The US has a number of outlets for anorexics who are still in recovery and need help. In addition to the numerous online organizations and sites, there are also sites with blogs regarding the subject. However, there are national support groups that can help people suffering from this condition.
There is the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), then there is the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) (this is an online directory), and there is the Eating Order Anonymous and Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous. These national organizations usually work in conjunction with a 12-step program that helps the person transition into normal eating habits and behaviors.
These programs are not a replacement for therapy, are usually run by people who have suffered from the condition, usually free, and associated with religious groups. Those in recovery only need to look online or get referrals from the medical professionals who treated them to find out information related to the support groups in the area.
Even though people who suffer from this ailment suffer many physical ailments, the disorder is classified as a mental disorder because much of the problem begins with the patient’s psychology. Before the person begins to control their diet, and in some cases, exercise excessively, they typically experience body dysmorphia (distorted images of the body) and have an irrational fear of weight gain, and this ultimately begins the cycle of self-starvation.
The individual begins to develop an extremely unhealthy and irrational fear of food to the point that they begin to stop eating to lose weight or to keep themselves from gaining weight. The condition is considered a mental disorder because, for one, it is often accompanied by underlying anxiety, depression, mood disorders, personality disorders, and self-harm issues.
Then, treatment involves the patient having to be diagnosed and then treated by qualified health professional (usually someone with a psychology or counselling background). The mental health professional will then have to help the affected patient get over the mental hurdle of eating regular meals in a way that is safe for the person to regain weight and in a way that ensures the person does not relapse.
Even though people who suffer from this ailment suffer many physical ailments, the disorder is classified as a mental disorder because much of the problem begins with the patient’s psychology. Before the person begins to control their diet, and in some cases, exercise excessively, they typically experience body dysmorphia (distorted images of the body) and have an irrational fear of weight gain, and this ultimately begins the cycle of self-starvation. The individual begins to develop an extremely unhealthy and irrational fear of food to the point that they begin to stop eating to lose weight or to keep themselves from gaining weight.
The condition is considered a mental disorder because, for one, it is often accompanied by underlying anxiety, depression, mood disorders, personality disorders, and self-harm issues. Then, treatment involves the patient having to be diagnosed and then treated by qualified health professional (usually someone with a psychology or counselling background).
The mental health professional will then have to help the affected patient get over the mental hurdle of eating regular meals in a way that is safe for the person to regain weight and in a way that ensures the person does not relapse.
Anorexia is a disease which comes from an eating disorder. It is actually the lack of eating. It can be quite dangerous as many have died due to this problem. It can be caused by a number of things but one of the most common causes is a female who becomes too obsessed with her body and her weight therefore she stops eating. This can actually allow the disease to take hold and tell her things such as that she is fat when she weighs only 80 pounds or so. The disease is lying.
Another thing that often happens is that the subject becomes unable to eat. They are not hungry because their body is shuttiing down. Sometimes they are intersected by someone who cares and they are force fed or fed intervenously. They are the lucky ones. Those who don't often die unless they seek treatment. This disorder is very serious and must be treateed, mentally and physically as well.
Symptoms of anorexics can be seen through the person’s behavior and the physical ailments a person suffers from. A person who might exhibit symptoms of anorexia exhibit a few behaviors. For one, they might become overly restrictive of their diet, and when they do eat, they mostly push food around on their plates. The person might chew food and spit it out in a napkin.
Many anorexics might avoid publically eating with friends, with some isolating themselves from relationships with friends. Anorexics are consumed by caloric intake and spend a lot of time obsessing about when they are going to eat and how much they are going to eat. Physical ailments of the anorexic are initially exhibited in the dark circles around their eyes. When they do begin to lose weight, their frames appear skeletal at advanced stages, but it is not uncommon to see the person’s ribs and back (scapula) showing.
Anorexia can mess up a few of the body’s systems. For one, the endocrine, circulatory, and digestive systems can be affected by the loss of the nutrients and the vitamins that we get from food. Furthermore, at excessively low weights, anorexics have to be hospitalized because they become very weak.
