Anorexia nervosa is a form of eating disorder, which is used to describe people who are obsessed with their body shape, weight, and food intake to the point where they may be starving themselves. Anorexia symptoms can develop over a period of several years in many men and women with emotional, genetic, or life-experience risk factors. Often, this condition happens most often in younger women during their teenage years. However, it's worth noting that there have an increasing number of reports citing symptoms of anorexia in pre-teen boys and girls.

Here, we'll take a look at the 7 warning signs and symptoms of severe anorexia that might be able to help you pinpoint the signs of a condition and get a loved one the help that is needed.

1. Refusal to Eat

The first item in our 7 warning signs and symptoms of severe anorexia is refusal to eat, or a strange relationship with food in which those affected by the disorder deny that they're hungry, even though their stomach is rumbling, and they're losing weight. These people might even cook elaborate meals for other people but fail to actually eat anything themselves.

2. Eating Specific Foods

People with anorexia frequently see certain foods as "dangerous", and therefore will totally cut off entire food groups out of their diet. Usually, this means that they are constantly weighing foods, and that they will only eat items that they consider to be safe, such as those that are low in calories and fat.

3. Eating Rituals

One of the most common in our list of 7 warning signs and symptoms of severe anorexia, eating rituals are a popular sign of problems with eating, either as part of anorexia or another condition. Those who are suffering from an eating disorder may begin to cut their food into very small pieces, or they might chew food and then try to spit it out without being noticed.

4. Excessive Exercise

People who have anorexia are obsessed with their body image, and look for as many different ways as possible to lose weight. Usually, this includes starving themselves, or avoiding food whenever possible, but many will also engage in excessive amounts of exercise in an attempt to avoid adding on any extra weight.

5. Lack of Emotion or Depression

People with eating disorders frequently suffer from problems with their mood. If you know people who're suffering from anorexia nervosa, you might notice that they seem to have a flat mood or a lack of emotion, or they may seem to be depressed or upset all of the time.

6. Obsession with Mirrors

Much of the time, people with anorexia are constantly looking at the mirror and checking for the flaws that they are convinced they have. One of the most common of our list of 7 warning signs and symptoms of severe anorexia, people with this condition are never happy with how thin they have become.

7. Poor Self-esteem and Warped Self-image

Finally, people with anorexia often cannot see themselves as they truly are. These individuals frequently tell people that they're fat, or complain about their weight even though they're already very much underweight.