It’s possible that you’ve suspected for a long time that you’ve had an eating disorder, but you just weren’t sure. Maybe you’ve had some behaviors that could be characterized as anorexia or bulimia, but you’re doubtful as to whether or not your behaviors indicated a full-fledged eating disorder, clinically.
This type of confusion is fairly common; especially since people rarely fit the “textbook” definition of eating disorder clients. However, if you have a suspicion, this information can help you to identify whether or not you really do suffer from this condition. Please keep in mind that not all signs of an eating disorder are obvious. Some are very subtle in nature.
Eating Disorder Sign #1: You Have a Poor Body Image
Do you spend a lot of time looking at yourself in the mirror? Maybe you pinpoint parts of your body that make you feel less attractive, and it doesn’t matter how others try to reassure you, you’re just not comfortable in your own body. When these signs of poor body image are linked with eating less food or other behaviors, they indicate that you might have an eating disorder.
Eating Disorder Sign #2: You Exercise to the Point of Exhaustion
It’s normal to try to get some form of exercise in a few times a week, and some people even try to exercise every day. However, if you exercise to the point of exhaustion, it’s a problem. Maybe you plan your workouts to last for hours, or perhaps you try to exercise every chance you get; even to the point of losing out on valuable sleep at night. If any of these describe you, you could be suffering from an eating disorder.
Eating Disorder Sign #3: You Develop Fine Body Hair
Developing fine body hair is a sign most people don’t know about. It’s actually a coping mechanism the body will use to protect itself and stay warm, and it occurs because of the lack of nutrients within the body. This is most often seen in people who have anorexia, and the hair (which is actually more of a fuzz or fur) is called lanugo. It will appear on the arms, face, and elsewhere on the body.
Eating Disorder Sign #4: Feeling Afraid to Eat in Public
Have you ever had a friend suggest going out to eat? What happens to you when that suggestion is made? Do you feel scared of what might happen when you go? Many people who suffer from eating disorders feel terrified at the thought of eating in public because they’re afraid of what other people are going to think of them. Maybe you picture them judging you because of how much food you order, or perhaps you’re worried that they’re going to think you should be skipping dessert. You’d much rather stay home, and most of the time, you figure out a way to avoid these types of social eating situations.
Eating Disorder Sign #5: Constantly Feeling Cold
Are you the type of person who feels cold almost all the time? Even when it’s warm and sunny outside, you feel as though you’re freezing. You may try to keep a sweater or sweatshirt handy so you can stay warm. When your body is missing important nutrients, this is very typical. So, if you always feel cold, you probably have an eating disorder.
Getting Help for Your Eating Disorder
Have you noticed any of these signs occurring for yourself? If you have, then it’s important for you to reach out and get professional help right away. You don’t need to continue to suffer, and eating disorder treatment is the best way to help you recover. Please contact us here at Empowerment Treatment & Counseling to get more information.