What Are the Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder?

In a world where every time you get on social media, you’re overloaded with a mix of videos about fad diets and images of what’s considered the “perfect” body type. Plus, you may not know who to trust for nutrition health advice. Given this influx of information, it’s no wonder many people aren’t sure what a healthy diet looks like or if it’s normal to stress about food during every meal. That’s why understanding what an eating disorder is and the warning signs is essential.

The Warning Signs of an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders aren’t only when you struggle with eating meals — it’s a constant battle between satisfying your body’s need for nutrients and the desire to lose weight, control a situation, or something else that’s triggering a person. But what does this look like in real life?

For example, say your friend shares how excited she is about starting a new diet plan, but you notice it consists of strict rules and limitations. As time passes, you can tell she’s not as energetic and happy as before. She’s counting calories during every meal, avoids your weekly girl’s night dinner, and is slowly becoming more isolated. You’re concerned, but what can you do? It’s clear that what started as a desire to live a healthier lifestyle has turned into something harmful. In this case, you noticed the warning signs, which allowed you to approach her about your concerns. Here are some more symptoms to watch for:

How Common Are Eating Disorders?

Did you know that the most common eating disorder is binge eating disorder (BED)? It’s not as talked about as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa, two of the other most common types of disordered eating. Still, according to a University of Iowa report, BED impacts up to 15% of the population at any given time. Anorexia impacts up to 4% of women in the U.S., making it the second most common. Bulimia nervosa and orthorexia are also eating disorders that impact all genders.

Maintain Your Health With Virtual Medication Management Services

Eating disorders aren’t usually diagnosed alone; comorbid disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) usually accompany disordered eating. Taking care of your mental health and nutrition is vital, which means securing the best mental health treatment available. Medication management can make it easier for some people to function. At Balance Psychiatric Services, we have psychiatric nurse practitioners who will explore different treatment methods, taking a holistic approach to help you get your mental health on the right track. Schedule a virtual appointment with one of our providers here!