniques during anxiety attacks. The consensus is that controlled breathing can be effective in managing the severity of the attack. It’s a good idea to practice these techniques before anxiety attacks so that you have the resources in your toolbox to handle the symptoms of a panic attack. Additionally, practicing breathing techniques can increase the length of time between anxiety attacks.

For Christians, it’s important that there is an integration of Christian prayer and contemplation. It’s this combination that makes breathing exercises more effective. Breathing exercises can be combined with listening (prayer) to God and focusing on His truth.

Find a Christian counselor if you experience anxiety attacks and want extra support in managing your symptoms. While psychiatrists can prescribe medication, a Christian counselor can integrate faith into your journey towards healing and wholeness.

“Stress”, Courtesy of TheDigitalArtist, pixabay.com, CC0 License; “Stressed Out”, Courtesy of Anh Nguyen, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Breathing”, Courtesy of Le Minh Phuong, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Breathe In”, Courtesy of Valentina Aleksandrovna, Unsplash.com, CC0 License