Many individuals are aware in themselves or see in others, seemingly strange behaviors or thoughts related to food and body, but are unsure if these behaviors indicate a problem or harmless quirks. Below is a checklist which assists in determining the likelihood one suffers from an eating disorder.
Eating Disorders Checklist
Checklist for symptoms of eating disorders, please answer
YES or NO
Do you feel society pressures you to be thin?
Do you feel you must be thin to be OK?
Are you preoccupied with food?
Do you feel guilty about eating?
Do you feel the need to be superior and perfect in academics, athletics and weight control?
Do you feel your weight is one of the few aspects of your life which you can control?
Do you diet excessively and/or abuse laxatives, diet pills or diuretics?
Do you feel you have become isolated from your family and friends?
Do you prefer eating alone?
Do you count all the calories hidden in every bite you eat?
Do you ever consume large amounts of food in a frenzy of hunger?
Do you ever induce vomiting after eating, particularly after a binge?
Do you exercise excessively?
Do you feel fat despite the fact that others tell you that you are thin or OK?
Does your weight fluctuate dramatically?
Have your menstrual periods ceased or become irregular?
Do you have trouble concentrating?
Do you often feel depressed and unhappy with yourself?
If you or someone you know answered "YES" to 5 or more of the above questions then you should check out some of our additional information on eating disorders or get some help.
This checklist is based on the description of eating disorders found in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), copyright 1994, American Psychiatric Association.
Authored by Shirley Reierson, MSW, LICSW
Eating Disorders can be a very serious condition and most of the time require professional assistance. They are a "real" disease and should not be minimized or expected to go away in time. The earlier intervention is provided, the easier it will be to resolve the problem.
If you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder it may be difficult to seek treatment due to the mixed emotions of the disease. On the one hand, you want to get rid of the eating disorder to find health and happiness, on the other you feel the disease is the only thing you can trust and could not live without it. Know that these types of thoughts are normal and should not prevent you from seeing help. Eating Disorders are most often rooted in self-esteem and identity conflicts and can be improved, if not resolved through therapy and sometimes medication.
I would be happy to answer any questions you have about eating disorders. Call, email, or comment and I will respond as quickly as possible.
Jennifer Morgan M.A., LPC, BCPCC