More than thirty million people in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders. These are serious mental illnesses that can have a dramatic impact on their physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.
While it may be difficult to speak to a friend or family member about an eating disorder, there comes a time when it must be addressed. Knowing the types of eating disorders and how to identify them can help recognize when it is time to seek treatment.
So when is it time to seek treatment for an eating disorder? Here are four signs to look out for.
Sometimes the signs it is time to seek treatment are obvious. Binge eating, purging, or obsessively counting calories can all be indications that the eating disorder is having a profound negative impact on the quality of one’s life.
Extreme Weight Change
Dramatic weight loss or gain is another sign it is time to seek professional help. Being severely underweight can lead to nutritional deficiencies and a weak immense system. The opposite has proven to cause an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
Eating disorders are often coupled with emotions such as shame, low self-esteem, and negative thinking patterns. These can easily slip into obsessive behaviors, perfectionism, and even severe depression.
If someone with an eating disorder is experiencing fatigue, dizziness, or headaches on a regular basis, it is time to seek a doctor’s advice. While these symptoms may be minor or manageable at first, they can develop into more serious medical concerns.
Eating disorders can cause serious damage to our bodies that may take years to repair. Don’t wait!