The common features of anorexia nervosa involve fear and worry about your food consumption, weight, and how your body looks.
You may be preoccupied by food, weight, and body image when you experience anorexia. Some feel that anorexia can feel very isolating. It can also directly affect your physical, emotional, and mental health.
One of the main symptoms of anorexia is the fear of gaining weight. In some cases, the person might have a view of their body that doesn’t line up with how others see them. They might see their body as larger than it really is.
Anorexia Nervosa Symptoms
Not everyone with anorexia is in a low weight range. Some people who have lost a lot of weight due to anorexia are still considered to be in the average or above-average weight range. This is called atypical anorexia.
Regardless of whether you have a smaller body, you could still be experiencing anorexia.
A common sign of anorexia is limiting how much you eat and the kind of foods you eat in a way that impacts your day-to-day life and mental health.
Living with anorexia, you may be preoccupied with thoughts of food, weight, and the way your body looks.
Anorexia can cause the following physical symptoms:
- weight loss
- hair loss
- dry skin
- dry and brittle nails
- feeling cold all the time
- fainting or feeling light-headed
Though anorexia can cause these physical symptoms, they might not show up for everyone. Just because you may not be experiencing these physical symptoms now doesn’t mean that you don’t have anorexia. It’s important to look at the complete picture of your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Anorexia can cause you to practice food rituals to avoid gaining weight.
Psychological symptoms include:
- constantly thinking about weight, food, and dieting
- fluctuating moods
- feelings of depression
- feeling “flat” or a lack of emotions
- feeling anxious, guilty, irritable, or ashamed
- body image distortion (thinking you look larger than you actually are)
In addition to limiting foods, people with anorexia may feel guilt, shame or secretive about their behaviors and try to hide them. Sometimes people with anorexia avoid meals with others, which can add to their sense of isolation.
Some behavioral symptoms of anorexia include:
- wearing a lot of layers or baggy clothes
- eating small amounts of food
- avoiding certain types of food
- constantly eating alone and avoiding meal time with others or in public
- having a rigid exercise routine
- isolating from others
- rigid thinking around food and weight (i.e., a food is either good or bad)
Over time, these behaviors can also make you feel cut off from the people around you. This can further lead to feelings of depression or anxiety.
If you feel that you meet some of the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa, but you’re not sure if you have an eating disorder, reach out to us today for a free 30-minute call to help you decide if therapy is the right treatment for you