New data has shown Chrysalis Not For Profit that the amount of teenagers that have been admitted to hospital for eating disorders has nearly doubled in the last three years.

Challenges of teenage life

A young person will face many challenges as they enter their teenage years. This can cause them to develop mental health conditions such as stress, depression and eating disorders. Statistics quoted by mental health charity the Mental Health Foundation, show that 1.6 million people in the UK have an eating disorder.

“Unprecedented” rise

Data from the NHS shows that hospital admittance of teenagers with eating disorders rose from 959 in 2010/11 to 1,815 in 2013/14. This means that the number of teenagers who have been admitted to hospital for eating disorders has increased 89% in three years; a rise the Royal College of Physicians labelled “unprecedented.”

College spokesperson Dr Carolyn Nahman added that teenagers are suffering from the pressure that’s being put on them have the “perfect bodies” on social media. She was quoted by the BBC saying that “we’re getting increasingly concerned about the pressure of social media.”

Nahman elaborated: “Literally with one click of a button very vulnerable young people are able to access 10,000 images of ‘perfect looking’ people which places them under a lot of pressure. Young people who look at these images often develop body image dissatisfaction, quite low self-esteem, because they’re constantly comparing themselves to these perfect images.”

Freya’s story

The BBC used the story of 15 year old Freya Chandler to illustrate Nahman’s point. Freya started suffering from anorexia at the age of 13, using pictures on social media to “guilt” herself into refraining from eating food.

She explained that she used different apps as “motivation to get fit.” Over time she became terrified of even touching certain foods, to the point where her “weight wouldn’t really stop going down.” Eventually Freya was admitted as an in-patient to a specialist treatment centre, where she spent seven months overcoming her condition, before being released in July 2014.

Eating disorder charity Beat has advised that the best way to help someone overcome an eating disorder is to talk them through it. Talking therapies such as counselling can provide people with the support they need to deal with the under lying mental health issues that can cause them to develop eating disorders.

Chrysalis Not For Profit

The UK needs as many counsellors as it can get. You can help people with eating disorders and other mental health conditions by training to become a counsellor through a number of Chrysalis courses offered by Chrysalis Not For Profit.

Established in 1998, Chrysalis Not For Profit is now the UK’s market-leading trainer in talking therapies. We offer creative, enjoyable and relaxed courses, fully accredited by the relevant professional bodies on a part-time basis to fit around your commitments.

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