What is and eating disorder?
Eating disorders are serious, complex and potentially life-threatening mental illnesses. They are characterised by disturbances in behaviours, thoughts and attitudes to food, eating, and body weight or shape. Eating disorders have detrimental impacts upon a person’s life and result in serious medical, psychiatric and psychosocial consequences.
Before you can address and treat a problem, you must identify the problem. Warning signs of an eating disorder include:
Alterations in Weight
- Unusually marked weight loss. If the person weighs less than 85 percent of their ideal body weight and exhibits other characteristic signs of an eating disorder, this person can be diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa.
- Patients can still be close to, at, or even above their ideal body weight and still have an eating disorder. This is fairly often seen in binging and purging behaviors typical of patients diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa.
Preoccupation with Body Image
- May spend an inordinate amount of time looking in the mirror.
- Makes negative comments about her physical appearance and insists that she is overweight.
- May become preoccupied with certain celebrities and models on the Internet and magazines and compare themselves unfavorably to them.
- Wears baggy clothing to hide their body shape.
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