10 signs You May Have an Eating Disorder & How To Get Help
An eating disorder often begins with the best of intentions, such as a desire to lose weight and control eating habits. But, unfortunately for some people, those good intentions can go very wrong and can result in binge eating, bulimia, anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders.
Any type of eating disorder is serious and is associated with a number of severe health consequences. Most often, they’re borne from complicated mental health issues and involve different combinations of compulsive behaviours and obsessive thoughts about food intake and body image.
Ten signs of an eating disorder
If you or someone you know is struggling with eating issues, here are ten common signs of distress:
1. Persistent intrusive thoughts about body image or food intake
2. A feeling of helplessness that thoughts about body image or food have taken over your life completely
3. An endless desire to act on such thoughts by binging, purging, excessively exercising or checking the body constantly
4. Significant physiological responses and anxiety to beliefs about body image or food, such as a racing heart, sweating, trembling, flushed face and headaches
5. Lack of focus on other tasks in life
6. An inability to enjoy meals with others, such as going to a restaurant with friends or eating dinner at the table with family
7. Feelings of guilt about being hungry or eating
8. Worrying about how eating patterns affect your loved ones
9. Recognising an unhealthy pattern with eating habits
10. Inability to function physically daily due to feelings of weakness, fatigue or vulnerability.
For some, nutritional instability becomes a distress sign. And you don’t need to be underweight to be lacking proper nutrition! You can be mal-nourished at any weight due to bad eating habits.
The link between eating disorders and depression
Depression has long been known to lead to eating disorders. However, there’s also evidence that shows unhealthy eating habits can result in depression because being severely malnourished or underweight can cause physiological changes that can affect your state of mood negatively.
For instance, people who struggle with binge eating problems are often overweight. This can cause them to feel depressed about how they look. After giving into an episode of uncontrolled binge eating, they end up feeling even worse about their self, deepening their depression.
Also, those with eating disorders can often feel that they’re not good enough and struggle with the obsession to be perfect. That perfectionism manifests itself through focusing on what they eat.
Get started with the help you need today
If you think you may be struggling with an eating disorder, you don’t have to suffer alone. There are a number of online treatments and psychology services for eating disorders that can help you to overcome it.
At Positive Mind Works, we want to help you get to the root of the problem – not just treat the symptoms. One of our online psychologists will help you understand how your eating problems first began and then implement effective ways to help you address these unhealthy habits. Some techniques we might use include, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness techniques or cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for eating disorders.