Guidelines for identifying an eating disorder

In recent years, there has been an increasing sensitivity towards eating disorders. The idea of ​​anorexia, bulimia and binge eating is becoming more and more human, understanding that it can happen to anyone and that it is a disorder that requires a lot of support from the part of the people concerned.

With the growing awareness of these issues, more and more people are wondering if they may have ADD or a loved one, are interested in treatment, and want to know what the signs are if they are suffering from bulimia or anorexia.

The aim of this article is to answer the question of how to know if a person has ADD, in addition to announcing the generic profile of a person with ADD and also emphasizing the importance of going to psychotherapy to receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment.

    The keys to recognizing an eating disorder

    Eating disorders (ADD) in adulthood rarely appear suddenly. The most common is that they have been latent, having a history of puberty. Sometimes when a person reaches adulthood, certain changes or frustrations can trigger their eating problems, both in the form of overeating behaviors and purging and restricting what is eaten.

    Some of the most well-known ADDs include anorexia nervosa and bulimia, which are very common conditions in women. They are not the only ones. There are other lesser-known but equally serious eating disorders such as housebreaking, itching, rumination disorder, and food avoidance / restriction disorder, in addition to unspecified symptoms showing symptoms. of ADD but at subclinical levels.

    The most common disorders in adulthood are binge eating and bulimia nervosa., being the most common anorexia in adolescence but not exclusive.

    Some TCA experts report having detected a recurring sequence. A person suffers from anorexia in adolescence, then bulimia, and finally flight disorder in adulthood. Background anxiety persists in all three eating behavior problems, and the person channels everything with food, but unlike his teenage years, he has given up on laxatives and induction of vomiting, or no longer has enough willpower or time to spend hours compulsively exercising.

    The most common profile in patients with ADD is chronic, which occurs in adolescence. The disorder develops during adolescence, sooner or later, and persists into adulthood. In these cases, it is common for the person to have already undergone several treatments and even been admitted more than once. However, one should not ignore the existence of another, less common profile of people who develop ADD as an adulteven between 30 and 40 years old.

    With all of this, we want to indicate that while it is common for people with ADD to be diagnosed in adolescence, that does not mean that the disorder cannot be diagnosed in adulthood. The possibility of showing symptoms in adulthood is real. Therefore, in addition to the growing awareness of ADD, many people wonder if they are suffering from it or if a loved one has any of these problems. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll find out what are the signs that can tell us if you have ADD.

      Adult profile with ADD

      As we said, there are several eating disorders, the main ones being anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Each of these psychopathological conditions has its own peculiarities and diagnostic criteria., although we can highlight the following characteristics in the profiles of people with ADD in adulthood:

      • Low self-esteem.

      • Insecurity.
      • Tendency to perfectionism (for example, desire to be the best student)
      • Strong self-demand.
      • Obsessive traits.
      • Bad notion of personal image.
      • Victim of abuse and rejection (for example, at school).
      • He is emotionally unstable and doesn’t handle frustration well.

      Emotional issues lead people prone to ADD to develop an unhealthy relationship with food, either using it as a form of escape or confrontation, or motivated by an obsession with achieving a certain appearance or weight. The dysfunctional relationship with eating will not be resolved by reaching a stable and healthy weight because, as the name suggests, these are eating disorders, and therefore treatment should be geared towards the eating behavior and thoughts of the patient. that motivates her.

      Traffic signs

      The following warning signs are not diagnostic criteria, so we cannot take them as confirmation that we have a problem with eating.

      It is essential to understand that to find out if we have ADD, we need to see a clinical psychologist, a person trained to diagnose what could happen to us. But there are some signs that we may be aware of that can tell us that we have ADD, both in ourselves and in others. The most relevant are:

      1. Related to food

      • Unjustified use of restrictive regimes.
      • Constant concern for food.

      • Excessive interest in revenue.
      • Feeling guilty about eating.
      • Strange eating behavior (for example, fast food, simple food …)
      • Get up from the table and lock yourself in the bathroom after lunch.
      • Increased frequency and time spent in the bathroom.
      • Avoid meals with family or friends.
      • Food in secret.
      • Large quantities of leftover food, packaging …
      • Follow a restrictive diet and you are suddenly bored in no time.

      2. Related to weight

      • Sudden and unwarranted changes in weight.
      • Excessive fear and rejection of overweight.
      • Compulsively exercise for the sole purpose of losing weight.
      • Zero exercise and overweight.
      • Self-induced vomiting.
      • Consumption of laxatives and diuretics.
      • Amenorrhea: disappearance of the menstrual cycle for at least 3 consecutive months.

      • Malnutrition.

      3. Other physical signals

      • Cold in the hands and feet.
      • Dry skin.
      • Narrowing.
      • Pallor.
      • Dizziness.
      • Hair loss.

      4. Related to body image

      • Perception of having a bigger body.
      • Tries to hide the body (for example, with clothes, not to bathe on the beach …).

      5. Related to behavior

      • Changes in academic or professional performance.
      • Progressive isolation.
      • Increased irritability and aggressiveness.
      • Increase in depressive symptoms and / or anxiety.
      • Manipulative behavior.
      • Lying constantly.

      The importance of going to therapy

      As ADDs are very complex, their treatment must be directed by interdisciplinary teams that are specialized in it. Thus, people with ADD such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia or binge eating will not only benefit from the help of clinical psychologists but also psychiatrists, general practitioners, nutritionists, social educators, coaches …

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      The treatment is long and complex and, as we have mentioned, there is usually chronicity in these disorders. However, recovery is possible and if these disorders often have sequelae, it is also true that 70% of patients treated end up exceeding their ADD, with all the more success the earlier the intervention is.

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