Signs to be aware of anorexia and bulimia nervosa

There are many signs to look for if you think you know someone who is going through an eating disorder like bulimia or anorexia. I have struggled with both of these eating disorders and these are the top signs to look for based on my own personal experiences.

Lies about eating:

If you ask your child if he has eaten and he answers ‘yes’, ask him what he has eaten and double check after he has left. Once my parents asked me if she had breakfast and I said yes. Later that day, my mom asked me why I lied. I lied because she didn’t want them to make me eat. So if her son is lying about eating…then that’s a pretty big sign that something might be up.

Going to the bathroom immediately after a meal:

This is a big clue that maybe they are purging what they just ate.

Body contusions and bruised/scratched knuckles:

When I was really bulimic, my knuckles were all scratched up from sticking my finger down my throat. Also, for some reason, she had bruises on her arms and randomly on her legs. I think just the smallest touch was hurting me…another sign of bulimia.

Mood/emotional changes:

I can tell you this, during my eating disorders I was rarely in an average mood. They were really high highs or really low lows. During my really low ups and downs, it wouldn’t take much to make me cry.

Fluctuation in body weight:

Most of the time I went through stages, which meant that maybe one month I would weigh ten pounds less than the month before, and the next month I would gain those ten pounds back.

Exercising obsessively:

Exercising more than once a day is overdoing it. This would be a pretty big sign that they are obsessing over their body image. Someday I would work out in the morning, take my weightlifting class, and play racquetball too.

Always speaking negatively about his body:

Not only was I body shy around my boyfriends, but I also demeaned anything and everything I hated about my body to them. I would work it out smoothly like, “where’s the ping pong ball?” he asks. Turning around, I realize he’s right behind my butt. So I’m like, “oh, it’s behind my fat ass.” I love to slip negative things on my body, I don’t know why. But that is a great sign that, even if they laugh afterwards, there is still some truth in what they say. At least that’s probably what they think. Many jokes are based on the truth. Remember it.

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