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Rebecca's House | Eating Disorders Treatment Programs

Anorexia Symptoms and Anorexia Treatment

Anorexia has a mortality rate of 20 percent, the highest of any mental-health condition. Here are some common signs of Anorexia Nervosa:  

  • Avoiding to eat with the family (“I’m not hungry,” “I already ate,” “I have an upset stomach,” or  “I’ll eat at friend’s house later”)
  • Suddenly a vegetarian or wants to prepare her own food
  • Has lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time
  • Eating the same few foods (lettuce, yogurt, dry cereal) at all meals
  • Must exercise
  • Becomes very defensive when questioned about eating habits or exercise
  • Eats small amounts with others, hides food, and then binges privately
  • Having a preoccupation with body, weight, and food
  • Isolating or avoids social situations
  • Moodier and more irritable than usual, having a hard time expressing emotions
  • Has a high need for control
  • Develops fine facial and body hair
  • Loses monthly period
  • Infertility
  • Perfectionist attitudes
  • Anxiety
  • Low blood pressure
  • Slow heart rate
  • Stating “feeling fat” even when thin
  • Complaints of being cold or dressing in many layers
  • Shifting the food around on the plate to look eaten
  • Cutting food into tiny pieces
  • Chewing food and spitting it out, but not swallowing
  • Dropping food into napkin on lap to later throw away
  • Eating foods in certain order
  • Excessive chewing
  • Excessive use of condiments
  • Pairing condiments with inappropriate foods (i.e. ketchup & mustard on salad).
  • Excessively mixing foods together
  • Overuse of salt and spices
  • Taking long pauses between bites
  • Dry salads (without dressing)
  • Exclusively using fat-free and low-fat items
  • Cooking for others but not eating 

People who come to Rebecca’s House for anorexia treatment need to be medically stable before they come. Sometimes hospitalization for anorexia treatment is a first step due to the dangers of electrolyte and potassium imbalances. Because the brain has been starved it may be awhile before people with anorexia may be able to function adequately, both physically and mentally. The food and body distortions may not allow people with anorexia the freedom to make choices or deal with the underlying issues. Medical stabilization, during anorexia treatment, will start to decrease the body image distortions and illogical thinking caused by anorexia. This is the best time to then begin working on the underlying issues of anorexia so that a foundation of lifelong recovery from anorexia can be built. Rebecca House Eating Disorder Treatment Programs™ specializes in building this long term foundation. Please contact us at 800.711.2062 for a free assessment to determine your specific needs.