7 Warning Signs Of An Eating Disorder

7-warning-signs-eating-disorders

1. Drastic Change in Eating Habits

When a person is developing an eating disorder, they cannot help the fact that their eating behaviors will be abnormal. Look for signs of abnormal eating behaviors- but remember to keep in mind the individual. If they have always hated meat, then what can be done? But if someone suddenly has aversions to food they once loved, it can be a red flag. This is especially true of foods high in fat, calories, oils, etc.

They will rarely or never eat with others, always finding some excuse for not eating- they aren’t really hungry, they feel sick, or maybe they just ate- the list goes on. Look for use or over-use of laxatives or other products that help with weight loss. For those seeking recovery for a loved one eating disorder treatment is available.

2. Bad Body Image (the way they view themselves)

Body image is essentially defined as the way one perceives others to view them. Having bad body image would bring on waves of self-doubt in their appearance, and therefore cause this person to constantly try and lose weight.

When somebody is developing an eating disorder, or has one already, food and appearance is very pre-occupying. A common cover-up for extra weight, or an extreme loss of weight, is to wear baggy clothes. They will often spend a lot of time in front of a mirror or obsessing over everything that is wrong with their bodies. Key places they will often mention would be their stomach, thighs, and buttocks. Poor self-image is often a clue in those with eating disorders, if you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder you may need assistance from a bulimia clinic, anorexia treatment center or binge eating facility.

3. Exercise Behaviors

Compulsive exercising is another clue to watch for- especially in somebody who does not have a past of using any exercise regimen. Often this schedule will be overly harsh. Those with an eating disorder often can not recover on their own and will need the help of an eating disorder residential center. Because of an unhealthy diet, they often tire easy, and the exercise only wears them down and it is only through will power that they can keep up. Over time, usually their performance worsens in these routines, but they will refuse to change the over-demanding exercise.

4. Thoughts and Beliefs

Eating disorders are psychological as well as physical. Even people with above-average intelligence are effected by it in their rational and logic. Overly-simple thinking and reasoning brings along ideas such as “Being skinny will make me feel better about myself.”

Obsessing over thinness and thin people is a huge sign. They will often out the thin people around them and express their envy.

Another belief often held by somebody with an eating disorder is that they do not deserve to enjoy their food. They eat foods that they don’t actually like, and either do not eat enough or eat way too much. It is brought on by an extreme self-hatred that is recommended to be dealt with in therapy. Such therapies are offered in California eating disorder centers and other eating disorder facilities around the country.

5. Emotional and Psychological

Denying their own feelings is another common trait in a person suffering from an eating disorder. They have trouble discussing the way the feel about something. Dismissing emotions such as anger with excuses like being tired or stressed conveniently avoids dealing with the issue at hand.

Mood swings are not uncommon. Even low-key interactions can trigger strong emotions and possibly tantrums or withdrawal. This may be because they often feel inadequate, depressed, anxious, and lonely. Overwhelming emptiness, hopelessness and despair make it difficult to function at a normal level of interaction. Due to the serious psychological effects this disorder has on a person, eating disorder treatment clinics are availiable in numerous locations around the world.

6. Self-injury and/or Self-harm

Eating disorders are often influenced by indirectly related traumatic past experiences such as sexual abuse. Trauma therapy and eating disorder treatment is often helpful for those experiencing the painful side-effects of abuse. The feelings induced by the eating disorder in combination with other life trauma often pushes people to self-injure themselves as a way to distract themselves from their emotional pain.

Self injury includes cutting or burning flesh, banging or slapping against other objects, and swallowing foreign objects. These activities bring a sense of escape while they last but soon after the tension will mount again.

Self injury does not mean that a person is suicidal or just seeking attention. Self injury should be addressed professionally and quickly, especially because self injury can quickly and inadvertently lead to a medical crisis. Trauma treatment is often a necessary step toward recovery in those who self-injure.

7. Social behaviors

The predisposition a person with an eating disorder is likely to have creates a people-pleasing type personality. When making everyone else happy is not an option, they often withdraw in whatever way they can at the time. Conversely, they will also become controlling in the area of food and dining choices when it comes to close friends and family. These behaviors can turn into unhealthy obsessions which is why anorexia treatment centers, bulimia clinics and binge eating facilities are often recommended.

They tend to present an extreme of being needy and dependent or very independent and rejecting of help. Their relationships tend to be one-sided or superficial. Because of the imbalanced rationality in their thinking, they are more likely to make regrettable choices about their sex lives, cash flow, stealing and lying, making commitments, career paths, and practically everything that will have a major impact on their future.

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53 Responses to “7 Warning Signs Of An Eating Disorder”

    • Kelly

      Hi Kay – It is recommended that you discuss this with your doctor or you can contact us at 866-768-6719.

      Reply
  1. sugar bear

    If you have six out of seven of these problems, i recommend you see a Doctor as soon as possible.

