Similar to many mental health disorders, anorexia nervosa is hard to spot because the person who has it may not even realize it.
“The symptoms don’t exactly present themselves until its gotten to an extreme," said Relevé Counseling therapist, Jessica Olmo.
Two signs most people associate with anorexia is extreme weight loss and low self-esteem. But, warning signs can be spotted much earlier. Some of those includes:
Being overly focused on rules
Cutting food into small pieces or moving it around the plate
Going to the bathroom right after meals
Refusing to eat around other people
Missing a period for at least three cycles for women
Even excessive exercise can be a sign.
“Exercising to the point of, ‘I ate this many calories and I need to go burn them off.’”
Anorexia rarely works alone. More than half of Americans with an eating disorder also have an anxiety disorder.
Those disorders include, but are not limited to depression, anxiety, and obsessive compulsive behaviors.
About two-thirds of anorexia cases can be linked back to a traumatic or stressful event. If left untreated, it can wreak havoc on your mind and your body.
“People tend to not get the nutrients that their body needs. Over time it diminishes in your body and the outward symptoms are because you’re lacking the things your body actually needs.”