Anorexia is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder caused by a self-starvation and excessive weight loss. This is a pretty common condition that millions of people around the world are suffering from. The disease is diagnosed when an individual weight at least 15% than his healthy weight. However, extreme cases of weight loss can head to dangerous health consequences and even death. If you want to translate the term anorexia, then it means “loss of appetite.” People who are suffering from anorexia, see themselves as fat, even when they are skinny. In their opinion, this “flaw” is only corrected by strictly limiting the food and exercising excessively in order to lose weight.
Who can suffer from this disorder?
There are no age boundaries because this condition can affect anyone. But, based on many studies, females are more likely to suffer from anorexia than males. The risk of developing an eating disorder is high in actors, dancers, athletes and teenagers who want to look like their role models. People with anorexia often tend to be overachievers and being the best in school, sports and work. We would say these types of individuals are perfectionists who can develop obsessive, anxious and depressive symptoms. In their head, nothing is good enough, and there is always room for improvement.
What causes anorexia?
Doctors and medical professionals haven’t been able to determine the exact cause, but they suspect it’s a combination of various factors, such as personality, emotions and thinking patterns. Let’s not forget the influence of genes and environment on our emotional condition. In this case, eating food comes as the only area they can control, while their lives are very stressful or they feel overwhelmed. Usual emotions that appear during this period are inadequacy, low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, and even loneliness. People with eating disorders are often teased about their weight and have a problem staying in relationships. In most cases, pressure from the peers and beauty standards that society is imposing can be the cause of anorexia. Same as Binge Eating Disorder, anorexia can leave severe mental consequences on your mind and prevent you from leading a healthy life.
The most common symptoms of anorexia
They often include the following: rapid weight loss, in a couple of weeks, limited eating when a person is skinny, having a strange interest in food, calories, and nutrition, intense fear of gaining weight, having unusual eating habits, feeling fat while being underweight. All these conditions are followed by acute mental problems, like depression, anxiety, social withdrawal and feeling hopeless and worthless.
Popular treatments for anorexia
Emergency care is a must. Otherwise, a person may life-threatening consequences. Every treatment is challenging because the person doesn’t want to admit that he or she has an eating disorder. The goal of every treatment is to restore the healthy body weight, and it may include psychotherapy, medications, nutrition counseling, group and family therapy and hospitalization with severe cases. All treatments are very beneficial and shouldn’t be avoided.