    Reply
  2. Hannah

    I think my friend has most of these…but she’s so stubborn that if we tell her, she won’t listen. What do I do?

    Reply
  3. ashley

    My mom is showing 6/7. She basically gave up FOOD for lent and buys tons of laxatives.. typically she serves dinner in accordance with age / gender. So my dad and brothers consume a lot and me the youngest daughter, the least. Now she gives herself smaller portions than she does for me. She is so obsessed with weight loss since my sister was engaged and it increased for the wedding…

    Reply
  4. vannessa

    i have all 7. I’ve lost 5 pounds so far. I purge sometimes but not all of my food, eat under 300cals a day.

    Reply
  5. Danni

    if i have all these do i need help? what can i do to stop myself getting worse?

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera

      Yes it would probably be best to consult your primary care physician or for help and more information about our services please contact 1-866-768-6719.

      Reply
  6. Danni

    I have all 7 of these, i try to stop eating whenever possible trying to feel better about myself, do i need to get help from my doctor? what can i do to stop myself getting worse?

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera

      Yes it would probably be best to consult your primary care physician or for help and more information about our services please contact 1-866-768-6719.

      Reply
  7. Marie

    Is it a eating disorder to eat when your not hungry, depressed or just because you don’t like the way you look being heavy already?

    Reply
  8. Jenni

    All of these things relate to me but whenever i bring it up to my parents they always yell at me saying I don’t have an eating disorder, and they freak out.. I seriously think I have a problem though, and noone believes me..

    Reply
  9. Jake

    I have all of these. I am 15 and 5’11” and 160 lbs. I eat 1200 calories a day. My mom keeps telling me that i have an eating disorder, but i keep pushing her off. Do I need help?

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera

      Thank you for your comment. However not knowing your full medical history, it would be unethical to respond. We recommend consulting your treating physician. If you need more information or help you can also call 888-481-4481 or email info@casapalmera.com. Thank you.

      Reply
  10. Person

    You need to convince your parents that you need help. Be serious about it and don’t let it go. I made the mistake of letting them let it go and it has honestly become the biggest problem of my life. ever. please don’t make the stupid mistake i did and stay persistent in getting help. what i eventually did was talk to my school counselor. apparently our school has a therapist and i didn’t know about it! my counselor helped my parents understand that i really did have a problem, and going to my counselor, although a tough decision, was honestly the best decision i have made. ever.

    Reply
  11. Alli

    This is a really good website, it helped me with a paper for school, and it also helped me realize that I have all of these. I showed this website to my best friend and asked her to help me stop. Thanks for helping me. My doctor says I didn’t cause any permanent damage to myself yet.

    Reply
  12. Colby

    my teenage niece has most of those but shes trying to get back on track and doesnt know how. any help? tips?

    Reply
  13. emma

    My best friend had 6/7 of these signs and I really need to help her and she is losing more and more weight everyday and going down a bad road… What do I do?

    Reply
  14. Marlé

    I have most of em, but I don’t have anyone to turn to and talk ’bout it, and when I actually chow I keep getting very naar, I use to harm myself but I stopped and started focusing more on my sport because then when I get hurt I have an excuse of why.. But its getting worse every day.

    Reply
  15. Suzanne

    I’m suffering all of these.. Uggh I hate my body so much! :'(

    Reply
  16. Alivia

    My friends has 6/7 of these. She’s really skinny but talks about having to lose weight all the time. And she says how much she hates food and eating. She doesn’t even eat before workouts. What should I do? Please help me.

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera

      Thank you for your comment. To help your friend we recommend getting assistance from other friends/family or professional help to confront your friend. For more information please contact us at 1-866-768-6719 or email info@casapalmera.com.

      Reply
  17. Hannah

    I have numbers 1, 2 and 4 but sometimes 3 too. Should I be worried?

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera

      Hi Hannah – Thank you for your comment. We recommend consulting your treating physician. You may also contact us for help and more information at 1-866-768-6719 or email info@casapalmera.com.

      Reply
  18. jaylene

    My husbands sister has become seriously skinny over the past months. You could see her rib cage and spine and she has dark circles on her eyes. Everybody is concerned but no one has told her anything. She claims to have stomach issues and that she eats a lot but shes not gaining weight. But i never see her eat. she does not talk about calories or exercise. I think she would rather starve than to work out. which i think its what shes doing now. So do you guys think she has stomach problems or she has an ED?

    Reply
  19. Maryjane

    I have generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, insomnia, adjustment disorder, depressed mood and insomnia. I feel pretty bad about myself but don’t tell myself not to eat. I like eating even though most of the time, I feel like I eat too much. But lately I just feel really icky and not hungry. My mom keeps telling me to eat and she thinks I’m trying to give myself an eating disorder, but I’m not. Really, I’m not. What do I do?

