7 Signs That Your Child is Developing an Eating Disorder ...


7 Signs That Your Child is Developing an Eating Disorder ...
7 Signs That Your Child is Developing an Eating Disorder ...

When anorexia and bulimia are mentioned, the first though on everybody’s mind is, "It won’t happen to my child, he/she is smart and knows better than that.” Well it happened to me, and let me tell you something. It’s an illness like any other and being smart and knowing better than that has nothing to do with anything, because I had been both and still failed to see my real reflection in the mirror. However, I will not turn this into a personal, sad confession. But I have to say that the person I have to thank for being here and writing this right now is my mom, who realized what’s going on before things got out of hand. I’m not trying to scare you or anything but, please, read the list of signs I’ve tried to compile because, when it comes to these things, it’s always better to be safe then sorry.

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You Child is Finding Excuses to Skip Family Meals

If your child is "not hungry,” has "been invited to her friend’s house for dinner,” or has "just ate at school" every time the family is supposed to gather for a meal together, take this as a warning sign and pay close attention to his/her behavior and eating schedule. I know I’ve used every excuse there is in the book to prevent my parents realizing that a full meal doesn’t fit in my anorexic “apple and a thin piece of toast” daily routine.


Large Amounts of Food Are Disappearing

As you probably know, the opposite from anorexia, the state in which a person is eating very little, is bulimia, an eating disorder that causes the person to eat large amounts of food and satisfy the cravings, only to throw them up later due to the feeling of guilt. A teenager suffering from bulimia is probably going to wait until you go to bed or go out to start the overeating followed by throwing up routine. A bulimic person feels guilty for eating and will not just throw up to feel better but also hide all the evidence of their “crime.” So keep an eye on your fridge/pantry and, if you notice a there is lot of things missing, inspect the trash can as well as other dark corners that could be used for stashing wrappers.


New Exercising Habits and Eating Regiments

Exercising and eating healthy food can be a good way for your teen to cope with real weight issues, and to just stay healthy. However, if a child that has not been very “sporty” or has hated even the smell of healthy food, suddenly starts obsessing with exercises and eating right, take it as a warning sign. I, for example, started exercising for all the right reasons and ended up doing exhausting 2-3 hour-long routines (that further drained my already weak body) for all the wrong ones.


Comments regarding the Food

You can find a lot about a person and their eating habits by paying close attention to the way that person speaks about food. Both anorexics and bulimics blame food for all of their problems and are quite loud when it comes to speaking their mind.


The Child is Becoming Too Needy or Too Independent

The Child is Becoming Too Needy or Too Independent Photo Credit: Schtumple

People suffering from an eating disorder can develop different personalities to help them battle the feeling that they are doing something wrong. So a child could suddenly become needy, and want to hear other people’s opinions and very open discussions and people that justify his/her behavior or, it can develop a rebellious “I can take care of myself” attitude. He or she can suddenly become very fond of your friend that is picky about food or constantly complaining about weight problems or refuse to eat the “unhealthy” food prepared by you.


New (and Maybe Even Strange-looking) Friends

A child with this problem will probably distance herself from the old friends and start searching for a more supportive environment. Girls usually team up with other weight-obsessed girls, while boys adopt the rebellious “nobody understands me” attitude and start hanging out with other troubled teens.


General Appearance and Health Problems

The obvious signs of malnutrition caused by an eating disorder are: dull, grayish looking skin, bad hair and nails and a generally “exhausted/weak” look. Feeling dizzy and even passing out are also a very important warning signs, so don’t take this lightly and think that “the poor kid probably had a rough day at school."

Hope this helped and I hope you and your child would never have to go through this. And for all of you ex-anorexic or ex-bulimic ones, drop me a comment, I really want to hear your story and how you managed to snap out of it.

Top Photo Credit: ! *S4N7Y* !

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I had orthorexia and am recovering now. I'm almost 16. I only occasionally feel guilty now. I'm still a health food freak and always will be but I love that. I'm so much better than I used to be (at eating well). I lost 10kgs but have now put it all back on at a good bmi of 20.5/21. You forgot about amenorrhea (loss of periods). I haven't had a period in 12 months now. I am desperate for them back as I believe that they are the last thing in which I will feel in great health. I consider myself lucky as my eating disorder didnt last anywhere near as long as other sufferers, that I've come out with a healthy attitude towards food (I have my treats now but also with lots of healthy food), my dream in life would be to set up a place for girls with eating disorders to get to back on track and that I want to be a dietitian when I'm older and specialize in eating disorders to help people! Praying to get my period back!!!!

Half of that I went through, and wasn't anorexic. I was always super picky with my food too. But I had anemia, which is why I was tired and always passing out even in primary school. All kids go through strange friends, you grow up, and you rebel and you find new ones. I also turned veg in yr9 of high school, hated PE but exercised at home, not because I was sick, but I wanted to be healthier. But I will also eat all the chocolate in the house. Few weeks ago we bought 36 blocks of chocolate cause they were on sale, I ate 4 in the first day. I can't help it! Now we rarely have it because everyone knows I will get to it.

How do you get over it?

Very nice post. I kinda felt understood while reading it. I am 17 and live with anorexia for three years now. About one year ago I thought about suicide because I didn't know how to escape from this eating disorder. It got much better after talking to a psychologist but I think I'm still not completely cured. I also hope none of your children have to go trough this. It starts with things like dieting because of some biting remarks and ends with a heavy mental disease.

you forgot to mention big cloths thats how they hide there anorexia. and anyone suffering with it will only impress themselves because no one likes someone that looks like a stick its not realistic...also your hair looks dead your nails get weak and your face looks so tired you look 30 years older at least...thats really not attractive

This is a good article (: Another thing I would say is parents should be suspicious if they give their child food to eat in their room and hear the toilet flush a few minutes after. Sounds wierd, I know. But I'm thirteen and suffer from mild anorexia, and I've flushed food down the toilet on two or three occasions.

I need help....o my god, this is describing me...

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