Can You Tell If A Friend Has An Eating Disorder?

In a world obsessed with food and exercise as a means to look “perfect”, it can be hard to tell if someone has an eating disorder. This article from The Guardian does a great job explaining the signs and symptoms of various eating disorders, and what to do if someone you love is suffering from one. Some excerpts I found especially important include:

“Though some people struggling with bulimia or ednos are underweight, the majority have a normal BMI, while some are overweight. When I heard my friends’ admissions, I instantly fell into the trap of equating ‘eating disorder’ with ’emaciation’, forming a host of regrettable assumptions about their experiences.

It’s often assumed that anorexia is fuelled by vanity and a desire to emulate skinny celebrities. In reality, eating disorders, including anorexia, are serious mental health problems, triggered by a complex interplay of low self-worth, difficulties in coping with problems and – possibly – genetics.”

“To recognise and understand these conditions, we need to look for behavioural signs as well as weight changes. For example, a friend with an eating disorder may become more withdrawn, preferring to spend time alone rather than engage in social situations they used to enjoy.

They may become extremely anxious at meal times and try to get out of events that revolve around food – you may notice they have taken to eating alone.”

What are your thoughts?Are these tips accurate? Have you or someone you know suffered from an eating disorder?

To read the rest of the article, click the link below:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/mortarboard/2013/feb/11/how-to-spot-an-eating-disorder

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