Eight Signs That Can Help You Recognise an Eating Disorder
There are thousands of people in the UK and around the world that are suffering from eating disorders; The society that we live in has made it so that many men and women feel like they are not attractive unless they are a certain weight. This mindset has let many people to begin to see food as the enemy and they have waged an all-out war on calories using the only thing that they have true control over, their eating.
Many family members and friends do not realize that a person has an eating disorder, or a potential one, until things are out of hand. Even a person that suffers from something serious like anorexia or bulimia may not think that there is anything seriously wrong until it is brought to their attention under the cold light of day. There is a way that a person can attempt to identify an eating disorder in oneself, or in a loved one, and this is to look for signs that show there is a problem.
1. Thinking that you are fat when you are just a normal weight
Many people that suffer from eating disorders look at themselves in the mirror and they think that they are fat. They may get on the scale and see the numbers going down, their weight may be within sensible recommended guidelines, but in their mind, they are still heavy. That is one sure sign that the person has a skewed view of reality that can cause them to obsess about food and their weight.
2. Seeing food as an enemy
People that are suffering from eating disorders begin to see food as the enemy – something to be avoided at all costs, and even despised. At times, they may try to avoid eating with friends and they may avoid restaurants or places where food is bought, because simply being around food makes them feel highly uncomfortable.
3. Constantly telling others that you hate the way you look
In many societies, it is thought to be completely normal to say that you feel fat, but if you or a friend is constantly talking about how much you hate your weight, that is a telltale sign that there is a problem, especially if you are a normal weight, or underweight.
4. Binging on food and then throwing up
A very big sign of an eating disorder is binging and purging. That is the practice of eating a lot of food at one sitting, and then taking a laxative, or an expectorant to throw it all up. Many people with bulimia do this to avoid taking in too many calories. Alternatives to this would be taking lots of slimming pills or other slimming aids – going over the recommended dosages can be very dangerous. Those taking any of these measures are caring more about their appearance than their well-being.
5. Weighting yourself constantly
It is normal and perfectly fine to care about your weight, but when you have to get on the scale every day, multiple times a day, it is very possible that you have a serious problem with your weight, and with your self-image.
6. Dieting constantly and religiously watching calories
Many people around the world will do the occasional yo-yo diet, but it is a problem when a person lives their entire lives on a diet. Doing things like taking diet pills and eating diet foods all the time when it is not necessary can be another sign that a person is suffering from an eating disorder.
7. Excessive exercise
Many people that are suffering with different eating disorders believe that if they exercise all the time they can stay thin. They may exercise for three or four hours a day, to the point of exhaustion. Exercise is great, but when it becomes excessive, it can be an indication that something is out of control.
8. An obsession with thin people
Quite often when a person is suffering from an eating disorder, they obsess over people that they see on the television or on magazine covers, because they really want to be thin. They may have a warped idea of what beauty is and at times they associate being beautiful and being a good person with being thin.
There are many other ways that food disorders manifest themselves, but the proceeding signs are some of the ways you can catch an eating disorder earlier than later. It is also very important to keep in mind that a person does not have to be thin to be suffering from an eating disorder – there are many other people that could be considered overweight that suffer with bulimia. It is important to recognize the warning signs for an eating disorder, because by recognizing them, it is possible to save the life of a loved one, or even your own.
This post is by Forest Healthcare – a specialist provider of residential, nursing and dementia care facilities for ages 18 to 100 years plus.