Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that can devastate a person’s physical and emotional health. Recent statistics say as many as 28 million Americans will deal with an eating disorder sometime during their lifetime. Unfortunately, many people with eating disorders don’t realize they have one until it has progressed to a more severe stage. In this blog post, we will explore the signs and symptoms of eating disorders and how you can recognize if you or someone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder without realizing it.
What Are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are a group of mental illnesses that involve disordered eating habits and distorted body image. Common types of eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), and other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED). Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, genders, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Signs & Symptoms of Eating Disorders
The signs and symptoms of an eating disorder can vary depending on the type of disorder. Generally speaking, some common signs to look out for include the following:
- Extremely restrictive dieting or elimination of certain food groups
- Obsessive calorie counting or weighing oneself frequently
- Excessive exercise or physical activity
- Preoccupation with body image or weight loss
- Avoidance of social situations involving food
- Unusual preoccupation with food or cooking for others
- Frequent comments about feeling “fat” or “ugly.”
How Can You Recognize an Eating Disorder?
It is not always easy to recognize the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder in yourself or someone else. If you are concerned that you may have an eating disorder but don’t realize it, there are some steps you can take to get help. First, talk to your doctor about any changes in your diet or exercise habits that may be concerning. Your doctor can help determine if further evaluation is needed for a possible diagnosis. Additionally, it is important to seek support from family members and friends who can provide emotional support during this difficult time. Finally, consider talking to a mental health professional who specializes in treating eating disorders for further evaluation and treatment options.
Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that can have long-term physical and emotional consequences if left untreated. If you think you may have an eating disorder, it is important to seek help as soon as possible so that you can begin the journey toward recovery. With the right support system, recovery from an eating disorder is possible! Many people fully recover from eating disorders and live long, happy, fulfilling lives. Help is available.
The professionals at Collective Counseling Solutions are here to help. We offer a variety of one on one as well as group counseling options with specialists that have experience in many different areas. Click here to be matched with a counselor, or contact us today for more information.