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera Staff

      Hi Maryjane – Thank you for your comment. We recommend consulting your treating physician. You may also contact us for help and more information at 1-866-768-6719 or email info@casapalmera.com.

      Reply
  20. Kelsey

    Okay I got out of an abusive two year long relationship about five months ago. Afterwards I got pretty depressed and just stopped eating besides a few things a day and I was exercising a lot. I’ve dropped from around 148 to 114. Nothing seemed that severe until people started commenting about my weight loss, and lately It just seems as if I don’t have any energy, I’m moody and it’s a lot harder for me to sleep. I don’t feefeel depressed anymore, I’ve coped and got over it. But now whenever I do try eating more I can’t eat as much as I used too, and I can’t even keep it down half of the time. I really don’t know what’s wrong anymore and it’s just frustrating me because I’m trying to eat more but I just can’t.

    Reply
  21. Amanda

    @ Kelsey I’m having the same problem. It really didn’t set in that something was wrong until today when I was at a family members funeral, I’m 5 foot and 115lbs, but I have lost it rather quickly. So I’m in your boat

    Reply
  22. Lea

    Excellent page. Metabolism also comes into play when we speak about the female body especially and how to lose belly fat for women. Anyway, informative thoughts. Have a great day.

    Reply
  23. sarah

    what is an eating disorder??
    is it when u eat when ur not hungry?? or something
    and u eat ur feelings like eat when u feel sad??

    Reply
  24. shona

    I have most of these symptoms the only one I don’t have is the extreme exercise I work out for 4 hours every day but that’s not really extreme should I be worried

    Reply
  25. Bulimia Help

    Informative article. This is very helpful to help people be aware about eating disorders and know if they already have the eating disorders.

    Reply
  26. Kasey

    I use to eat all the time, but now I can barely eat a much as I used too, For Example – I would eat 3 Tacobell soft tacos and feel slightly hungry afterward, now I can barely eat one without getting full. Also whenever I’m hungry, I can tell but have no desire to eat whatsoever, I thought I developed a eating disorder but I the only symptom I have is the drastic eating habits. So what’s wrong with me?

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera Staff

      Please contact your doctor so he can give you a proper diagnosis.

      Reply
  27. Lori M.

    Yes article is all true, BUT, is it curable? How do I stop hating my body so much since it was such a trauma in childhood by the very people I adored, my father and mother

    Reply
  28. Sophie

    I just hate eating waste of time. I never get hungry the thought of food makes me feel sick but when I do try and eat I can never finish the meal , I used to love food when I was growing up but now everything has change and being called fat I started to beilve it …. So now I just think food is vile so I drink water

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera Staff

      This is not healthy as you must know because you took the time to write. Would you be willing to talk to a therapist about this? We are happy to give you names of professionals in your area. You can call our Admissions intake line at 888-481-4481

      Reply
  29. Hannah

    I have recently started to really hate the way I look, I always feel fat. Over the past year and a bit I haven’t been able to eat at school (some days I can some days I can’t) my friends keep telling me to eat but it’s impossible to. Should I worry?

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera Staff

      Yes, it’s not a red flag that you are beginning to have these feelings. Please consider talking to your parents if they are still responsible for you and if not please seek counseling. You can find a trained professional on the website http://www.EDreferral.com.

      Reply
  30. lilah

    Every time I get stressed i stop eating i’ve only ate 2x in the past 5 days and i didn’t eat much the second time i ate. i tried to throw up but barely did. i’m not sure if i’m developing a problem or not but the thought of food makes me very nauseous

    i get stressed out i cant eat i get nauseous just at the thought of any food i havent ate in a few day but every once in a while ill eat
    super fast and today i did that but tried to throw up but barely did idk if im developing a problem though.

    Reply
  31. Hannah W.

    I used to eat a lot of food, but starting at least 2 months ago , I ate a lot less. I have a thing listed here about self image. I cant wear a lot of my shirts unless if I have a sweatshirt over it because it makes me look ”fat” I have absolutely no clue what is happening to me
    And my mom says im fine But im not I think I need to go to a doctor But both my parents say I dont need to

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera Staff

      We would suggest going back to your parents and let them know how strongly you feel about your need to see a doctor. If you are in high school, please ask to see your school guidance counselor and discuss your concerns with that person. You have the option of giving them permission to talk to your parents on your behalf .

      Reply
  32. Maria

    I am 19 years old. In the last 5 months I have cut back on my eating quite a bit I have been telling Mom that I’ve been eating all day and the only time that I ever do is when she forces me to eat I don’t know what’s going on I’m just no longer hungry anymore. what does this mean

    Reply
    • Casa Palmera Staff

      Not eating due to lack of hunger is different than not eating even when hungry . Please ask your mother to take you for a check up. There could be a medical reason for the lack or hunger as well as an emotional reason. Please rule out the medical reason first.

      Reply