There is not one known root cause of the condition. Instead, researchers believe that causes are genetic, cultural, and psychological in nature.
Researchers have found that the condition occurs within families, and so they believe it to have a genetic link. At the same time, some believe that sociocultural factors influence people, especially young women, to starve themselves.
Unrealistic images of people in the media lead impressionable viewers to try to achieve unrealistic physiques. While it is not a root cause, it is seen as a major influence in encouraging behaviors. Then, finally, there is the connection that researchers have made between the incidence of anorexia and other mental disorders.
In many instances, anorexics also suffered from mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, stress, perfectionism (sense of control), and obsession and compulsion. Ultimately, a person’s mental state is just another possible reason why a person would develop the condition. In essence, a person can develop anorexia as a result of one or a combination of the three factors.
The entire human body is affected by this condition. Essentially, without nutrients, the person has essentially shut off the body’s ability to build energy and store fat, to regulate many of the body’s functions, and to achieve homeostasis. First of all, the body suffers simply because there is not enough nutrients being absorbed from the digestive tract into the rest of the body. Superficially, the person might experience brittle nails and hair, weak bones, tooth decay and dark circles under their eyes.
This also affects the person’s hormones, which regulates everything in the body. In addition to interfering with the person’s endocrine system (hormones), starving yourself can lead to problems related to your circulatory system (arrhythmias), and as the weight fluctuates, it can place extra stress on your body’s vitals. Patients often suffer from anemia and liver damage.
People with severe cases can land in the hospital where they have to be fed intravenously to receive important nutrients. Long-term problems that result from the condition require extensive care and can affect most functions in the body.
When diagnosing a person for this particular condition, medical professionals are looking at more than just body fat. While body fat is important in determining how much a fat a person has compared to muscle, it does not indicate whether a person is anorexic or not.
Doctors look at the person’s weight and height in conjunction to their age and sex to determine whether they are underweight or overweight for their age. Usually, their body weight has to be somewhere less than around 15% of the normal weight for their age, sex and height.
A complete examination will include looking at the person’s body chemistry to determine, which vitamins and minerals are missing from the body. However, there are other symptoms of the disease, as the brittleness of the hair and nails are big indications that someone is suffering from anorexia. While it would be natural to make the connection between the two, body fat has little to do with whether a person is anorexic or not.
BMI refers to the relationship between a person’s height and weight. Your BMI is used to determine whether your weight above, at, or below normal standards for your height and weight. Healthy adults have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. A low BMI indicates that there is a problem, especially in adults. A BMI below 17.5, especially, in adults is a big indicator that the person is an anorexic.
While a very low BMI is an indicator of whether someone is anorexic, there are other more obvious symptoms. The person usually appears very thin, but they become vulnerable to other conditions like low muscle mass and they might lose their hair.
Both men and women suffer from low electrolyte balances, liver and kidney issues, and thyroid problems all result from the malnourishment that comes from self-starvation. These problems can create other complications, and for this reason, getting the person to adopt healthy eating habits through counseling is important to getting the person to gain weight in a way that does not place stress on the body.
Because anorexics typically isolate themselves, many mistake isolation for introversion. For an introvert, it is not that they do not socialize, but they tend to be reserved in social situations. When they are in smaller groups with people they know, they tend to be more gregarious. Introverts are also very introspective in that they spend a lot of time in their heads thinking about their world. More importantly, the reason introverts might appear to be shyer is because they tend to be quieter people. However, they are capable of developing large groups of friends.
Anorexic people might be introverted, but the condition is not correlated with this personality type. Anorexics are probably assumed to be introverted because there is a certain amount of isolation and secrecy that comes with eating disorders.
To avoid detection, anorexics might not be as open with friends and family. Moreover, they avoid situations in which they are forced to eat socially with others because, again, they want to avoid detection.
In essence, while introversion can be a part of anorexia, it does not necessarily always coincide with the condition.