Anorexia Nervosa

In adolescence

What is it?

Anorexia Nervosa is a tragic eating disorder in which young people starve themselves because of a compulsive fear of getting fat (Berk, 2013, p.372).

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As a parent, what should I know?

  • Individuals with anorexia have extreme distorted body image (See image below)
  • Lose between 25-50% of their body weight
  • 50% of adolescents fully recover
  • 6% of individuals die
  • Menstrual periods stop for females

(Berk, 2013, p.372).

  • 3rd most common chronic condition among adolescent females

(Carlton, Pyle, 2007, 9).

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What causes it?

  • Cultural admiration of female thinness
  • Genetic influence abnormalities in neurotransmitter in the brain
  • High exception for physical appearance, achievement, and social acceptance cause by society (Berk, 2013, p.373).

Who does it affect?

  • 10% of those affected are males
  • According to the American Psychiatric Association, anorexia prevalence is similar in Hispanic and Caucasian adolescent girls

(Carlton, Pyle, 2007, 9).

Is there treatment? Yes.!

The most successful treatment is family therapy as well as medication to reduce anxiety and neurotransmitter imbalances.

"Parents are considered integral members of their child's treatment team and work closely with their child at home, helping to re-feed them" (Carlton, Pyle, 2007, 9).

However, hospitalization is often necessary to prevent life threatening malnutrition

(Berk, 2013, p. 373).

Anorexia Nervosa in Adolescents - Part 1 the Diagnosis by C & M Productions



  • Carlton, P., & Pyle, R. (2007). A program for parents of teens with anorexia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified. International Journal Of Psychiatry In Clinical Practice, 11(1), 9-15. doi:10.1080/13651500600810968