Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder primarily classified by the restriction of food or calories. Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any Eating Disorder and Mental Health Disorder. For someone struggling with Anorexia, meals with family and friends can become very difficult and isolation is a key feature of the disorder. Hiding the signs and symptoms is part of the disorder and can make early detection from family and friends difficult. If you notice some of the signs and symptoms below in yourself or a loved one, contact us today for a free phone assessment.
Signs & Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
- Constant dieting despite weight loss or being thin
- Thoughts or obsessions related to calories, nutrition and types of foods
- Lying about what, how much or when you ate
- Avoidance of meals with family and friends
- Preoccupation with food, cooking, meal preparation and/ or recipes
- Food rituals such as cutting food into tiny bites, taking an extremely long time at meals, or having to have things ‘just so’ on a plate
- Obsessive thoughts related to body image, weight, shape and appearance
- Taking laxatives, diet pills or diuretics
- Vomiting after meals
- Compulsive exercise (exercising even with an injury, during bad weather, or with the intent to self punish)
- Possible physical symptoms: weight loss, malnutrition, hair falling out, dizziness, dehydration, heart palpitations
According to the DSM-5 criteria, to be diagnosed as having Anorexia Nervosa a person must display:
- Persistent restriction of energy intake leading to significantly low body weight (in context of what is minimally expected for age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health).
- Either an intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain (even though significantly low weight).
- Disturbance in the way one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body shape and weight on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
Subtypes of Anorexia Nervosa
- Restricting type: During the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has not regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior
- Binge-Eating/Purging Type: During the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior (i.e., self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas)