Signs of an Eating Disorder | Diagnosing Mental Disorders

December 10, 2018

An eating disorder will entail unhealthy behaviors and beliefs that surround the factors of food intake, shape and weight. Whilst all of us occasionally grow concerned with our weight, individuals who have eating disorders will go to extremes to prevent weight gain that results in practices which may be dangerous and eventually deadly. There will include multiple categories of eating disorders, yet the most common include bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.

There will include additional variants of eating disorders which don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia that are categorized as EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) or called Eating Disturbances. Amongst these includes binge eating (w/o purging) that’s oftentimes related to obesity. All types of disordered eating ought to be treated immediately when recognized for the best opportunity at recovery.

Uncontrolled Diet Behaviors

Studies exhibit that more than 50% of girls in between 12 to 15 years of age list looks as a huge worry in their lives. Nearly as many girls are on a diet or believe they ought to be dieting.

Why are diet behaviors so prevalent amongst teens? One reason includes there being powerful sociocultural pressure upon girls to accomplish a specific shape and size. However, this shape and size is unattainable and unrealistic for many girls. As a matter of fact, if a girl possessed proportions like a Barbie Doll, she’d be six feet tall and weigh just 101 lbs.

Added to this pressure of being overwhelmed with pictures of underweight actresses as well as additional celebs on TV and airbrushed images of models within magazines is the truth that teenaged girls undergo a regular boost in body fat within puberty. It might cause accelerated worries concerning not measuring up, distorted body image, as well as ultimately also risky behaviors, like strict dieting, purging, as well as excess exercising.

What might a parent do to keep teenage dieting from getting out of hand? The most important thing includes listening. If your teenager thinks she is overweight and you do not concur, ask her why she believes she must lose weight. It’ll guide you in understanding how you can speak to her.

If needed, book an appointment with a nutritionist or doctor to assess if her weight is suitable for height or not, and if not, talk about a healthy eating strategy for losing weight. Many teenagers who have only a couple of pounds to lose easily can do this by consuming a broad array of food sources with attention to low fat selections, more whole grains, and a lot of vegetables and fruits. Daily exercise is helpful, as well. The nutritionist or doctor also can aid your child in understanding why skipping meals, fad diets, or consuming diet pills will not work and may even be harmful.

Notice the Signs


Drastic weight loss within a brief time span.
Wearing baggy or big clothing or wearing layers to conceal weight loss and/or body shape.
Weight obsession and complaining about weight issues.
Fat and calorie content of food obsession.
Obsession with continual exercise.
Constant visits to the restroom instantly after a meal.
Self-starvation and visible food restriction.
Visible purging and/or bingeing.
Utilizing or concealing use of laxatives, diet pills, enemas or ipecac syrup.
Isolation. Afraid of eating around other people.
Abnormal food rituals like shifting food around upon a plate to appear ingested; slicing food into small bites; being certain the fork does not touch the lips (utilizing teeth to scrap food off of the spoon or fork); chewing and spitting out food, yet not swallowing; dropping it into napkin upon lap to toss out later.
Concealing food in odd locations (cabinets, closets, suitcases, underneath the bed) to keep from consuming (anorexia) or to consume during a later period (bulimia).
Flushing unconsumed food down a toilet (may lead to sewage issues).
Secretive or vague patterns of eating.
Tracking a ‘food diary’ or list which comprises of behaviors and/or food (that is, restricting, purging, calories eaten, exercise, and so on).
Preoccupation with ideas of cooking, weight and food.
Going to sites promoting unhealthy methods of losing weight.
Buying books regarding eating disorders and weight loss.
Self-defeating words following food intake.
Hair loss. ‘Grey’ or pale look to skin.
Headaches and dizziness.
Constant sore throats and/or gland swelling.
Reduced self-esteem. Thoughts of worthlessness. Oftentimes putting himself or herself down, as well as talking about being ‘too fat’ or ‘too stupid’ and saying they do not matter. Need for approval and acceptance from other people.
Complaints of oftentimes being cold.
Reduced blood pressure.
Lack of menstrual cycle.
Incontinence or constipation.
Calloused or bruised knuckles; bleeding or bloodshot eyes; light bruising underneath eyes and cheeks.
Promiscuous relations or lack of sexual desire.
Fatigue. Depression. Mood swings.
Poor sleeping patterns. Insomnia.

Binge Eating Disorder/Compulsive Overeating

Afraid of not having the ability to control eating, as well as when eating, not having the ability to cease.
Isolation. Afraid of consuming food around other people.
Chronic dieting upon various popular diet fads.
Believing that life will get better if they are able to lose weight.
Concealing food in odd locations (cabinets, closets, suitcases, beneath bed) to consume during a later period.
Secretive or vague eating habits.
Self-defeating words following eating.
Blames failure within professional and social community upon weight.
Believing food is their sole friend.
Constantly breathless following light tasks.
Excess sweating and breath shortness.
Elevated cholesterol and/or blood pressure.
Joint and leg discomfort.
Weight gain.
Reduced mobility because of weight gain.
Promiscuous relations or lack of sexual desire.
Fatigue. Depression. Mood swings.
Poor Sleeping Patterns. Insomnia

Evaluate Your Behavior

Amongst the most difficult thing to do is to evaluate how our behaviors might reflect on our kids. What feeling do you have about your body? Do you talk about your weight with your teenager, refer to yourself as fat, or frequently diet? Those feelings you have regarding your body and how you deal with your shape and weight problems might have an impact on your kids. You could assist your teen in feeling good about her own body if you:

Avoid negative talk regarding your body, conveying the message that it is alright to hate your body.
If you’re overweight and must diet, allow your teenager to understand that you’re attempting to lose weight to improve upon your health instead of trying to be a specific shape or weight.
If you have to diet, do it by consuming balanced, healthy meals. Stay away from skipping meals, diet pills, and fad diets.
Model healthy exercise patterns. Moderate, consistent exercise will assist you in staying healthy and helping your teen to view it as a healthy thing to accomplish all the time-not only while a weight loss plan.

Additional Influences

Models, actresses, and additional celebs who your teen views on TV, in films and magazines also may influence your teen’s body image. It is vital that you talk about it with her in order for her to develop a realistic point of view. Assist her in seeing that individuals come in all sizes and shapes and body shape is mostly decided by heredity. Aid her in being her own person, as well as to take pride within her health instead of trying to appear similar to somebody else.

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