Some behaviors are typical of anorexia. Here you can find out what they are and what interpretations there can be.
If a person loses a lot of weight in a short period of time, this is a possible sign that they have anorexia or another eating disorder – but by no means is it certain. Because there can be many other explanations for weight loss and being underweight. It can only be said that anorexia exists when someone intentionally starves because they feel that they are overweight and suffer from mental struggles.
Mental distress can affect behavior in many ways. Some of the behavioral patterns that characterize an eating disorder are so unclear that only people who suffer from them notice them at first. Others are usually also noticeable in the environment.
The following behaviors are typical of anorexia:
- Continuous checking of weight and body size (by weighing and measuring body size)
- refusal of food
- Severely restricted diet (such as avoiding foods high in fat and/or carbohydrates)
- Eating rituals: food is cut into very small pieces, eaten very slowly and/or only at set times.
- Sometimes additional actions to “eliminate” calories, such as intentional vomiting after meals, excessive exercise, and/or use of laxatives
Patients often try to hide their changed eating habits from others. Vomiting and other weight-loss measures are usually performed in secret. This, in turn, often causes affected people to withdraw more and more and avoid celebrations or meetings with others – especially if a meal together is on the agenda.
Is it possible that you have an eating disorder? Our test determines if you have any typical signs.
However, there are other, deeper reasons for withdrawal. From a deep psychological point of view, like hunger, it reflects the mental conflict that underlies anorexia: the struggle between the fear of losing loved ones, on the one hand, and the quest for independence and autonomy on the other.
Patients express through their behavior that they do not depend on others or food, that they “need nothing and no one”. Being able to have their needs met gives them a temporary sense of security. At the same time, sooner or later they will feel that they are not solving their psychological and personal problems. Instead, the illness is usually accompanied by profound loneliness and other feelings of stress that can drive those affected to despair.
In order to prevent this – and the sometimes devastating physical consequences of anorexia – it is important that sufferers receive help as soon as possible. The first point of contact can be the general practitioner. Patients can also contact a psychotherapy practice immediately. Since it is often difficult to find a place for free treatment, it may be worth calling the Association of Legal Health Insurance Physicians’ appointment service point, which can be reached on 116117.
If you wish to obtain advice anonymously, you can use the advice line of the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA). The phone number is 0221 892031.