How to recognize and treat anorexia nervosa?

The impact of overweight and obesity on health and how to fight excess weight is spoken of very often. Less attention is paid to actual weight loss and obsessive way to achieve it. Meanwhile, anorexia is a disease that, if left untreated, can even lead to death.

Anorexia and its causes

Anorexia is considered a disease of teenagers who dream of a slim figure and excellent appearance. The pursuit of a perfect figure indeed is one of the causes of anorexia, but there are other reasons for the disease. Although the majority of patients are women, anorexia also affects men. Both teenagers, children and adults can catch it. Anorexia is very often associated with anxiety. Obsessive slimming is a way to divert attention from the experienced difficulties in life.

A man refraining from eating has the impression that he has control over something. Anorexics are very often perfectionists, ambitious and sensitive to critics, feeling a strong fear of failure. For teenagers, fear of adulthood and aversion to their own sexuality also play an important role. Among anorexics, there are many people brought up in families with alcoholism or mental illness. On the other hand, anorexia is fostered by overprotectiveness, especially on the mother’s side. Slimming then becomes an attempt to gain some independence for teenagers.

Symptoms of Anorexia

The main symptom of anorexia is a disorder of perception of body. A slim person notices excess body fat and refrains from eating to get a perfect figure. Despite the further weight loss, the anorexic doesn’t notice any changes and still thinks he’s overweight. Another symptom of the disease is avoiding food. The patient does not eat in the company of roommates to hide the fact of constant slimming. If a child or teenager is forced to eat, he often hides food somewhere. A disturbing symptom is also wearing loose clothes that are supposed to hide the figure. Weight loss is often accompanied by weakness due to nutrient deficiency. Women could also have a period of no menstruation.

Anorexia treatment

Treatment of anorexia consists mainly of psychotherapy. Therapy brings the best results when family members of ill person are involved in it. In the case of advanced disease, hospitalization is often necessary. The biggest problem is that the patient is not aware of his condition and does not acknowledge that the help is needed. Treatment is long and difficult because it requires eliminating the problems that underlie anorexia. It is also necessary to restore normal body weight and undertake treatment of diseases that are the result of emaciation and lack of food. Unfortunately, not all anorexics recover completely from it.


Anorexia is a disease about which we still do not know much. There are still many myths about anorexia nervosa that often make it difficult to recognize the disease early. It is worth expanding your knowledge so that you can take appropriate action if anorexia affects someone close to you.