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Anorexia Nervosa Defined

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, anorexia nervosa is defined as “a serious disorder in eating behavior primarily of young women in their teens and early twenties that is characterized especially by a pathological fear of weight gain leading to faulty eating patterns, malnutrition, and usually excessive weight loss.” But anorexia nervosa is way more complex than that, impacting emotions, moods, and physical appearance. If that’s not enough, anorexia nervosa can be life-threatening if treatment is not sought at an anorexia treatment center.

Anorexia Nervosa is not:
    A way for a person to get attention
    A lifestyle choice

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by:
    A refusal to maintain a healthy body weight
    An intense fear of gaining weight
    A distorted body image

A person with anorexia will be so preoccupied with food and calorie counts that they lose perspective and ignore almost every other aspect of their life. If they do consume even a small amount of food, many anorexics will exercise profusely, purge themselves by vomiting, or use laxatives or diuretics to rid themselves of the calories. They will literally do what it takes not to gain weight, including starving themselves, because they have a very distorted view of their size and shape.

Signs and Symptoms
In addition to being extremely thin, anorexia has other tell-tale signs and symptoms, including brittle hair and nails, loss of menstruation, fear of eating in public, exhaustion, dizziness or fainting, and depression. Anorexics also like to play with their food; they are experts at moving food around the plate to make it look like some has been eaten, which can lead to malnutrition or dehydration. Interestingly, many people with anorexia are not even aware that their behavior is unhealthy.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms, it is important to seek help at an eating disorder treatment center. At Rebecca’s House, our professional staff can provide the caring and nurturing environment needed for treatment and ultimately recovery. No matter how you define anorexia, we understand it very clearly, as many of our staff members have recovered from it or other eating disorders. Call us today at 866-554-1851 to see how we can help you.



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