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Anorexia

Top Warning Signs of Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia is term that is often loosely thrown around to describe someone who is skinny or overly weight-conscious, however there are clear criteria that characterize this serious disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders V, Anorexia Nervosa diagnostic requirements include:Anorexia

Restriction of energy intake leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health

Intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain even though at a significantly low weight

-Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence on body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight

If you are concerned that a loved one exhibits harmful/restrictive eating habits, low body image, and obsesses about thinness check the facts outlined by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders regarding the presence of Anorexia:

-deliberate self-starvation with weight loss

-intense, persistent fear of gaining weight

-refusal to eat or engages in restrictive eating patterns

-perpetual dieting

-excessive facial/body hair due to the inadequate consumption of protein

-abnormal weight loss

-abnormal hair loss

-absent or irregular menstruation

Consult your family physician or schedule an appointment with a mental health provider if these symptoms develop or persist for effective treatment options.


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NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

eating disorders

Does My Child Have An Eating Disorder?

Are you concerned that your child is demonstrating symptoms of an eating disorder? There are many common misconceptions when one evaluates for the presence of an eating disorder such as the person needs to “be skinny,” “be female,” and “be obsessed with food and calorie counting.” Although these can be factors, eating disorders are an equal opportunity affliction and can affect individuals across size, shape, gender, race, and age. Eating disorders are indicative of a person’s unhealthy relationship with food and his or her unrealistic expectations for weight that negatively impacts the individual’s overall quality of life. Although food is a primary component in the diagnosis of eating disorders, the food itself is a maladaptive tool to cope with a range of emotions and can serve as a false method for power and control.

What are some symptoms of eating disorders?eating disorders

The restriction of calories, skipped meals, consumption of large amounts of food, purging, or loss of control when eating can all be manifestations of other underlying socio-emotional concerns. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, “almost 50% of people with an eating disorder meet the criteria for Depression.”  Psychological factors to be aware of when determining the presence of an eating disorder include:

  • Difficulty with mood regulation
  • Reduced impulse control
  • The need for control
  • Perfectionism
  • Parental dieting
  • Need for attention
  • High family expectations
  • Preoccupation with food, weight, body
  • Fear of gaining weight
  • Consumes tiny portions of food
  • Abnormal weight loss
  • Depression
  • Distorted body image (i.e. thinking they are fat or overweight when it is not the case)

Eating disorder treatment includes individual and group psychotherapy to gain strategies to become aware of and avoid maladaptive behaviors, challenge negative core beliefs about weight, and enhance self-esteem. Additionally, nutritional counseling and medication management for the treatment of the underlying depression or anxiety can be added as needed.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!