Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder with three key features:
- refusal to maintain a healthy body weight
- an intense fear of gaining weight
- a distorted body image
What is anorexia nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa, commonly referred to simply as anorexia, is one type of eating disorder. More importantly, it is also a psychological disorder. Anorexia is a condition that goes beyond concern about obesity or out-of-control dieting. A person with anorexia often initially begins dieting to lose weight. Over time, the weight loss becomes a sign of mastery and control. The drive to become thinner is actually secondary to concerns about control and/or fears relating to one's body. The individual continues the ongoing cycle of restrictive eating, often accompanied by other behaviors such as excessive exercising or the overuse of diet pills to induceloss of appetite, and/or diuretics, laxatives, or enemas in order to reduce body weight, often to a point close to starvation in order to feel a sense of control over his or her body. This cycle becomes an obsession and, in this way, is similar to an addiction.
What are anorexia symptoms and signs (psychological and behavioral)?
Anorexia can have dangerous psychological and behavioral effects on all aspects of an individual's life and can affect other family members as well.
- The individual can become seriously underweight, which can lead todepression and social withdrawal.
- The individual can become irritable and easily upset and have difficulty interacting with others.
- Sleep can become disrupted and lead tofatigue during the day.
- Attention and concentration can decrease.
- Most individuals with anorexia become obsessed with food and thoughts of food. They think about it constantly and become compulsive about eating rituals. They may collect recipes, cut their food into tiny pieces, prepare elaborate calorie-laden meals for other people, or hoard food. Additionally, they may exhibit other obsessions and/or compulsions related to food, weight, or body shape that meet the diagnostic criteria for an obsessive compulsive disorder.
- Other psychiatric problems are also common in people with anorexia nervosa, including affective (mood) disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders.
- Generally, individuals with anorexia are compliant in every other aspect of their life except for their relationship with food. Sometimes, they are overly compliant, to the extent that they lack adequate self-perception. They are eager to please and strive for perfection. They usually do well in school and may often overextend themselves in a variety of activities. The families of anorexics often appear to be "perfect." Physical appearances are important to the anorexia sufferer. Performance in other areas is stressed as well, and they are often high achievers in many areas.
- While control and perfection are critical issues for individuals with anorexia, aspects of their life other than their eating habits are often found to be out of control as well. Many have, or have had at some point in their lives, addictions to alcohol, drugs, or gambling. Compulsions involving sex, exercising, housework, and shopping are not uncommon. In particular, people with anorexia often exercisecompulsively to speed the weight-loss process.
- Symptoms of anorexia in men tend to co-occur with other psychological problems and more commonly follow a period of being overweight than in women. Men with anorexia also tend to be more likely to have a distorted body image.
- Compared to symptoms in men, symptoms of anorexia in women tend to more frequently include a general displeasure with their body and a possibly stronger desire to be thin. Women with anorexia also tend to experience more perfectionism and cooperativeness.
Due to the growth and development inherent during childhood and adolescence, symptoms and signs of anorexia in children and teenagers can include a slowing of the natural increase in height or a slowed increase in development of other body functions.
All of these features can negatively affect one's daily activities. Diminished interest in previously preferred activities can result. Some individuals also have symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria for a major depressive disorder.
dont be like this..
ur beautiful just the way u r..