Do I Have an Eating Disorder? Understanding the Signs & Symptoms

The average Texan is concerned with their weight. This may cause some individuals to eat less with hopes of shedding off weight.

But an eating disorder isn’t just about eating more or less than you’re supposed to. Eating disorders go beyond the physical and, as the name describes, are a mental health condition.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself averse or drawn to food than you consider normal but aren’t sure if what you have is an eating disorder. Let’s help you find out.

What eating disorders are

An eating disorder is a serious psychological condition related to persistent eating behaviors that hamper your health physically, emotionally, socially, and your ability to function properly. It’s more or less an uncontrollable and long-term obsession with food and/or body shape.

Although there are different eating disorders with various symptoms, most include persistent food binges, averseness to food, and over-exercising to burn fat.

Unfortunately, severe cases of eating disorders may lead to death if left unchecked. If you or a loved one is battling this condition, seek an eating disorder treatment Texas as soon as possible. Like other mental illnesses, eating disorders can be addressed with the right approach.

Types of eating disorders and their symptoms

1.       Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is the most common eating disorder and affects mostly females. People with anorexia nervosa typically see themselves as overweight even when having a normal or less than normal body mass. This compels them to obsessively restrict food intake in a desperate attempt to lose or watch their weight.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Seeing yourself as overweight even when everybody tells you different
  • Conscious restrictive eating habits to limit calories
  • Being underweight compared to your peers
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Low self-esteem attached to weight
  • Desperately chasing after thinness.

2.       Binge eating

People with binge eating disorder typically eat large amounts of food in each meal session without control. It’s also very common among Texans.

Symptoms include:

  • Eating until uncomfortably full
  • A lack of control while eating
  • Feeling of shame when thinking about the behavior but an inability to stop
  • Rapid weight gain.

3.       Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is similar to anorexia nervosa in that the individual has an obsession with weight loss. However, bulimia is characterized by short periods of binge eating followed by strong averseness to food in an attempt to prevent weight gain. If you find yourself often binging without control, regretting afterward, and resorting to food restriction or over-exercising, you probably have bulimia nervosa.

Symptoms include:

  • Recurring binge eating without control
  • Regret, purging, or over-exercising afterward
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Since the individual counters overeating with restriction, they retain a relatively constant weight.

4.       Pica

Pica is a rare eating disorder characterized by an obsession with eating things not considered as food, e.g., dirt, detergent, chalk, etc. It often occurs in Children but happens to adults as well.

5.       Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

Individuals with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) loathe certain foods because of their smell, taste, texture, or temperature. This prevents the individual from eating freely, leading to malnutrition.

Wrapping up

Eating disorders come in different forms, signs, and symptoms, and this list isn’t exhaustive. If you have a compulsion to eat excessively in the dead of night, that’s also a problem. These things can make you lose your sense of self-control, causing shame while negatively impacting your health and wellness.

If you realize what you experience is an eating disorder, seek help immediately.

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