According to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, “Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disease. It is estimated that seven million American women have an eating disorder.” If you fear that your daughter suffers from anorexia, the aforementioned statistics have probably validated your worst fear; if your daughter suffers from an eating disorder and isn’t placed in a treatment facility before it’s too late, she runs the risk of losing her life. For this reason, it is imperative that you do everything in your power to accurately confirm or dismiss your suspicions. Below is a list of “tip offs” that your daughter may be anorexic.
1. Drastic weight loss.
This is often the first sign of anorexia and it is also likely that this “tip off” is the reason you are reading this article. Girls who suffer from anorexia dramatically restrict their caloric intake. A common diet amongst anorexics is to consume no more than 300 calories for the entire day. Anorexics habitually shift into “fasting” mode, where they will consume only tea, coffee and water for days and sometimes weeks on end. If you must weigh your daughter to confirm your fears, do so. It may be the only way to save her from her eating disorder.
2. Complaining about weight.
When a teenage girl who weighs 100 lbs and is 5′ 8 complains that she is fat, there is clearly a problem. If it is evident that your daughter is thin and she complains about having to lose weight, this is probably due to her anorexia. When anorexics look at their own body’s they don’t see what we see. They see an imperfect body and room for improvement. They see a size 2 rather than a size 00, which in an anorexic’s mind is considered to be fat. While it is true that almost every girl is self conscious, someone who is clearly already underweight has no reason to consider themselves fat.
3. Fits about food.
Does your daughter constantly have excuses when it comes to not eating? Does she have a strange reaction, almost as if she has just seen an ex walking down the street with his new girl friend when offered food? Does she cry, scream, slam doors and storm out of the room when you try to convince her to eat? If so, this is a clear sign of anorexia. Sufferers of anorexia, make a mental correlation between food and emotion. That is why they react so hastily and emotionally when being offered food. They fear being fat, and in their mind’s if they don’t consume any food they don’t run the risk of gaining weight or remaining at their current weight. If your daughter reacts emotionally aggressive towards situations concerning food, she likely suffers from anorexia.