Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that causes sufferers to obsess about their weight and what they eat. Many people with anorexia also exercise obsessively. The physical signs of the disorder include extreme weight loss, thin appearance, dry or yellowish skin, thinning, fragile hair and nails, swelling of arms or legs, and soft, downy hair all over the body. People with anorexia often suffer from fatigue, insomnia, constipation, and many other physical and emotional symptoms.
Anorexia Nervosa can be fatal if not properly treated. Rebecca’s House offers Anorexia Residential Extended Care, Partial Day Treatment, Intensive Outpatient, and Recovery Living at our anorexia treatment centers.
Many of our clients struggling with anorexia often report thinking about food, weight, and body image every waking moment. And while their health may be seriously at risk from the disorder, it is nevertheless incredibly difficult to make it through their day with the ruminating thoughts in their head. Here is an excerpt from an individual suffering from anorexia to illustrate the kinds of thoughts those with the disorder deal with on a day-to-day basis:
“Everybody tells me that I am too skinny but when I look in the mirror I see differently than they do. I really think that I’m fat. Everyone tries to make me eat which makes me sick. They asked me how do I feel? And I say “fat”. Why can't they just leave me alone?”
I try so hard to be so perfect. I am a good student and do a great job at work, but no one knows how hard it is for me. I try to concentrate on my work, but I keep having these obsessive thoughts about how fat I am. I get on the scale and have only lost one pound. I just want to lose 5 more pounds. I thought when I got to this weight I would be skinny enough but now that I’m there I still need to lose more.
I keep track of every calorie and carb I consume each day in my diary. Yesterday I had a diet coke and a chocolate chip cookie. Today so far I haven't eaten anything. I haven't had anything to drink because every time I drink water it makes my stomach stick out and I weigh more on the scale. If I can just make it through today I can get back on track. I hate how many calories the chocolate chip cookie has.
The girls at school are so jealous of my size 0 jeans. They look at me but no one approaches. My hair has come out and is thinner than it used to be. I don’t have a menus (period) anymore and I’m glad!
I tried to avoid mealtime but sometimes I have to sit down with other people and pretend to eat. I pick out some food that I know that are low in calories. I placed them on my plate and everyone looks at me. I start cutting up my green beans and push half of that aside. And then I cut it into another piece and slowly put it into my mouth and I am revolted. I know I shouldn’t have done that. I should’ve really cut it into one more piece. The spoonful of mashed potatoes that my mom made me put on my plate is staring at me. I have to make a dent in it. I move the mashed potatoes around on the plate. I flatten them out and make a hole in the middle and then push them to the side. I put a little under my plate and some in my napkin. That looks like I have eaten. I get up from the table, go into my room and looked at myself in the mirror. I can’t believe how fat I look. I think I'll go for a run. Maybe that will get rid of all those calories.”
There are many behavioral signs of anorexia that can indicate a need for anorexia treatment. The intense fear of getting fat, even when the person is underweight, consumes their mind. People with anorexia have a distorted view of their body size and shape. As a result of their distorted self-image, they strive to maintain a very low body weight.
People with anorexia restrict their food intake by not eating, and they may exercise excessively to control their weight. They may hardly eat at all and often try to eat as few calories as possible, frequently obsessing over any food they have managed to get down—even small amounts of food become an obsession.
People with this disorder may frequently complain of being cold, they may suddenly become vegetarian, eat only certain foods, insist on preparing their own food, or avoid eating altogether. Due to malnutrition-induced chemical disturbances, they may develop fine facial and body hair or stop menstruating. They may suddenly behave differently, have difficulty making decisions and begin thinking irrationally. Often they are hospitalized due to dehydration, malnutrition, or heart and kidney problems.
The staff at Rebecca’s House understands the complexities of anorexia and works with clients to overcome these obsessive thoughts. We help clients restore healthy, intuitive eating habits and exercise appropriately for health.
The professional staff at our anorexia treatment centers provide comprehensive clinical programs and a safe, nurturing environment to give you or your loved one the best chances for recovery. Anorexia treatment at Rebecca’s House can be the starting point of a new life – Recovery For A Lifetime!