In the United States, millions of people suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders are a serious issue that can have a lasting impact on a person’s physical and mental health. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of an eating disorder, so you can get help if you or someone you know is struggling.
Grace Counseling offers disordered eating treatment in Texas, and our experts are happy to help you or your loved one on the journey to recovery. Call us at 844.564.0712 and get the help you need today.
What Are Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are a group of mental disorders that involve an abnormal relationship with food. People with eating disorders often have a distorted view of their bodies and an intense fear of gaining weight. This can lead to unhealthy behaviors around food, serious health problems, and even death.
There are six main types of eating disorders:
- Anorexia nervosa – This is characterized by self-starvation and an intense fear of gaining weight. People with anorexia often have a distorted view of their bodies and see themselves as overweight even when they are dangerously thin.
- Bulimia nervosa – This is characterized by binge eating followed by purging through vomiting, laxative abuse, and over-exercising. People with bulimia often feel out of control when they binge and use purging as a way to “undo” the calories they have consumed.
- Binge eating disorder – This is characterized by regularly consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time (binging), followed by feelings of shame, guilt, and disgust. People with binge eating disorders often eat even when they are not hungry and continue eating even when they are full.
- Pica – This is characterized by the persistent eating of non-food items or non-nutritional items such as dirt, hair, paint chips, paper, detergent, soap, wool, cloth, etc.
- Rumination disorder – This is characterized by the repeated regurgitation of food that has been previously chewed and swallowed.
- Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) – This is characterized by an avoidance of certain foods or a restricted intake of food due to a fear of choking, vomiting, or gaining weight.
Warning Signs of an Eating Disorders
Eating disorders can be difficult to spot because they often develop gradually and can be hidden from friends and family. However, some warning signs may indicate that someone is struggling with an eating disorder.
The following are common warning signs of an eating disorder:
- Preoccupation with food, weight, and dieting
- Distorted body image
- Skipping meals or making excuses not to eat
- Eating large amounts of food in a short period of time
- Frequent dieting or drastic changes in eating habits
- Feeling out of control around food
- Avoiding social situations or events that involve food
- Excessive exercise
- Withdrawing from social activities
- Extreme fluctuations in weight
- Eating non-food items
- Unusual hair loss or thinning
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
- Depression or anxiety
- Mood swings
If your loved one is displaying any of these warning signs of an eating disorder, it’s important to seek professional help. Eating disorders are serious mental illnesses that require treatment.
Recognizing an Eating Disorder
An eating disorder is not just a phase or something someone does for attention. Eating disorders are complex illnesses often requiring a team of professionals to provide treatment. Recognizing an eating disorder can be difficult because people often try to hide their illness.
If you are concerned that someone you know has an eating disorder, it’s important to seek professional help. Early intervention is key to recovery.
Grace Counseling is Here to Help
Recognizing an eating disorder can be hard, but if you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, we can help. Our team of professionals specializes in treating eating disorders, and we offer various services to meet our clients’ needs.
We understand how difficult it can be to ask for help. Our goal is to provide a safe and supportive environment where your loved one can begin their journey to recovery.
Contact us today at 844.564.0712.