The Dangers of Anorexia Nervosa Health N Active

The Dangers of Anorexia Nervosa                 Health N Active

disorders are a very serious problem that affects many women. One of the most

dangerous of eating disorders is known as anorexia nervosa. Approximately 7

percent of American women suffer from this condition. This is a psychologically

based disorder that makes a person perceive themselves as overweight when they

are in fact malnourished and extremely thin. Many teenage girls are affected by

anorexia nervosa due to the media culture that pushes the concept of extreme

thinness as attractive for young girls. Our culture tends to portray beauty by

size. Girls are very impressionable at this age and will go to great lengths to

achieve what they believe is beauty. Many adult women also battle with this

disorder. Oftentimes these individuals feel powerless and by controlling their

calories they feel they have control over their lives and extreme willpower.

of the disorder: There are a variety of causes for this disorder. Researchers

have found that anorexia usually develops in families where one person has

already become anorexic. It seems that environmental factors play a role in

anorexia. For example, if a sibling is anorexic it is more likely that another

family member may develop it. This may also be related to family dynamics such

as tendencies to be overemotional and perfectionists. Anorexia therefore can be

a learned behavior that is then modeled by other family members. Cultural

influences: Our media is relentless in its portrayal of the ideal woman as

being very thin. The image is contradictory to the natural female shape and it

is very difficult if not impossible for most women to achieve that level of

thinness. It is also extremely unhealthy. The models in fashion magazines have

figures that are extremely underweight and these are the role models that teens

and women look at when judging themselves and their own bodies.

symptoms of anorexia nervosa: This disorder can be deadly. If you are aware of

someone who has this eating disorder they need to have immediate medical

intervention because it can be life saving for them. Believing that they are

overweight these individuals refuse to eat and are terrified at the thought of

gaining any weight at all. Women and girls who have this disorder will exhibit

an extreme dislike of their own physical body. They are ironically, obsessed

with food. They will think and talk about food all the time in a negative

fashion. They will compulsively plan out their eating activities. Sufferers

also may display very competitive behavior in other areas of their life. They

will have perfectionist tendencies as they are very unhappy with themselves and

feel that they are not good enough. As the condition worsens and their bodies

weaken they may develop mood disorders from lack of nutrition. Depression, mood

swings and difficulty sleeping may occur. Physical symptoms include extreme

weight loss, dry skin, tooth loss, constipation, and lack of menstruation and

lowered heart rate. These physical symptoms can become a very dangerous health

A medical professional will conduct a variety of tests to determine if the

condition is anorexia. This will include a battery of psychological testing as

well as physical exams, blood and urine tests. Intervention: If you believe

that your loved one or a friend suffers with anorexia you need to intervene and

provide them with the support they need to overcome this dreadful condition.

The best approach is a calm approach because the individual is suffering from a

psychological disorder and may feel that you are attacking them and that what

you are saying is not true. Try not to judge them harshly but rather be kind

and supportive. Provide them with a safe environment where they can freely discuss

their feelings. They may deny that there is any problem. However some people

may respond at this point and open up about hurts or reasons why they are

unhappy with their weight. This is a very helpful first step. You do not want

to alienate them and make the problem even worse as it is a delicate situation

Centers: There are many reputable treatment centers that deal specifically with

this disorder. This is where medical doctors and trained counselors can help

the individual dealing with anorexia. Getting them into a good program is

essential to their well being. They need to be under a doctor''s care to ensure

that their physical health does not deteriorate. Psychological counseling as

well as possible medication can become part of an effective treatment program.

Throughout this process, the person should continue to receive as much support

and encouragement from family and friends as possible. This is a battle that

can end in victory or defeat. It is a very serious condition and it may be

something that the person may have to deal with for the rest of their lives.

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