The rapid weight loss is often associated with an abnormal fear and/or fascination with food and an obsession with body size and weight. People who suffer from anorexia nervosa have the desire to become thinner and thinner to the point where their life is in danger.

what is anorexia nervosa

What is Anorexia Nervosa

Sometimes women who are very outgoing and successful in their social and professional lives need help to stop anorexic behavior. Anorexia often happens to women who suffer from low self-esteem. A variety of factors makes these women want to be dangerously thin while also causing them to experience a drastic misperception of their body size as well as distorted sensations of hunger and satiety.

What is Anorexia Nervosa

While anorexic people can be overachievers, they often exhibit unusual amounts of anxiety, causing difficulty in decision-making. An anorexic people will often want to cook and control others’ eating while restricting her food intake. The anorexia sufferer may isolate more and more by eating alone and being moody and/or hostile. If the erratic behavior is mentioned by family or friends, the anorexic may isolate even more.

Causes of Anorexia Nervosa

People are very different with regard to her anorexic eating and the factors that contributed to the development of they eating disorder.

The exact cause of anorexia nervosa isn’t known. People who develop anorexia may have a negative body image. They may be focused on being “perfect.” They may be looking for ways to control their lives. Other factors like biology, environment, and psychology are believed to play a role.

Biology

Genetics and hormones might have an effect on the development of anorexia nervosa. Some evidence suggests a link between anorexia and serotonin, a chemical produced in the brain.

Anorexia Nervosa

Environment

Pressure from society to look thin may also contribute to the development of anorexia nervosa. Unrealistic body images from media outlets like magazines and television can greatly influence young people and spark the desire to be thin.

Psychology

Someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) might be more predisposed to maintaining the strict diet and exercise regimen that those with anorexia nervosa often maintain. That’s because people with OCD are prone to obsessions and compulsions.

Physical Symptoms and Signs of Anorexia:

– Substantial self-induced weight loss or failure to gain normally, resulting in less than 85% of healthy growth

– Amenorrhea (loss of menses) for three months

– Interruption of normal growth

– Decreased libido

– Thinning hair

– Dry skin and dry or chapped lips- Poor circulation, brittle fingernails, and frequent/easy bruising

Anorexia Nervosa

Psychological Symptoms of Anorexia:

– Irrational (morbid) fear of fatness coupled with an intense drive for thinness

– Body image distortion and excessive reliance on weight or shape for self-esteem

– Exhibiting symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

– Low self opinion/low self-esteem- Exhibiting symptoms of depression

Interpersonal/Relationship Symptoms of Anorexia:

– Secretive eating habits

– Problems getting along with family members/long-time friends- Angry when confronted about food or weight

Behavioral Symptoms and Signs of Anorexia

– Excessive/unhealthy exercise

– Prone to fainting spells due to malnutrition

– Self-harm (“cutting” or even suicide attempts)

Who is “At Risk” for Anorexia?

Any man or woman of any age can develop anorexia nervosa, but the fact is that:

– There is no “typical anorexic girl”

– There are numerous exceptions to every rule – eating disorder recovery centers have seen more instances of men suffering from anorexia in recent years.

The studies we’ve conducted point to anorexia being especially common in young women between the ages of 18 and 25. This demographic represents approximately 40% of all the cases of anorexia we’ve treated. Eating disorder recovery centers have seen anorexia in seniors as well, and it is possible for anorexia nervosa to develop in older men and women for the first time well into their 40s, 50s, or even 60s.

Anorexia Recovery & Treatment

When people come to for treatment of anorexia nervosa, they will be extensively assessed and screened for physical and mental issues, and the appropriate level of care will be provided immediately.

Comprehensive treatment program that includes:

– One-on-one therapy

– Group therapy

– Body image groups

– Nutritional education

– Assistance with preparing and consuming meals in a group

– 12-Step support groups

– Highly monitored and structured living arrangements- Supervised group outings to restaurants.

There are also physical fitness requirements and outdoor activities that build self-esteem and teach the people how to “have fun, feel good about yourself, AND follow a healthy diet regimen.”

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11 comments

  1. E

    Emma

    Reply

    anyone feel like they eat a lot when you objectively don’t?
    I always feel like I’m gross and eat a lot even though I can objectively see my portions are much smaller than my partner’s (although he is taller than me – I’m a guy too) and I count the calories and they’re p low. I feel like if I eat a couple of very low cal snacks I “binged” but if i ate one snack that was the same amount of cals as all the small snacks I wouldn’t feel as bad. ED is legitimately rotting my brain!

    • C

      Connie Owen

      Reply

      Omg same with me with fruit.
      Me – Eats one apple.
      Also me – Eats two apples.
      Anorexia – WAIT THAT’S ILLEGAL

  2. s

    sugarbaeby

    Reply

    I don’t know what to do… I can’t eat I really can’t. i’m trying, so hard. my teeth are breaking, hair falling, I can’t do anything without feeling exhausted… why can’t she set me free, I can’t do this anymore.

    • p

      penguins

      Reply

      This sounds so fucking difficult. I want you to survive this so bad, but I know there is little I can do. Are you able to admit yourself to hospital and have them put you on a feeding tube? That way you don’t have to put anything in your mouth but that fact isn’t going to kill you, and you can work on getting better psychologically while you get better physically. Is there any way I can support you? Best of luck btw

      • s

        sugarbaeby

        Reply

        thank you for replying… I feel so helpless, I want to feed myself and try to fix all that mess but ana is always taking every decisions. i have an intense fear of the hospital.. the last time I went (for something else that my ed) was awful, I don’t ever want to go back there. i’m forcing myself to have a meal today, but i know it doesn’t heal my disordered mind. thank you for supporting me, i’m going to try to call my dentist to do something about my teeth. thank you again

        • p

          penguins

          Reply

          No worries! I’m proud of you for eating a meal, that’s super brave. Keep it up ❤

          • s

            sugarbaeby

            thank you, it was actually super hard I felt the strong need to exercise right after it, but at least i did it^ thanks for supporting

  3. P

    PatrickBrain

    Reply

    I’m so so sorry that sounds awful. The quickest, most painless way is to admit yourself into a hospital. I saw your other comment about not wanting to go back, and I feel you. It sucks so bad, and it’s really scary. But it’s the most “rip the bandaid’ way to get started on recovering. You freak out until you realize that you have no choice, and you get to relax and stay in bed for a week or two. Good luck, I believe in you. The pain isn’t worth it.

    • s

      sugarbaeby

      Reply

      thank you for replying, i’m trying to take the control back over my eating.. a few days ago i was still trying to recover and having “proper”meals, but something happened and everything went down. I guess i’m slowly going to try to take the control back but that’s pretty hard. I just really don’t want to go back to the hospital. i’m tired of this but gotta make it, I guess. thank you for supporting!

  4. m

    mooneyes7

    Reply

    That last one is so important! I always struggled because I’d be in the healthy weight range, but still restricting, dizzy, out of breath, cold, etc. from it… yet because I wasn’t and didn’t look underweight, I felt like my ED was less valid than others. But you don’t need to be at a dangerously low weight (or look “unhealthy”) to struggle with anorexia. The hope is to catch people and provide treatment and support before they get to that point.

    • l

      likeaschoolgirl

      Reply

      If I hadn’t had helped myself I probably would have just lied in bed and just died because no one else could see how badly I was hurting. So proud of you and this comment.

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