Signs of an eating disorder

Eating disorders are more serious than one might think. It’s usually not a fad, passing fancy, or something one does for a special occasion to fit into a special outfit for example. Eating disorders are long-term, health damaging behavioral issues that need professional medical or mental health attention. Ignoring the warning signs of an eating disorder could be fatal.

Watch for the Red Flags

Each type of eating disorder, anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating, produces its own list of warning signs.  However, there are some distinct red flags that appear in at least two or all three disorders:

  • Consuming large quantities of food in a short amount of time
  • Excessive exercise
  • Missing meals
  • Refusing to eat in public
  • Constantly describing themselves as “fat”, even when thin
  • Obsessive dieting and calorie counting
  • Wearing baggy clothing
  • Constantly weighing themselves
  • Hiding empty food wrappers or containers

The Bases of Eating Disorders

According to the Mayo Clinic there are three main reasons a person falls into the trap of an eating disorder:

  1. Environmental: Peer pressure and the desire to be popular are huge factors in the cause of eating disorders. We live in a society where ‘thin wins’ no matter what, at every age
  2. Emotional: Psychological and emotional disorders often come into play for people showing signs of an eating disorder. Bad relationships, a low self-image, the need to look ‘perfect’ and impulsive behavior all play a role in eating disorder symptoms
  3. Biological: People with family members (parents or siblings) suffering from an eating disorder may be more susceptible to developing an eating disorder as well

Be mindful of the warning signs of eating disorders and seek professional help should any of these signs present themselves. Complications caused by untreated eating disorders range from heart issues and organ failure to suicidal behavior and death.

Signs of an Eating Disorder was last modified: January 12th, 2017 by The Recovery Village
October 21st 2013 | By: The Recovery Village | Posted In: Co-occurring Disorders