It might seem easy to identify someone with anorexia, but the truth is that it isn’t. And while some people think it’s a simple disorder that only involves limiting food intake, anorexia nervosa is much more complicated than that.
Typically, someone who suffers from anorexia nervosa has feelings of self-worthlessness, depression, self-consciousness, envy or the need to exhibit some sort of self-control over their lives. Those negative feelings can often become so overwhelming that anorexia nervosa can develop in conjunction with depression or other disorders. Being able to identify the warning signs of anorexia as well as putting yourself in the mindset of someone suffering with anorexia can not only give you insight into what someone with anorexia might be feeling, but also help them identify anorexia in themselves and maybe help them seek treatment.
Anorexia doesn’t just affect the body; it also affects the mind. Someone who suffers from anorexia has a skewed body image, which means that they don’t perceive their bodies the same way as other people see them. Though you might clearly see someone with an unhealthy body, someone with anorexia may still see himself or herself as overweight. Telling someone they have anorexia outright might not be the best idea – they’ll often become defensive. However, it’s important to see anorexia as a many-layered disorder. Anorexic individuals might often view your help as an attack on them. Be prepared for confrontation and many arguments if you want to tell someone with anorexia to seek treatment.
Educating yourself in regards to the details and complexities of anorexia can not only help you identify the symptoms, but also give you a little more empathy toward the people you’re trying to help. You don’t have to be suffering with an eating disorder to reach out to a treatment program. If you’re looking to help someone, contacting a recovery center can give you tips and insight into anorexia and the staff can help you assist someone you know with their anorexia treatment.