Some people are significantly underweight due to eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Emotional issues impact upon the person’s behavior and they subsequently significantly restrict their caloric intake and/or purge following any eating in efforts to avoid weight gain. And in these instances some people will not be able to maintain a healthy body weight and will become dangerously underweight.
Other people are unable to gain weight despite their diet or physical activity levels because of underlying medical issues. Possible causes of unintentional weight loss may include hyperthyroidism, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, malnutrition, depression, and anemia, to name a few.
FX is uncertain from what you have described if your friend’s low weight is due to an eating disorder or an underlying medical issue. FX recommends that your friend meet with a doctor to discuss these concerns. After meeting with your friend and running any necessary tests, a doctor can advise your friend about what is contributing to her inability to increase he weight and what she needs to do about – whether it is mental health treatment for an eating disorder, medical treatment for a physical illness, or combination of the two.
If your friend doesn't have a doctor and lives in northern New Jersey, she can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-6475 for an appointment or contact her local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. If she lives in NJ she can also contact Girl’s Street – A Young Woman’s Health Program – at 908.522.2555.
If your friend lives in northern New Jersey and needs help finding a therapist she can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 973-247-1400. Outside of this area she can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in her area. She can also contact her insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers. She can also contact the Eating Disorders Program at Atlantic Health at 908-522-5757 for more information and to set up an evaluation.
15-24 year olds account for half of all new STD infections. 1
HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. 2
"Transgender" is a term that includes the many ways that people's gener identities can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth. 3
Usually, puberty starts between ages 8 and 13 in girls and ages 9 and 15 in boys. 4
About 6-9% of children and adolescents have ADHD. 5
Tobacco smoking can lead to lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. 6
Anorexia has the highest death rate of any mental disorder. 7
Studies show that people who eat breakfast do better in school, tend to eat less throughout the day, and are less likely to be overweight. 8
Young drivers (ages 16-20) are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking. 9
Dating violence can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online. 10
Dehydration- not having enough fluids in your body- can cause headache, fatigue, crankiness and poor concentration. 11
National guidelines recommend that young people spend no more than two hours each day using electronic media for recreation. 12
A panic attack is a surge of intense fear and discomfort that usually peaks within ten minutes, but can last as long as several hours. 13
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 15-24 year olds. 14
42.2% of female rape victims were first raped before age 18. 15
Pregnancy and birth are significant contributions to high school dropout rates among girls. 16
Females aged 15-19 continue to have higher rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea than any other age or sex group. 17
E-cigarettes are the most commonly used form of tobacco among youth in the United States. 18
More teens die from prescription drugs than heroin/cocaine combined. 19
Teens who consistently learn about the risks of drugs from their parents are up to 50% less likely to use drugs than those who don't. 20
20% of youth ages 13-18 live with a mental health condition. 21
Bipolar disorder is defined as a "brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks." 22
An obese child or teenager is one who weighs at least 20% more than their ideal body weight. 23
3 in 10 teen American girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. 24
About 208,000 young people under 20 years of age have diagnosed diabetes. 25
Reversible methods of birth control include: intrauterine contraception, hormonal methods, barrier methods and fertility awareness-based methods. 26
Each day, nearly 3,000 kids under the age of 18 try their first cigarette and another 700 become regular, daily smokers. 27
Approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne. 28
Most tobacco smokers begin smoking during adolescence. 29
90% of teens who are LGBT come out to their close friends. 30