I’ve shared my own struggle with an eating disorder here on Mamiverse and in two of my books: I Feel Fat and Fear of Eating. No two stories of battling anorexia, bulimia or compulsive overeating are the same and because food is a substance we need to deal with on a daily basis, it makes overcoming an eating disorder really difficult.
Read Related: Preventing Eating Disorders in Girls
The first step towards recovering from any type of addiction or addictive behavior is recognizing you have it. So, without further ado, here are some signs that you (or your daughter, a friend or a loved one) just might have an eating disorder. The more statements you identify with, the more likely you are to need medical help. These eating disorder signs are adapted from the Mayo Clinic’s symptom checklist and my own research and experience.
EATING DISORDER SIGNS
- You feel or think you look fat, even when others tell you that you are just fine.
- Conversely, you could be severely overweight to the point it affects your health.
- Food is always on your mind: eating it or depriving yourself from it.
- You are self-conscious of your eating habits. You hide to eat, refuse to eat in public, lie about what you eat.
- Excessive use of laxatives, diuretics, diet pills, and/or vomiting on demand.
- Irregular periods (as in skipping periods for months at a time).
- Compulsive exercise, done not to be fit, but to lose weight or prevent weight gain.
- Feeling out of control.
- Substance abuse: alcohol, drugs.
- Moodiness, sadness, depression, suicidal thoughts.
These eating disorder signs are not an exhaustive list or meant to diagnose. Only a doctor will be able to tell you what kind of disorder you have: bulimia, anorexia, compulsive eating or any other variation and what type of treatment you need.