The immediate assumption by most people to those with an eating disorder is that they have a problem with food. This is rarely the case however, since an eating disorder is usually a symptom of an underlying problem that the person may have. With the correct treatment and counselling, there is every chance the sufferer can make a good recovery. One eating disorder that most people have heard about is Anorexia Nervosa. This is a psychological condition which manifests itself in a person who diets excessively.
Whatever the reason for the person deciding to lose weight in the first place, with Anorexia Nervosa, they have a distorted image of their own body and even though they may be excessively thin, when looking at themselves in a mirror they see themselves as fat. This condition though more prevalent in younger females, is now seen more and more in young men and boys.
A person suffering from Anorexia nervosa will go to extraordinary lengths to disguise the fact they are not eating which includes pushing food around their plate to give the pretence of eating, to hiding food and dressing in baggy clothing so others will not immediately notice the extreme weight loss.
Shockingly a sufferer who is so emaciated that they are close to death will try and show you their doctor or their family places on their body where they are convinced there is still fat which needs to be lost. Probably 10-20% of people who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa eventually die from the complications which results from their drastic weight loss.
How do people become Anorexic
There have been suggestions that a person who develops Anorexia Nervosa is looking for something to control. They probably set themselves impossibly high standards, and in their own mind, controlling their weight until it is impossibly low is one way of achieving those standards. They may have feelings of low self esteem, or they may even have been abused as a child. Losing weight to the point of emaciation ensures they lose their sexual appeal to the opposite sex.
It is probably easier for an anorexic to control their weight than control their feelings and emotions. Concentrating on calories, or the lack of them, helps them block out any issues and problems they may have. This method of control is so strong in some people that they would sooner die than face up to their problems.
Every ounce lost is a victory, especially if they are so emaciated there isn’t much more to lose. They will suffer extreme deprivation and hunger, but that is compensated by the feelings of power felt when they stand on their scales and they have lost yet more weight.
It can be very difficult to convince a person suffering from Anorexia Nervosa that they have a problem, but it can be tackled, and with care and counselling, that person can be brought back to good health. However they will probably be prone to this type of disorder for the rest of their life and care must be taken to ensure they don’t slip back into old patterns and habits especially if they are undergoing any form of stress.