Anxiety depression and anorexia symptoms often go hand in hand. Anxiety and depression are two of the most common psychological anorexia nervosa signs and symptoms. Other psychological symptoms include:
- Feeling out of control
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Borderline personality disorder
- Other personality disorders
Anxiety depression and anorexia symptoms are the most common, however. Anxiety and depression can contribute to a person developing anorexia, but the condition can also cause anxiety and depression. It can become a sort of cycle.
Behavioral Signs And Symptoms
There are a number of behaviors that are anorexia nervosa signs and symptoms. Things you might notice in a person with anorexia include:
- Eating very little.
- Not eating in public.
- Pretending to eat.
- Lying about how much they eat.
- Obsessing about food.
- Exercising excessively and/or compulsively.
- Obsessing about weight.
- Lying about one’s weight or insisting they are fat even when they are actually severely underweight.
- Wearing bulky clothing to disguise their weight.
- Vomiting after eating.
- Using laxatives on a regular basis.
You may notice signs of psychological distress, such as anxiety depression and anorexia symptoms appearing together with behavior signs and symptoms. You may also begin to notice some of the medical problems we will discuss next.
Medical Anorexia Nervosa Signs And Symptoms
The medical consequences of anorexia are quite serious. Untreated, up to 20% of all anorexics die from the condition. Anxiety depression and anorexia symptoms and behaviors listed above are all early warning signs that should be taken very seriously, before the condition progresses to a life-threatening illness.
Some of the medical anorexia nervosa signs and symptoms include:
- Severe weight loss.
- Low levels of potassium and magnesium in the body, which can lead to heart problems.
- Weakened heart muscle.
- Hypotension (low blood pressure).
- Brachycardia (slow heart beat).
- Arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm).
- Increased risk of heart failure.
- Risk of kidney failure.
- Liver disease.
- Loss of menstrual period in women.
- Gastro-intestinal problems such as constipations, bloating, ulcers, and stomach pain.
- Osteoporosis (loss of bone mass, leading to brittle bones that break easily).
- Dizziness and fainting.
- Shortness of breath.
- Skin disorders.
- Weakness and fatigue.
- If untreated, anorexia can result in death.
This is only a partial list of medical complications that can arise due to anorexia and as you can see, the condition can affect all parts of the body. Psychological problems can affect how the body functions physically as well, so anxiety depression and anorexia symptoms are all related.
Treating Anorexia Nervosa
Treatment for anorexia usually begins with addressing the medical problems that are present. This often requires an inpatient hospital stay due to the seriousness of the problems.
After the patient is medically stable, anxiety depression and anorexia symptoms can begin to be addressed. This often requires inpatient hospitalization as well, preferably in a psychiatric hospital that specializes in eating disorders. A combination of education and psychotherapy are used to treat the anxiety depression and anorexia symptoms.
Treatment is essential for anorexics. Without treatment, about 20% of people with anorexia die from the disorder. Even with treatment, only about 60% make a full recovery. Treatment is a lengthy process, with the initial phase of treatment taking about three to six months of intensive therapy and follow-up taking a year or longer.
To learn more about anorexia nervosa signs and symptoms and anorexia treatment, please see our home page.