Did you know that the National Institute of Mental Health reports that among adolescents aged 13 to 18, 3.8% of girls and 1.5% of boys have an eating disorder?
Knowing the early signs of an eating disorder is essential to tell someone if it affects you or a loved one. Watch out for these signs the next time you are with someone who could be slipping away from you.
With a few open eyes and awareness, you can ensure an eating disorder does not take more lives but can be resolved. Let’s look what are the early signs of an eating disorder if you notice something is wrong.
Unhealthy Attitudes Towards Food
Unhealthy attitudes towards food are one of the initial and early signs of an eating disorder. For example, they are restricting food intake, excessive exercising, overindulgence in sweets, avoidance of meals, and criticizing their own food choices or body size.
Someone exhibiting these signs may also rely on food for comfort and security. They are using it to cope with life stressors and distressing emotions. They may use food as a source of self-validation, believing that all of their worth originates from what they eat or how they look.
Someone experiencing an eating disorder may also obsess over food choices and calories. They might also have an extreme preoccupation with the scale or their appearance in the mirror.
Paying close attention to what are the early signs of an eating disorder can help prevent the onset of disordered eating patterns. It supports early intervention in those already exhibiting such behaviors.
Not Eating in Social Situations
This means skipping meals with friends or family, eating alone, or even not eating when out in public with others. The person may go to great lengths to avoid eating by not carrying money for food. They are using the restroom during meals or blaming the lack of appetite on non-food-related events.
It is essential to be aware of these signs, noticing if a person is having difficulty engaging in social events due to food or body image concerns. Early intervention is key to getting help and pursuing recovery.
Unexplained Weight Changes
Individuals may begin to drastically lose or gain weight uncontrollably, with no apparent explanation for why. There could also be drastic changes in someone’s eating patterns, such as consuming excessively or not eating.
This could be accompanied by a fear of gaining weight or being judged if they eat. It is essential to seek professional help and guidance to ensure that the individual can get the support they need.
To learn other information about eating disorders, you can check out some common myths about bulimia which is related to an eating disorder.
Understanding What Are the Early Signs of an Eating Disorder
Eating disorders can manifest differently in everyone, so it’s essential to know the symptoms and receive help. Whether you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, seeking treatment from a medical professional can be beneficial.
If you’re still worried about what are the early signs of an eating disorder, don’t hesitate to call for help.
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