Eating disorder can be characterized by either overeating or under eating. Overeating may be due to excessive stress, frustration, idleness, boredom, excessive watching of television or urge to munch on to something. Many a times poor eating habits, starvation, crash dieting can also be considered as eating disorder.
There is an excessive observation or pre-occupation with the food, fat, calorie intake, weight and appearance. A person with eating disorder will tend to keep track of food that is consumed through the day. He/she may refer to the calorie intake by scanning the websites and taking out more information about the foods that contain more calories. They may consciously avoid eating those foods.
There may also be a perceived sense of being fat or bulky, whereas they may actually not be so. They may drastically reduce the consumption of food. They may go in for crash dieting programmes to see a drastic fall in their weight. Some may starve themselves or feed only on raw vegetables or liquids.
Feelings of guilt will be prevalent on consumption of proper food or by eating sweets or food higher on calories. There may be a tendency to vomit and discard the food so that they do not gain weight. They may be very obsessed with maintaining their weight, or reducing it. There could also be an obsession with shedding weight in a particular area of the body.
A person may avoid eating and may be overly concerned with bloated stomach. The person could go into vigorous and strenuous exercising. They may overindulge in exercises and reduce the food intake too. Such a person will have a feeling of exhaustion, fatigue, dull mood, pale appearance and may indulge in excessive sleeping.
Drastic weight loss may be observed in such a person. There may low blood pressure and constant feeling of light headedness/dizziness. Hair loss or graying may also be noticed.
Low self esteem, low self-image, negative thoughts, irritable mood, sudden mood changes or depression can also be observed in a person with eating disorders.