Anorexia, sometimes called anorexia nervosa, is a condition where someone is painfully thin. They may not look at themselves that way, though. They might starve themselves because they’re worried about becoming fat or looking unattractive.
There’s a Do I Have Anorexia test you can take if you’re curious about whether you have this condition. You can also consider these subtle signs of an underlying anorexia disorder if you suspect a loved one might have it.
The Person Seldom Eats Very Much
A person who has an underlying anorexia disorder, whether it has been clinically diagnosed or not, might not ever eat much. You might go out to dinner with them at a restaurant, and they may get the smallest thing on the menu or a salad every time.
Even if they get very small meals, they might not eat them. They may take just a few very tiny bites as well.
They Appear Painfully Thin
A person with this condition may seem to be painfully thin at all times. If you ever see them in a swimsuit or a state of undress, you may notice that their ribs can be seen prominently. They may feel faint sometimes or be unable to do anything particularly strenuous because they’re not ingesting enough calories.
They Exercise Constantly
Exercising can keep you healthy and in shape. It’s sometimes difficult to know when a person is exercising too much, though.
If someone you know exercises every day, or nearly every day, that might not necessarily be an indication that they’re anorexic. However, if they exercise constantly and you also notice some additional behaviors from them that appear on this list, it makes this possibility more likely.
They’re Always on a Diet
It’s also not unhealthy or uncommon to be on a diet. If someone you know seems to be on a diet constantly, though, that can be a sign of anorexia.
They may often follow diets that are incredibly restrictive as well. They might mention that they can’t eat in many restaurants because of their diet. They may want you to prepare meals for them that use only very selective ingredients to satisfy what they claim their diet demands.
They Make Off-Color Comments About Their Weight or Appearance
If this person also mentions their physical appearance constantly, that’s another telling sign they may be dealing with anorexia. They might make comments putting themselves down, such as saying they’ve gotten so fat lately or they never think they’re fit into a particular bathing suit or some other article of clothing again.
If they seem to have a preoccupation with how they look and how others perceive them, that can be a sign as well. For instance, they might say they don’t want to attend a social event because of how overweight they are, even though it’s obvious to you that’s not the case.
One thing on this list might not necessarily indicate anorexia, but the more items you can check off, the more likely it becomes.