Eating disorders are a serious psychological condition that affects millions of people each year. Most people associate eating disorders with younger girls, but everyone can develop an eating disorder at any point in their life. Eating disorders have the ability to ruin the health of an individual along with all of their personal relationships. Someone with an eating disorder will do everything in their power to hide their problem, so you must look out for these five symptoms if you believe a loved one is suffering from a serious problem.
Major Fluctuations in Weight
The most obvious symptom of a serious eating disorder is a major fluctuation in weight. Anorexia is one of the most common eating disorders, and it is guaranteed to cause major weight loss from the lack of eating. Losing more than 15 percent of your normal body weight in a short period time is a major symptom of anorexia. Someone suffering from bulimia will also see major changes in their weight. They can actually gain weight after a long binge eating session. Their disorder will then cause them to start purging their food, which can result in rapid weight loss back to their normal weight.
Obsession with Body Image
Most eating disorders are caused by an over obsession with body image. The disorder is created as a way to get to their ideal body shape. Since eating disorders are psychological conditions, a skinny person can still conceive of themselves as overweight. Obsessing over perfect celebrities, constantly looking at the mirror and making derogatory comments about their weight are the three most common ways an obsession over body image will reveal itself.
Since people with eating disorders feel like there is something wrong with them, they will usually display this anger towards other people. Sufferers from eating disorders can become irritable, anxious or depressed. This can force them to stop socializing with friends or completely lose interest in their favorite activities.
Changes in Eating Habits
Someone with an eating disorder will do their best to hide their new eating habits, but the disorder will eventually take over and prevent this from happening. Not eating with the rest of the family, obsession over calories, eating much smaller portions or going to the bathroom immediately after eating are the most common signs of an eating disorder.
Visible Physical Symptoms
Since they are not getting eating a healthy diet, someone with an eating disorder will start to show physical symptoms from poor nutrition. This poor nutrition can cause fainting, hair loss, poor sleep patterns, lack of energy and grayish skin. These physical symptoms will take some time to show up, so you need to immediate get help for anyone displaying these signs of an eating disorder.
Constantly observing their actions is the only way to find out if your loved one is suffering from an eating disorder. They are going to do everything in their power to keep it a secret, but they physical signs will eventually become reveal. If you see any combination of these five major symptoms, then you need to take action and get your loved one some help immediately. You may require a professional interventionist to help you stage an eating disorder intervention for your loved one. The goal of this is to prepare them to receive the treatment they need.
Eating disorders are insidious and can go unnoticed for a long time. Being attentive and knowing what signs to watch for are key to helping your loved one get on the path to treatment and eventual recovery.