Though it is not the most common eating disorder (compulsive overeating and binge eating are far more common), anorexia nervosa, colloquially referred to as anorexia, is probably the most well-known. A person with anorexia has an intense fear of gaining weight. Someone with anorexia thinks about food a lot and limits the food she or he eats. Anorexia is more than just a problem with food. It’s a way of using food or starving oneself to feel more in control of life and to ease tension, anger, and anxiety.
Anorexia is one of the deadliest mental health disorders, with 10-15% of sufferers eventually dying due to complications from the disease. Most people with anorexia are female, although males make up somewhere between 10-20% of people with anorexia.
A person with anorexia doesn’t necessarily have to be very thin, although that can be a symptom. Some other symptoms are:
- Taking pills to urinate or have a bowel movement
- Making her or himself throw up
- Taking diet pills
- Not eating or eating very little
- Exercising a lot, even in bad weather or when hurt or tired
- Weighing food and counting calories
- Eating very small amounts of only certain foods
- Moving food around the plate instead of eating it
Someone with anorexia may also have a distorted body image, shown by thinking she or he is fat, wearing baggy clothes, weighing her or himself many times a day, and fearing weight gain.
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If you think you have anorexia, or if you know someone who you think might have anorexia, please seek help. The longer anorexia goes untreated, the more difficult the road to recovery, though recovery is always possible. Please call us at 843-501-1099 for assistance.