When we talk to parents of young women and men who are struggling with an eating disorder like Anorexia, one of the questions we’re asked is, “how could I have known that they had issues with food?”
Quite honestly, it’s not always easy to tell if someone is dealing with Anorexia.
People who suffer with an eating disorder are also pretty good at covering up their issues, hiding the way they feel and the way they look, even from parents and close friends.
At Canopy Cove, we’ve been treating people with Anorexia for over 20 years. We know what to look for. And recently, we read an article at CBS News called 12 Secret Signs She Has Anorexia. We think it explains some of the warning signs of Anorexia well.
Common warning signs include:
- Distorted body image, despite being thin – there is a worry about being fat or gaining weight
- Wearing baggy clothing or coats – this is done to hide their body and to keep them from being cold
- Socially withdrawn – they pull away from family and friends
- Unusual eating habits – eating too little or not eating at all, eating by themselves
- Fidgeting or constant activity – trying to burn calories, or just not able to settle themselves
- Pale skin, dull hair, the loss of a healthy look
- Loss of menstrual periods – periods become irregular or stop altogether
- Eating in privacy – an easier way to hide eating habits
- Food obsession – intense interest in food and its’ affects on the body
- Laxative abuse
- Digestion or stomach trouble – potentially showing Gastroparesis an Anorexia-related disorder in which severe weight loss damages the stomach muscles.
- Furry skin or Lanugo – the body’s way of protecting itself from cold by growing short fuzzy hair