Anorexia Nervousa

Information into this deadly disorder!


Not only do women fight against eating disorders, but Men do as well. From starving to excessive exercise to prevent weight gain, as well as purging, in order to be 'perfect'. Images from culture of the perfect person, being rail thin or being completely built up, and the need to fit that image no matter the health risks. Those with this disorder still believe they need to keep losing weight no matter how thin they get.

What is this disorder?

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder in the means that a person will starve themselves, subsisting on little or no food for long periods of time, and still believing they need to lose more weight (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). There are two types of Anorexia Nervosa, and treatment for both. Those with anorexia sometimes show signs of amenorrhea (due to extreme weight loss, women and girls stop having menstrual periods), that joined with a women being under 15 percent of their normal weight requirements is how this can be diagnosed (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). Those with the disorder are also very fatigued, though some still fight to work out in order to lose weight (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014).

Types of Anorexia Nevousa

There are two types of this disorder, one is restricting type of anorexia nervosa, which is when they refuse to eat and/or engage in excessive exercise to prevent weight gain; and binge/purge type of anorexia nervosa which is when they engage in binge eating or purging behaviors (self induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives or diuretics) (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). Those with the restricting type will attempt to go for days without eating anything, or eating very small amounts to simply stay alive, or due to pressure to eat by others (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). The binge/purge type of anorexia is similar to bulimia nervosa however they will not engage in binges in which large amounts of food are eating as such with bulimia (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). Though binge/purge type of anorexia nervosa tend to have more psychopathology than those with the restricting type, particularly impulsive, suicidal, and self-harming than those with the restricting type (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014).


Death rate over all with anorexia nervosa is 5 to 9 percent, from cardiovascular complications, acute expansion of the stomach, bone strength issues, kidney damage as well as the suicide rate (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). Get treatment now, for you or your loved one, before it's too late!

Getting Treatment!

There is help out there, therapy to help you get back to being healthy and loving who you are. From family therapy, individual therapy and groups to help you over come this deadly disorder, as well as giving you the support you need! Find a professional who can help today!

Here is a screening help, for anyone who is not sure where to start, if you feel you having an eating disorder or someone you love does please seek help! (this screening is completely anonymous as well!)

When looking for treatment you want to ensure those helping are license to practice, with the degree's necessary for that license (masters to Ph.D.) (American Psychological Association, 2014). You may also want to ask how long they have been practicing psychology before starting therapy itself (American Psychological Association, 2014). There are many other questions you want to ask them, one of them is talking about how you have been feeling and how much experience they have with those like you, as well as their area's of expertise (family, children, individuals, etc), fees, insurance that is accepting, are some good questions to bring up when first meeting a psychologist (American Psychological Association, 2014).

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More information about treatments and research

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder that doesn't have a proven treatment that is effective in reversing core symptoms, most with the disorder do not work on treatment due to lack or motivation and lack or willingness to change (Eating Disorders: Understanding anorexia nervosa, 2014). Those that do seek treatment may immediately recover after but they may also have an unsteady progress of weight recovery with recurrences, to constant fatal aggravation (Wozniak, Rekleiti, Roupa, 2012). Most with this disorder want to keep control over their behaviors and highly value the thinness they have achieved, and thus makes it difficult to engage them in treatments (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). Family based treatment (FBT) for adolescence with this disorder has shown some efficacy, which helps treat the family as a unit than as an individual which could help the family as well as the patient deal with this disorder to find a way to recovery and gain weight (Hildebrandt, Bacow, Greif, Flores, 2014). This treatment focuses on the use of exposure technique and parental de/incentivization as well as direct delivery of adolescent coping skills to reduce the symptoms (Hildebrandt, Bacow, Greif, Flores, 2014). It also helps treat families to achieve intensive food exposure in the patient's natural environment with the aid of reduced uncertainty via increased parental structure around food and eating (Hildebrandt, Bacow, Greif, Flores, 2014). Psychotherapy can help people with anorexia, but it is a long process, often marked with setbacks (Nolen-Hoeksema, 2014). So though it is not an easy road there are many treatment options out there, as well as groups to help those with this disorder you can find online or in your community as well (which can help in the support to stay in recovery that anyone with disorders need).

But there is Help!!! And success for those who have fought against Anorexia!

Shatter Me Featuring Lzzy Hale - Lindsey Stirling

Inside one who suffered from this disorder!

The song above is about a journey away from anorexia, the feeling of suffering from the disorder with no one who understands or supports, to the feeling of recovery. Interview answers for this video and her struggles...

"For some reason, I had this little burst of inspiration. I just saw the image that is on my album cover. I saw a ballerina on a music box. It was a snow-globe music box. And she has a very stark expression but she's perfect and flawless and poised. And basically, that ballerina, I related so strongly to her because there was a time in my life when I was surrounded by this shell that I had basically built around myself, this image of perfection because I was so obsessed with being what I thought everyone else wanted me to be and I realized one day that I was so unhappy because I was a slave to my own control. And "Shatter Me" is about breaking free, discovering yourself and learning to love yourself for the imperfections that you have and breaking free from this shell of perfection. For the ballerina, she had to basically shatter this porcelain shell in order to find that she wasn't going to break but she was going to discover herself underneath. So that's what the song is about. The ballerina is a metaphor for the person I once was....When I was in my early 20s, I realized that I had an eating disorder. So it took, first of all, to realize that I had a problem and that that's why I was so dramatically unhappy and I was so depressed. I had to realize that I had a problem and I had to change. I basically had to be willing to re-evaluate my life and discover new values because everything that I had placed value in was completely fake. And I had to shatter my own perception of what had worth. It took a ton of work. I had to look in the mirror and tell myself every day that I was beautiful even though I didn't believe it. And I had to tell myself that I was a daughter of God and I had to rely on my loved ones and my relationship with God and just reinvent the way I felt about myself. And it was so hard. It was terrifying. But I'm so happy now. I'm so much happier. I now have relationships again. I now have a personality again. I now have passions again. And these are all things I had lost as a result of being consumed by an eating disorder."

The interview is here-


American Psychological Association. (2014). How To Choose A Psychologist.

Eating Disorders: Understanding Anorexia Nervosa. (2014). Psychiatric Times, 31(5), 1-4.

Hildebrandt, T., Bacow, T., Greif, R., & Flores, A. (2014). Exposure-Based Family Therapy (FBT-E): An Open Case Series of a New Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. Cognitive And Behavioral Practice, (4), 470. doi:10.1016/j.cbpra.2013.10.006

Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal Psychology Sixth Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Wozniak, G., Rekleiti, M., & Roupa, Z. (2012). Contribution of social and family factors in anorexia nervosa. Health Science Journal, 6(2), 257-269.