Are you DYING to be thin?
Anorexia Nervosa is dangerous! But there is help available..
Identifying Anorexia Nervosa
Chronic Dieting, skipping meals to control weight, extreme exercising, purging and binge eating are all criteria identified in Eating Disorders.
Anorexia Nervosa is a eating disorder that causes people to believe that they are over weight and leads a person to starve themselves, or go long periods of time on little to no food. (Hoeksema, 2014)
"Anorexia and bulimia can be deadly—and not just if you’re drastically underweight. Your health may be in danger, even if you only occasionally fast, binge, or purge, so it’s important to get a full medical evaluation. If the evaluation reveals health problems, they should take top treatment priority. Nothing is more important than your physical well-being. If you’re suffering from any life-threatening problem, you may need to be hospitalized in order to keep you safe."(Smith, M., & Segal, J. ,2014)
Refusing to eat
"People with restricting type of anorexia nervosa simply refuse to eat and/or engage in exercise as a way of preventing exercise."(Hoeksema, 2014)
Trying to "Control"
"Some people attempt to go for days without eating anything; most eat very small amounts of food each day, in part simply to stay alive and in part in response to pressure from others to eat." (Hoeksema, 2014)
"People who suffer from anorexia nervosa believe that they are disgustingly fat and need to lose more weight. They feel good and worthwhile only when they are losing weight." (Hoeksema, 2014)
Refusing to eat
Trying to "Control"
Your headed in the right direction!
Acknowledging that you may have a problem is a great first step (YOUR reading this flyer)
But gaining support from a trusted friend, family member, religious leader, school counselor, or work colleague is for many people the first step on the road to recovery.
True recovery from anorexia and bulimia involves learning to:
- Listen to your body.
- Listen to your feelings.
- Trust yourself.
- Accept yourself.
- Love yourself.
- Enjoy life again.
The good news is that the eating disorder behaviors you’ve learned can be unlearned if you’re motivated to change and willing to ask for help. (Smith, M., & Segal, J. ,2014)
Eating disorder recovery is much easier when you have experienced, caring health professionals in your corner. It’s important to find a professional counselor or nutritionist who specializes in anorexia or bulimia. As you search, focus on finding the right fit, someone who makes you feel comfortable, accepted, and safe. To find an eating disorder treatment specialist in your area:
- Ask your primary care doctor for a referral.
- Check with local hospitals or medical centers.
- Ask your school counselor or nurse.
- Call the National Eating Disorders Association’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-931-2237 (Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST). (Smith, M., & Segal, J. ,2014)
Psychotherapy focuses on the most powerful issue, the obsession with body-image, which is also the most difficult to change.
Some medications can be extremely helpful in treating a person who suffers from anorexia nervosa.
Family members or significant others may need to intervene in the patient’s life to ensure they do not starve themselves to death. In these cases, hospitalization is not only necessary, but a prudent treatment intervention. (Psychcentral, 1995)
Common myths concerning anorexia nervosa
So many people make assumptions about eating disorders and the people who suffer from them. Here are a few myths that are often spread when discussing this disorder..
"#1: Myth: “Individuals with anorexia are just trying to get attention.”
Fact: People do not develop anorexia as a way to seek out attention. Although it is maladaptive, anorexia can sometimes serve as a person’s way to cope with something painful in his or her life.
#2: Myth: “Anorexia is about vanity. If a person with anorexia says, ‘I feel fat,’ it is just to get compliments.”
Fact: People with anorexia experience a real distortion in their body image. This is one of the symptoms of the illness. Often, a person with anorexia will view his or her body very differently than we view it. Described as looking in a “fun-house mirror,” the self-perceptions of people with anorexia are not an accurate reflection of their true body weight and shape.
#3: Myth: “People choose to have anorexia.”
Fact: People do not choose to have anorexia. Like other forms of eating disorders, it is a serious psychiatric illness.
#4: Myth: “Eating Disorders are primarily about food and weight.”
Fact: Anorexia and other eating disorders are not solely a problem with food. Behaviors such as food restriction, fasting, and purging are symptoms of underlying issues.
#5: Myth: “Anorexia is a rich, young, white girls’ problem.”
Fact: Research has shown that this is not true. A person with anorexia may be from any racial, ethnic, or economic background. Anorexia does not discriminate. It affects young and old, female and male. "(Shepphird, 2009)
Anorexia Nervosa Treatment. (1995). Retrieved December 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/anorexia-nervosa-treatment/
Nolan-Hoeksema, S. (2014). Abnormal psychology (6th ed.). New York, NY: Mcgraw-Hill Education.
Smith, M., & Segal, J. (2014, November 2). Eating Disorder Treatment and Recovery. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/eating-disorders/eating-disorder-treatment-and-recovery.htm
Shepphird, S. (2009, February 19). Top 10 myths about anorexia nervosa. Retrieved December 16, 2014, from http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2009/02/top-10-myths-about-anorexia/