As we approach World Mental Health Day, Dubai’s Camali Clinic offers a guide to
spotting two of the most common disorders in adolescents – plus misconceptions
As mental illness can take many forms, Dubai’s Camali Clinic – a leading specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) – is offering important warning signs for two prevalent image-related eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. These disorders affect adolescents, with girls being the most prone.
“People with anorexia nervosa believe they are fat and have a morbid fear of putting on weight – even if they are very slim and eat very little. Those with bulimia nervosa also worry a lot about weight, alternating between eating next to nothing, and then gorging themselves in binges. Often they vomit or take laxatives to control their weight,” explained Dr Kusay Hadi, Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at Camali Clinic.
Camali Clinic has highlighted five key warning signs to watch out for in youngsters which, if seen in any combination, could indicate they are suffering from one of the above…
- An intense fear of putting on weight with a belief they are overweight/fat when they are not
- Becoming preoccupied with food, calorie counting, and setting target weights
- Exercising excessively, often in secret
- Going to the bathroom or toilet immediately after meals
- Using laxatives and vomiting to control weight or sometimes other medications/herbal remedies to lose weight
Misconception: Eating disorders are a choice
INCORRECT. It is a mental illness that needs treatment
Misconception: “She/he will grow out of it,” “It’s a phase,” “This won’t go on forever”
INCORRECT. If left untreated it can lead to severe malnutrition with complications such as osteoporosis or an irregular heartbeat and other mental health conditions can occur such as depression
Misconception: There is someone to blame for the child’s eating disorder – “It’s the mother’s / father’s fault,” “It’s the friend’s fault”
INCORRECT. Blame and shame are far too common with eating disorders. It’s like any other illness and needs treatment
UAE CASE STUDY
one of Camali Clinic’s UAE patients HERE.