What is anorexia?
Anorexia is one of the most well known eating disorders. When somebody is struggling with anorexia they lose an extreme amount of weight, usually 15% below what the average person’s body weight should be. To be considered anorexic this weight loss does not relate to any special medical condition or treatment causing the decrease in weight, rather it relates to something that the victim inflicts upon his or her self.
Who struggles with anorexia?
Anybody who struggles with their body image because they feel they have too much weight is vulnerable to giving in to anorexia. Generally women are statistically diagnosed with anorexia more than men, but they are by no means the only gender affected by it. Culture affects these numbers by sending us the message that men are supposed to be large and strong, while women are encouraged to be thin and petite, therefore making them more susceptible to anorexia. Adolescents seem to be affected the most by anorexia.
Top 10 Signs of Anorexia
1. Dramatic weight loss for one’s age and height
2. Refusing to eat in public
3. Eating only specific foods- specifically those low in calories and fat
4. Skipping meals often with no explanations
5. Covering the weight-loss by wearing baggy clothing
6. Obsessing over body image
7. Basing self-worth on body image and weight
8. Complaining about being overweight when they are actually underweight
9. (Females only) Missing three or more menstrual periods in a row
10. Avoiding social gatherings where food will be involved
What are the causes of anorexia?
There are a number of reasons that play a role in causing anorexia. Culture seems to play a large part because we are constantly being sent the message that to be successful in life and in a career you need to be skinny and beautiful. The media sets such unrealistic and unhealthy standards, especially with today’s Photoshop and other image editing programs in addition to finding extremely skinny women to idolize. Other causes of anorexia have to do with the individual; including personality traits such as perfectionism, and low self esteem or even events in their past. Early life trauma (especially physical or sexual abuse) influences the likelihood of developing anorexia later on in life. A few other causes are relationship problems, depression, anxiety, and even just the intense feelings due to adolescence and puberty affect the possibility of anorexia. Some studies show that there may be a genetic predisposition to anorexia as well.
Ways to curb anorexia
Like every other eating disorder, it is advisable to get professional help to treat anorexia, but there a lot of things you can do to help yourself! Addressing the physical problems caused by anorexia is a good place to start. Gain back some healthy weight by developing a new plan for eating the right amount of good foods. You can take small steps and include different new foods into your diet that will help you get back to your healthy body weight. Doing a little bit of soul searching to discover what may have caused anorexia will also help so you can address the root of the problem.
If you or a loved one is struggling with anorexia, contact a qualified eating disorder treatment facility today to get the help you deserve.