I’ve had friends with eating disorders. When I was in high school, I remember I had a friend who was going through some issues at home and after being made fun of in school, she developed a serious eating disorder. I did not realize that she was dealing with an eating disorder because I always saw her eating food and I was unaware of the signs of bulimia. I finally realized that everyday after lunch she would run to the bathroom and come back out with watery eyes and a red face, looking as if she had just thrown up. That is the moment that I realized what was going on. I decide to do some research and realized there were even more signs that she had bulimia. Dark circles under her eyes, the yellow tint to her skin, and brittle nails, all signs of bulimia. I decided to tell the school nurse, who took things from there and my friend was able to get the help she needed.
Eating Disorder Signs
With today’s society, eating disorders are on the rise. They can affect both women and men and are more prevalent among teens and young adults. There are many different types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, non-purging bulimia and combinations of these. The affects that an eating disorder can have on one’s life can be deep, long lasting, and even fatal, which is why it is so important if you think you have an eating disorder, that you get help. It is really important that people are made more aware of the signs of an eating disorder because a lot of the time it is easy to confuse an eating disorder with just a diet or not being hungry. Whether you think you might have an eating disorder or maybe you think your friend has one, knowing the signs of an eating disorder can help save someone’s life. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, here is a list of the common signs of an eating disorder:
- Self esteem is overly related to body image
- The feeling of being out of control
- Inadequate food intake or too much food intake
- Obsession with weight, calorie intake, etc.
- Self-induced vomiting
How To Tell Help Someone Who Might Have An Eating Disorder
For those of you who think you may be dealing with an eating disorder yourself but aren’t sure, there are a few things you can do. Talk to a parent, a school nurse, your doctor, or you can even call the National Eating Disorders Association’s (NEDA) confidential helpline at 1-800-931-2237. If at first you don’t want to talk to someone, there is an online screening test you can take that can help you understand what kind of eating disorder you have and how to get treatment. For a free, anonymous, online screening visit My Body Screening.
If you think you or someone close to you has the signs of an eating disorder, do something. Do something to help yourself or your friend in need. If you are struggling with an eating disorder there are so many places to go for help and overcome this. If you have a friend or family member who you think may be struggling with an eating disorder, you can also point them in the direction of NEDA and all of the helpful sources they can provide. Their Parent, Family & Friend Network has resources like webinars, more information online, as well as live support to help you navigate the treatment options available and support your family.
By: Kelly Bradley, AiT Contributor