Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by extreme weight loss as well as a distorted body image. It’s not as easy to recognize as some people might think. It could be a result of excessive exercise, purging, or the use of laxatives to lose weight. Here are ten warning signs to keep an eye out for if you suspect that someone might be dealing with this disorder.
1. Preoccupation with Weight, Calories, and Dieting
One of the most visible warning signs is someone being single-minded about what they eat and how much they weigh. To get help for a loved one, it’s important that you pay attention to the way that they behave so that you can recognize this sign and start having a conversation with them.
2. Dramatic Weight Loss
This is more than just slimming up and looking healthy; this is a lot of weight loss in a short period of time. Someone dealing with anorexia wants to achieve results as quickly as possible and will go to extreme lengths to achieve their goals.
3. Feeling Cold All The Time
Someone with anorexia is not going to have body fat, so they’re going to feel cold all the time. This might make them wear more layers to keep warm, even when it’s a perfectly warm day outside.
4. Makes Meals For Others Without Eating
It might seem like a kind gesture at first, but if they refuse to eat on a regular basis, then they might be dealing with anorexia. They might frequently make the comment that they even feel hungry, but if this happens frequently, then you need to have a conversation.
5. Development Of Food Rituals
An individual might start eating foods in certain orders, engage in excessive chewing, or start rearranging the food on their plate to give off the appearance of eating while still controlling their intake.
6. Expresses Inflexible Thinking
An individual with anorexia has to have control over their eating, and this will extend to other areas of their life. It might even extend to those around them, which can be distressing to experience.
7. Intense Fear Of Weight Gain
They can express an irrational fear of putting on any weight, despite already looking underweight. They don’t want to become “overweight” and will express obsessive thoughts or tendencies in order to lose weight.
8. Becomes More Isolated
People with anorexia can start to withdraw from those around them, as well as activities they used to enjoy. They’ll start to be more withdrawn and secretive about their lives because they don’t want anyone else to know.
9. Rigid Exercise Regimen
They will start to maintain an excessive exercise routine, regardless of the weather outside, whether they’re already tired, or even if they’re sick.
10. Making Excessive Excuses to Avoid Food
They will start to come up with a lot of excuses as to why they can’t/won’t eat, or avoid any situations involving food so that they’re not “tempted.”
If you feel that someone you know may be dealing with anorexia, it’s important that you don’t wait but still approach the situation with caution. Speak to a medical health professional to find out the best ways to speak to a loved one dealing with anorexia.