Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and muscle dysmorphia.

  • Anorexia nervosa is the refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight
  • Bulimia nervosa involves repeated episodes of binge eating followed by inappropriate compensatory behaviours such as food restrictions, self-induced vomiting or excessive exercise
  • Muscle dysmorphia is a disorder of distorted body image whereby muscular individuals feel they are too small

Possible Signs of Eating Disorders

Physical Symptoms:

  • Frequently go on diets
  • Count every calorie
  • Spend a lot of time exercising in order to burn off calories or to punish self for eating, instead of to achieve sport goals
  • Secretive about eating habits with preference to eat alone
  • Consume large amounts of food in a short amount of time
  • Develop strict rules about what foods can and cannot eat
  • Avoidance of social situations where eating will be involved
  • Trouble focusing and concentrating

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Thoughts revolve around what they will eat or not eat
  • Think weight loss will bring happiness
  • Believe being thinner will attract more friends and increase popularity
  • Feel worthless or not deserving of food
  • Deny hunger and sometimes don’t eat even when hungry
  • Experience feelings of guilt or shame whenever eating
  • Feel like eating is one of the only things that can be controlled in life
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Types of Mental Health Problems

Disorder Disclaimer

The following are mental health problems (as defined by Reardon and Factor, 2010; Gardner and Moore, 2006; Mental Health Commission of Canada – Mental Health First Aid Canada, 2011).

Supporting ‘red flag’ examples are also provided to initiate the awareness and early detection of mental health problems. Please note this is not an exhaustive list, but a breakdown of some common mental health problems and the corresponding physical and psychological symptoms to look out for.