What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder which can affect all people no matter what age, race, creed or gender. People with this psychological illness have an intense fear of putting on weight despite being very thin, and severely limit their intake of food to reduce their body weight to an unhealthy low level. This illness is most common in young women, but also in males. It is not recognized in males as not nearly as much, as in women one of the major reasons being that a woman’s menstrual cycle stops and this may be the first sign of this serious and life threatening illness developing.
Anorexia Nervosa means ‘loss of appetite for nervous reasons’ but in fact people who have this illness do not lose their appetite. Instead they lose the ability to allow themselves to satisfy their appetite. Self control, determination, discipline strength of mind call it what you will, but it is a CHOICE each individual will make just as each individual chooses to get out of bed each morning, or maybe each individual makes the choice to watch the television and so on. We all have choices to make no matter who we are. It is by choice how we live our life each and every day. Our mind allows us to make a choice by thinking the way we think and outing our choice thought or thoughts into action - where the mind goes the man follows.
People with eating disorders often have low self-esteem. Weight control may be used as a substitute for gaining control in other areas of life. In the U.K it affects two in four people in every 10,000.
Certain personality traits are common in people with eating disorders, but let us not forget that we each of us are an individual. This is very important to recognize this true fact. Sometimes when people with the same illness have common traits, other people forget that inside each one of us we do have our own individuality.
Lists of common traits are:
· Low self-esteem.
· Perfectionism - always striving to be the best.
· A need to please others.
· Having disruptive rituals (obsessive-compulsive disorder)..
· Difficulty dealing with conflict.
An eating disorder brings a sense of control and achievement to certain people with these personality traits.
Symptoms of Anorexia:
· Weighing 85% or less of what is expected for their age and height.
· Denial of being underweight.
· An intense fear of gaining weight even though underweight.
· Secrecy around food.
· Obsession with exercise.
· Excessive use of laxatives or self induced vomiting.
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