What is Anorexia Nervosa? Symptoms and Treatment

What is Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa known as the restriction of energy intake compared to the body’s energy needs. Anorexia Nervosa also referred to simply as anorexia, is a diet condition characterized by reduced weight, dietary deprivation, fear of weight gain, and a deep need to be slim. Some patients with anorexia view themselves as overweight, even though they are clearly underweight. They also deny that they have a low weight problem. In this article, you will find the details about Anorexia Nervosa, such as symptoms of this disease, how it affects a person’s life, how it can be diagnosed, what causes this disease, treatment methods, etc..

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia is an eating disorder where people obsessively control their weight. They do this by restricting what they eat, exercising excessively, or all of the above. It’s one of the most deadly psychiatric disorders in existence today because it can lead to death by starvation or suicide. Anorexia damages your body and damages your mind so please get help if you suspect you have it!

This is known to fall into the category of diet and eating disorders. It is an extreme neurological condition marked by low body weight, fear of weight gain, or imaginary disturbances encountered by the body leading to the limitation of energy consumption.

Accepting and maintaining treatment is very rare in the current population. Medical interventions are necessary as the disorder brings serious health problems as well.

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Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

  • The most obvious of the physical symptoms is excessive weight loss. The person has suffered too much weight loss and his body mass index should be well below the normal range.
  • Body mass index (BMI) is a determining factor in diagnosis.
  • Anemia, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, fainting, and weakness, a distinct bluish color in the nails’ color, bone-melting, and sleep disorders are the most common symptoms.

People with symptoms of anorexia nervosa should seek support from a health facility.

The increase in physical symptoms may reach the dimensions that endanger the person’s life.

They should seek help from health centers and professional persons if they observe physical symptoms.

Since anorexia neurosis is a psychiatric illness, it has a significant effect on both emotional and cognitive processes. Emotional and cognitive signs are also critical for the definition of diagnostic criteria. These symptoms are constant exposure to eating, avoiding the sensation of hunger, fear of weight gain, depressed mood, and social isolation.

If these emotional symptoms are present, cognitive behavioral therapy is the most recommended solution. One shouldn’t forget that traumatic events, which seem to be independent of each other, can affect people’s lives differently. In other words, the chance of correcting the disorder is meager before diagnosing an eating disorder. Also, the person’s distorted body perception should change, and the person should realize that this perception is not true.

Anorexia neurosis can occur during puberty and can continue for a lifetime in some patients. Much as in personality disorders, it’s hard to start a consistent therapy. Those with anorexia nervosa usually do not know that it is a condition. This makes the recovery process very complicated.

Women and young people are typically at risk. However, people like ballerinas, dancers, and models who often have to be visually appealing are at greater risk of eating disorders. These people believe that because of their occupation, they still have to appear frail. Eating disorders also arise in individuals who are obligated to conform to the idea of appearance dictated by mainstream culture.

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Causes of Anorexia Nervosa

The third most common disorder among young people is anorexia nervosa.

In anorexia, a person is faced with physical issues. However, the nuances and misconceptions faced in the cognitive and emotional sense are more significant.

The effect of genetic influences on neurosis anorexia is not understood. At present, the research performed in this area is not adequately detailed to have consistent conclusions. However, the prevalence of anorexia neurosis is greater in individuals with a strong propensity for perfection. This can be extended in order to be linked to genetic influences.

Environmental factors are crucial in eating disorders.

Critical expectations regarding the body’s perception of the individual can emerge, particularly during adolescence. The belief that “the thin is attractive” is common in western cultures. With this illusion, it’s easy for a person to initiate an unhealthy diet. In comparison, the concept of “attenuation” that influences mental functions will transform into a lasting feeling. This persistence can lead to an uncontrollable desire to lose weight and fear of gaining weight.

Being healthy is not important, for them it is important to be thin.

These peoplThese people believe that the thinner they are, the more beautiful they become. Even the negative reactions they receive from the environment can be a reward for them. They never admit that they are thin enough when they look at themselves in the mirror because of the body perception they create in their minds.

Psychological factors are the major causes of anorexia neurosis.

In anorexia neurosis that begins during puberty, there may be an obsession with weight loss due to the person’s desire to be accepted. In adolescence, friendship relationships begin to become complex and people tend to turn towards many wrong behaviors to be accepted. The probability of eating disorders increases in individuals with problems in family life.

It is possible to encounter individuals with traumatic events experienced in the family such as abuse, harassment, violence, and eating disorders after this traumatic event. Particularly in the case of domestic abuse, the confusion the person enters is considerable. The reason for eating disorders can be unconscious, self-harm, shame, and guilt.

Diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa

The most important factor in the diagnostic criteria of anorexia nervosa is that there is no organic cause of weight loss. It is not possible to talk about anorexia if there is a weight loss due to a person’s disease and satisfaction. In addition to physical appearance, various emotional symptoms such as negative tendencies experienced by the person, decreased self-esteem, and loss of sexual desire can be seen. Physical findings such as low heart rate, a significant slowdown in stomach digestion, and constipation support the diagnosis. Changes in the menstrual cycle occur due to weight loss. Drugs that cause weight loss cause conditions such as cardiac arrhythmia and potassium deficiency are determinants for diagnosis.

Anorexia Nervosa Treatment Process

The treatment of anorexia nervosa is a long and challenging psychological disorder. Individuals’ willingness to start treatment is very low. These people usually apply to health institutions because of the health problems they have. Since malnutrition is damaging to the body, the body’s first reactions direct them to health care facilities.

Anorexia individuals are fragile both physically and emotionally. Therefore, the person needs to establish a secure connection with his / her doctor.

 Whenever the individual starts to trust his / her doctor, he/she will start to respond to the treatment.

Even the patient being supervised in the hospital prevents the response to treatment if there is no trust relationship. The doctor should maintain a continuous relationship with the patient and the patient’s immediate environment. Thus, it will be possible to complete the process correctly and fluently as they will guide the treatment process.

Anorexia nervosa is usually associated with depression. The therapist should listen to the patient’s story in detail and the most appropriate treatment should be prepared individually. Treatment of eating disorders should be multifaceted. Nutritionists, psychiatrists, and psychologists should conduct a joint study on the subject. Both the patient and his/her environment should motivate each other to complete the nutritionist’s diet program.

Thanks to the medications that the psychiatrist will offer to the patient, one can get away from depression and moody moods. Also, he/she can feel positive and generate positive thoughts about treatment.

With the support of psychologists, emotional conflicts, conflicts, and concerns can be resolved one by one.

The sustainability of the treatment increases with the resolution of conflicts that the person experiences consciously or unconsciously. This increases the chances of success in a collaborative treatment process.

The longer the anorexia neurosis, the more damage the person creates.

In case of long-term inadequate nutrient intake, serious problems may occur in metabolism.

If the patient falls below her normal weight in less than 3 months, inpatient treatment is the best option.

The most important issue in the treatment of anorexia nervosa is to provide continuity. Treatment can continue for months. In this case, the team working with the patient should be motivating and have a positive attitude. As it is not easy to ensure continuity for the patient, there is a constant need for high motivation with an external factor.


Last Updated on December 11, 2022 by Lucas Berg


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