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The family environment can also play a big role in a teenager developing an eating disorder If they are in a family where emotional physical or sexual abuse is taking place they may develop an eating disorder to gain a sense of control to block out painful feelings and emotions or as a way to punish themselves especially if they blame themselves for the abuse The parents may be going through a divorce and be too caught up in their own lives and neglect the child which could cause them to turn to food for comfort There may be alcohol abuse in the home the parents may be too critical or a parent or close family member may have died In families where feelings are not allowed to be expressed or problems are not discussed the teenager may end up feeling sad alone confused and may find that eating helps to comfort them and make the feelings disappear for a while Most people with eating disorders will try to avoid conflicts at all costs so they usually dont express negative feelings and try to wear a happy face all the time to try and please people They end up using food as a way to stuff down all those negative feelings and purging usually gives them a sense of relief almost like they are releasing all those built up emotions Some teenagers are raised in families that are too close and they may develop an eating disorder as a way to gain an identity for themselves While it is nice to have a family that is close and can talk to each other about their problems being too close is not healthy Everyone needs and is entitled to their privacy and teenagers do need to develop an identity that is separate from the family Being pressured by parents to succeed academically is very stressful If they do not achieve the marks that are expected of
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