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Anorexia Symptoms: How To Help And Treat Eating Disorders

and knowing what anorexia symptoms look like will allow you to not only help yourself, but also someone you love who may be struggling.

Anorexia Symptoms

What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is a mental health disease that affects a person both mentally and physically. Whereas the disease affects significantly more women, it can afflict men as well. This is a serious and deadly illness if left untreated. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that consists of obsessive thoughts, self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Here are a list of symptoms to watch out for:

Weight loss

Excess facial and body hair

Fatigue, and/or inability to sleep

Feeling faint and/or fainting

Inability to concentrate

Skin discoloration

Hair loss

Loss of menstruation


Dry skin

Inability to tolerate cold

Irregular heart rate

Low blood pressure


Weak bones and/or swelling body.

Eating Disorder Behaviors 

Since an eating disorder is a mental health illness, certain behaviors that a person is displaying may help you determine if you or your loved one is struggling. Here are a list of behaviors to pay attention to:

Restricting food

Hiding food

Lying about what they are eating

Denying that they are hungery

Thinking that other people have eating disorders

Extreme diets

Excessive exercising


Binging and purging

Laxative abuse

Taking diet pills

Obsessing over food

Numbed feelings


Mood swings


Decreased libido

Suicidal feelings

Dual Diagnosis

It is not uncommon for someone who is struggling with an eating disorder to also be struggling with another mental health disorder –  like drug addiction or alcoholism. Treating one disorder without treating the other may lead to a relapse, so when seeking help, make sure the treatment center you choose has a dual diagnosis program. Dual diagnosis programs enable the person suffering to be able to work on both issues simultaneously, which will aid them in staying clean and sober long-term while also learning to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Get Help

Eating disorders take a serious toll on the body, posing detrimental negative health consequences.  If sufferers continue to act out on eating disordered behaviors, they risk causing irreversible damage to their bodies that could prove fatal.  The good news is with treatment, an anorexic has potential to recover.  With this said, the sooner they make the decision to receive treatment, the greater the chances are for the outcome of their recovery.

If you or someone you know may have anorexia nervosa, seek help immediately and reach out to a professional team, physician, therapist, psychiatrist, support group, and/or 12-step fellowship like Eating Disorders Anonymous or Anorexics and Bulimic Anonymous Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous

Are you or someone you know suffering from a substance use disorder, too? Contact The Watershed today!

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