Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders

  • Posted at Jan 17, 2022
  • Written by Rebecca
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Are you wondering if you or a loved one is living with an eating disorder? Recognizing the signs of disordered eating can help people living with eating disorders identify if they need help. Fortunately, professional help in the form of therapy and treatment can help people living with these disorders to identify and utilize healthy thinking and behavioral patterns in order to overcome disordered eating. So, identifying the signs and symptoms of eating disorders is important in order to take the first step to get help.

Some of the signs and symptoms of eating disorders may include:

Avoiding Eating in Front or Around Others

One of the signs of disordered eating is to avoid eating around or with others. People who experience eating disorders may experience negative emotions that surround eating like guilt or shame. So, they may not want to experience those feelings around others. If you or a loved one has stopped eating in front of friends and family, left functions when food is served, or eats only when alone, this may be a sign that an eating disorder may be present.

Having an Unhealthy Food Relationship

Unhealthy eating behaviors can be another sign that an eating disorder may be an issue in someone’s life. Some of these behaviors can include restricting caloric intake to an extreme degree, skipping meals, going on fad diets, or being obsessive about what is being ingested on a daily basis. These unhealthy behaviors are signs that a person has an unhealthy relationship with eating and food and can be a symptom of underlying eating disorders.

Having an Unhealthy Focus on Appearance

Sometimes, being overly obsessive with one’s own appearance can be a warning sign of an eating disorder. This is especially true when someone is overly concerned about their weight, size, or body mass index. And, can be observed by someone talking excessively about changing their appearance, going through great lengths to change appearance (cosmetic surgeries, fad diets, etc.), and spending a lot of time looking and monitoring these supposed ‘flaws’. When a person has a healthy relationship with their body, they don’t feel the need to obsess about specific appearances related to their body size, shape, or weight. So, when the opposite is true, this can be a sign that there is an eating disorder occurring.

Physical and Mental Health Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Disordered eating can lead to a number of physical and mental health symptoms, as these behaviors can bring about malnourishment and other health issues. Some of the physical symptoms of eating disorders can include exhaustion, brittle hair and/or nails, blood pressure problems, dehydration, and headaches. Some of the mental health symptoms brought on by eating disorders can include depression, heightened anxiety, and stress.

Get Help for Eating Disorders After Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

Identifying the signs and symptoms of eating disorders is the first step to getting help for disordered eating. Professional help, like the outpatient eating disorder treatment available at Yellowbrick, can give young people the help they need to establish healthy coping behaviors and adjust negative thought patterns associated with disordered eating. Find out more about how we can help you or a loved one living with an eating disorder today.

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