Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that affects a shocking number of people each year. The vast majority of those affected by the illness are teenage girls, but it can affect adults and those of both genders just as easily. Those who develop anorexia often begin with a simple diet, but they generally have issues with image as well as how they perceive their own bodies. Even though they may not be overweight, they view themselves as fat. A simple diet meant to lose a few pounds suddenly takes them down a different path. They continue to starve themselves so they can lose even more weight.
Excessive weight loss such as this is going to have severe effects on the human body. The muscles will vanish because the body is using them for energy to stay alive. The body will even devour tissues from the heart and other organs. This can weaken the heart and the functions of the body. In some cases, it can cause heart attacks in young people. The bones weaken because they do not have the minerals they need. Anorexia nervosa can affect the brain as well. Some actually starve themselves to death, all because they are trying to reach some impossible ideal that their psyche developed. This is a very frightening illness, and it can cause otherwise intelligent and happy people to spiral into a bad place.
Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
Determining if someone is suffering from anorexia is not always easy. It is important to pay attention to all of the things going on in the person's life as well as how they respond to those things. Those who are anorexic or who are on the verge of diving into an anorexic lifestyle are obsessed by losing weight. They will talk about dieting and losing weight, and they may even call themselves fat.
The anorexic will often refuse to eat, and will sometimes come up with excuses about why they can't eat. They will say they've already eaten or that they just aren't hungry. Exercise becomes more than just a way to be healthy. It is another obsession, and the anorexic will continue to exercise. They do not do this because they want to be healthy; they exercise more because they are still trying to lose weight. In some cases, anorexics will also induce vomiting or use laxatives to empty themselves.
Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa
The basic treatment of someone who has anorexia is to have them eat more so they can gain weight and return to a healthy lifestyle. However, this isn’t always easy. You have to contend with the psychological factors that cause anorexics to think the way they do. Just as much as you need to feed the body, you need to feed the mind in order to have a fully balanced individual. You need the help of professionals who are able to help you tackle all of the different aspects of the illness. The doctors can help to put the anorexic on an eating schedule and the psychiatrists can help to break down the mental barriers that make eating so difficult for them.