Eating disorders are some of the most insidious mental health conditions, as they often go unnoticed and untreated until they spiral out of control. An eating disorder is a serious condition that can have devastating physical and emotional effects. Not many people understand them, and, in some cases, pop culture can glamorize or trivialize them. You should know the signs of an eating disorder and seek help if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms that might indicate this condition. Learn how to recognize the signs of an eating disorder with these tips.
Learn To Recognize Unhealthy Eating Patterns
The most obvious sign of an eating disorder is a significant change in eating habits. This could manifest as a restriction of certain foods or food groups, excessive fasting, purging behaviors, or compulsive overeating. Individuals with an eating disorder might also try to hide their eating habits by never eating in front of others or avoiding social activities that revolve around food.
Watch Out for Physical Symptoms
Although disorders like anorexia and bulimia are mental health issues, they also have various physical symptoms that can help you recognize the signs of an eating disorder. For example, someone with anorexia may have thinning hair or dry skin, while someone with bulimia may have swollen salivary glands or dental problems. Other physical symptoms of eating disorders include fatigue, dizziness, and fainting.
Don’t Rely on Weight
Weight fluctuations are another symptom of eating disorders, but you can’t always rely on this to tell if something’s wrong. In fact, one of the most common myths about eating disorders is that they automatically make you thin. The truth is that some people with an eating disorder lose weight, some gain weight, and many might not notice significant weight fluctuations at all. Don’t rely on weight to diagnose an eating disorder, and don’t wait for significant weight changes to seek the help you deserve.