Anorexia Nervosa

What You Should Know When Seeking Help

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Surprising Statistics

  • Nearly 50% of those with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.
  • Only 1 in 10 of those suffering an eating disorder will seek help.
  • Anorexia has the highest death rate of all mental health disorders.
  • Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder, anorexia being one of them.
  • Between 5-20% of those with anorexia will die without treatment.

Eating Disorder Statistics. (2014). ANAD. Retrieved from www.anad.org

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What is Anorexia Nervosa? What are the Symptoms?

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening, disorder that is defined by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.


Some of the symptoms include:


  • Obsessive negative thoughts regarding body image
  • Inadequate food intake
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Low self-esteem
  • Possible binge eating and purging behaviors
  • Social avoidance
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Ritualistic eating habits
  • Strict calorie counting and intense exercise routines


Types & Symptoms of Eating Disorders. NEDA: Feeding Hope. www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.

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What Causes Anorexia Nervosa?

  • It may be genetic since a person is more likely to become anorexic if they have a family member with the disorder. Research is still being done.
  • The cause may be psychological depending on a person's mindset.
  • The cause may be cultural or societal pressures found in today's time.
  • One may begin dieting that soon spirals out of control until it becomes an obsession to lose weight.


Causes of Anorexia. (2014). Mirror Mirror: Eating Disorders. Retrieved from www.mirror-mirror.org

Common Myths


  • Eating disorders are a choice or a lifestyle
False, people do not choose an eating disorder. It is a cognitive disorder stemming from obsessive and uncontrollable thoughts.
  • Anorexia, and other eating disorders, are just a cry for attention.
False, while some attention begins as positive, it most often becomes negative attention causing the person to become withdrawn.
  • You cannot be at a normal weight and have an eating disorder.

False, eating disorders are not solely about food; the issues stem from distorted body images and obsessive thoughts. Someone with an eating disorder who are not extremely under weight may suffer more because they have that lack of initial positive attention.

  • Eating disorders only affect females.

False, people of all ages and genders are at risk of eating disorders.


Seide, M. (2014). Dismantling the Common Myths of Eating Disorders. ANAD: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Retrieved from www.anad.org.

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Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa


  • Treatment will vary according to an individual's severity of the disorder.
  • Psychotherapy and/or psychological counseling is crucial, especially when mediated with medical and nutritional education.
  • Treatment should target biological aspects, psychological aspects, emotional/interpersonal aspects and cultural aspects of the disorder.
  • A majority of those struggling to recover from eating disorders benefit from outpatient therapy. This may include individual counseling, group therapy, family sessions and psychiatric medication.
  • If an individual's disorder has progressed to a life-threatening stage, inpatient care (hospitalization) may be necessary to save their life.


Treatment. NEDA: Feeding Hope. Retrieved from www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.

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HELP

If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder:


  • Talk about it--seek support.
  • Seek help from a professional.
  • Call the national helpline at: (630) 577-1330


Get Help. (2014). ANAD: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Retrieved from www.anad.org.

References

Causes of Anorexia. (2014). Mirror Mirror: Eating Disorders. Retrieved from www.mirror-

mirror.org.

Eating Disorder Statistics. (2014). ANAD. Retrieved from www.anad.org.

Get Help. (2014). ANAD: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Retrieved from www.anad.org.

Seide, M. (2014). Dismantling the Common Myths of Eating Disorders. ANAD: National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Retrieved from www.anad.org.

Treatment. NEDA: Feeding Hope. Retrieved from www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.

Types & Symptoms of Eating Disorders. NEDA: Feeding Hope. www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.