As the focus put fourth by the media and society about having the “perfect body” and losing weight continues to increase, many people, especially teenagers begin to succumb to the constant pressures, which often make them resort to eating disorders in order to keep the weight off. Anorexia nervosa is just one of the many types of eating disorders that millions of people are consumed by for the purpose of maintaining a certain weight. Those who suffer from anorexia are usually so keen on avoiding weight gain that they resort to hardly eating anything at all, which causes them to become dangerously thin.
Contrary to what most people believe about anorexia, it’s not an eating disorder that is simply driven by the obsession of food and not eating, it actually runs a lot deeper than that and is often accompanied by physiological factors, including control issues. If you or someone you know, such as a loved one or friend is suffering from this eating disorder, it’s extremely important to seek help and treatment as soon as possible.
Possible Causes of Eating Disorders
No one has ever been able to pinpoint the exact causes of eating disorders, including anorexia. There are certain factors that have been linked to the possible causes of this deadly mental disorder. Traumatic events in one’s life, such as being raped or abused can often lead to the start of anorexia nervosa. Other examples for possible causes of anorexia include stress-related reasons, such as starting a new job or moving to a new city or country. Eating disorders, including anorexia have also been linked to genes, hormones, and chemical imbalances in the brain. Eating disorders can run in the family, which often works to increase the chances of developing anorexia.
Of course the media also does its share to fuel misconceptions about what an ideal body should look like, with constant portrayals of thin models in magazines and on TV. Unfortunately, those who depend on media trends, which happen to be a great number of teenagers and even adults, follow this guide line and go to extreme measures in order to look exactly like the people they see in all the fashion magazines and runway shows. The questions is, how far is too far? Unfortunately, that answer is evident when we see people die from eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa.
Signs & Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa
There are both physical and emotional symptoms attached to anorexia nervosa and being watchful of them is very important. Most people have the tendency to exhibit the following signs when plagued with anorexia:
- Extreme dieting – This can include skipping meals and excessive fasting
- Low self-esteem and insecurity issues that focus on their appearance and weight
- Dry or flaky skin
- Brittle nails
- Hair falling out
- Inability to properly concentrate
Treatment for anorexia varies from person to person and depends heavily on their symptoms. In some cases, medication may be necessary due to serious depression issues that are involved. In other instances, psychotherapy may be more appropriate in order to deal with the patient’s underlying emotional issues. Group therapy is also recommended for the purpose of sharing experiences with others who can relate to a similar eating disorder problem.