Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Telltale Signs of Eating Disorder


I wanted to post this information for all those out there who are currently struggling in their relationship with food and their body, but who remain uncertain if an eating disorder is the source of their issues. I also wanted to post this information for every mother, father, sister, brother, family member, or friend who may know someone you love and care about that could be suffering. The following list of eating disorder signs is presented in, "The Eating Disorder Sourcebook - A Comprehensive Guide to the Causes, Treatments, and Prevention of Eating Disorders", By, Carolyn Costin M.A., M. Ed., M.F.T.

For those of you unfamiliar with Carolyn Costin's work, she has been a specialist in the field of eating disorders for over 30 years. She owns and directs several eating disorder treatment facilities including the Monte Nido Residential Treatment Facility in Malibu, California. Additionally, she is clinical advisor to the Parent Family Network of the National Eating Disorder Association. Carolyn Costin is the editor of, "Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention". She is an established and respected author on the topic of eating disorders. Along with, "The Eating Disorder Sourcebook" she has also published the titles, "Your Dieting Daughter" and "100 Questions About Eating Disorders". Carolyn Costin continues to educate and empower through her nationwide public speaking engagements. She was featured in the groundbreaking documentary, "America the Beautiful". To view the featurette that includes the interview with Carolyn Costin, follow this link:

Here you will also be able to view the trailer for the documentary, as well as obtain access to the official, "America the Beautiful" site where additional resources and copies of the movie are available for purchase. The movie would be a great tool for educators. I think students in their tweens to those in college would greatly benefit from seeing this film. It could spark the initiation of a meaningful dialogue on the subject of eating disorders. ED's have long been shrouded in secrecy and shame. In support of NEDAwareness Week, it's time we talk about it.

Below you will find the excerpt from, "The Eating Disorder Sourcebook" which includes the telltale markers of eating disorder. An individual does not have to display every sign listed to be in need of help. The signs noted cover a broad range of eating disorders from the traditionally recognized anorexia and bulimia, to the classification of EDNOS which includes binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, exercise addiction and other forms of unhealthy behaviors. Not every individual will show all of these signs because of this distinction. Please keep this in mind when reviewing this list of symptoms. If you or someone you know is displaying any of these behaviors please find support. NEDA is a good place to start:

Checklist of Observable and Nonobservable Signs of an Eating Disorder:

*Use the checklist here as a guide to substantiate your concerns.
  • Does anything to avoid hunger and eating and feels guilty after eating.
  • Is obsessive and preoccupied with food.
  • Eats large quantities of food secretly and/or eats when upset.
  • Counts calories obsessively.
  • Disappears into the bathroom after eating (probably to vomit food).
  • To lose weight takes diuretics, diet pills, laxatives, enemas, ipecac, and so forth.
  • Must earn food through exercising or exercises as punishment for overeating.
  • Is preoccupied with fat in food and on the body.
  • Increasingly eliminates food groups and/or eats only nonfat or "diet" foods.
  • Becomes a vegetarian BUT also avoids nuts, cheese, pasta, and many other foods.
  • Displays rigid control around food (e.g., type, quantity, and timing of food eaten).
  • Complains of being pressured by others to eat more or less.
  • Weighs obsessively, panics without a scale, is terrified of gaining weight.
  • Isolates himself or herself socially.
  • Substitutes sweets or alcohol for other nutritious foods.
  • Constantly needs reassurance regarding appearance, self-denigrating.
  • Constantly checks the fit of a belt, a bracelet, a ring, or "thin clothes".
  • Checks size of thighs when sitting and space between thighs when standing.
  • Uses large amounts of coffee, diet drinks, caffeine pills, or other stimulants.

1 comment:

  1. Ok I have 15 of the above.. But I don't have a disorder or I'd be skinny?