Anorexia Nervosa

Understanding Anorexia Nervosa

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia Nervosa is classified under eating disorders and is an emotional disorder

characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat ( Nolen –

Hoeksema, 2014).. A person with this type of disorder starves themselves from

food for a very long period of time and in their mind they have to lose more weight

when they are already significantly physically small.

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Two Types of Anorexia Nervosa Which One Describes You?

There are two types of anorexia. In the restricting type of anorexia, weight loss is

achieved by restricting calories (following drastic diets, fasting, and exercising to

excess). In the purging type of anorexia, weight loss is achieved by vomiting or

using laxatives and diuretics ( Anorexia, 2014).

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There Are Emotions That Contribute To Anorexia Besides Food. Did You Know?

How Are You Feeling?

  • Depression

  • Loneliness

  • Insecurity

  • Lack of Control

  • Low Self - Esteem

  • Pressure To Be Perfect ( Family , Society and Peers)

Are You Anorexic and Suffering From These Questions Below?

  • Do you feel fat even though people tell you you’re not?

  • Are you terrified of gaining weight?

  • Do you lie about how much you eat or hide your eating habits from others?

  • Are your friends or family concerned about your weight loss, eating habits, or appearance?

  • Do you diet, compulsively exercise, or purge when you’re feeling overwhelmed or bad about yourself?

  • Do you feel powerful or in control when you go without food, over-exercise, or purge?

  • Do you base your self-worth on your weight or body size?

  • Referenced: Anorexia, 2014

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There Is Hope Treatments Is Available:

    Since anorexia involves both mind and body, a team approach to treatment

    is often best. Those who may be involved in anorexia treatment include :

    medical doctors, psychologists, counselors, and dietitians. The participation

    and support of family members also makes a big difference in treatment

    success. Having a team around you that you can trust and rely on will make

    recovery easier.

Treating anorexia involves three steps:

  • Getting back to a healthy weight

  • Starting to eat more food

  • Changing how you think about yourself and food

Medical treatment for anorexia

The first priority in anorexia treatment is addressing and stabilizing any serious health issues. Hospitalization may be necessary if you are dangerously malnourished or so distressed that you no longer want to live. You may also need to be hospitalized until you reach a less critical weight. Outpatient treatment is an option when you’re not in immediate medical danger.

Nutritional treatment for anorexia

A second component of anorexia treatment is nutritional counseling. A nutritionist or dietitian will teach you about healthy eating and proper nutrition. The nutritionist will also help you develop and follow meal plans that include enough calories to reach or maintain a normal, healthy weight.

Counseling and therapy for anorexia

Counseling is crucial to anorexia treatment. Its goal is to identify the negative thoughts and feelings that fuel your eating disorder and replace them with healthier, less distorted beliefs. Another important goal of counseling is to teach you how to deal with difficult emotions, relationship problems, and stress in a productive, rather than a self-destructive, way.

Common Myths & Misunderstanding

Did You Know?

About 50% of all people in the U.S. either know someone with an eating disorder or have been personally affected by one. Despite that, major misconceptions about eating disorders are widespread. These myths can lead to stigma, making it difficult for some individuals to seek treatment and often making it less likely that medical professionals will identify or diagnose eating disorders when they occur outside of the stereotypes.


  • You can tell if someone has an eating disorder simply by looking at them?
  • Eating Disorders are caused by Photo-shopped images in the media.

  • Men don’t get eating disorders?

  • Purging is an effective way to lose weight

  • Factual:

  • You cannot tell if someone has an eating disorder simply by looking at them.

Many people are exposed to the media and altered images on a daily basis but only a small percentage of them actually develop eating disorders. Eating Disorders are serious illnesses that have biological, genetic and psychological contributions more-so than social media.At least 1 out of every 10 people with an eating disorder is male. In fact, within certain diagnostic categories like Binge Eating Disorder, men represent as many as 40% of those affected.Purging does not result in ridding the body of ingested food. At least half of what is consumed during a binge typically remains in the body even after self-induced vomiting ( Eating Disorders,2014)

Credentials For The Therapist To Give Treatment For Anorexia Nervosa:

Credentials Matter

Licensing Information for Doctors in Medicine

All states and U.S. territories require doctors to pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) as a demonstration of basic competence to treat patients. Doctors must graduate from an accredited medical school to be eligible for the USMLE. Although some limit reciprocity, most states will grant a license to doctors who obtained their license in another state. Licensing is not specific to any specialty and does not establish competence to practice a specialty.

Certification Information

Certification is a voluntary process in which doctors must complete a residency in a chosen specialty, undergo evaluation by members of a certification board and pass oral and written examinations in the specialty. Residencies generally last 1-2 years.

There are two organizations that oversee certification: the American Board of Medical Specialists (ABMS) and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). The ABMS represents 24 specialty boards and the AOA represents 18 specialty boards.

Doctors who want to practice a subspecialty have to complete another residency, undergo a board review and pass exams. Subspecialty certification is necessary if a doctor has plans to teach, conduct research or use treatment approaches restricted to that specialty.


Nolen - Hoeksema ( 2014) Abnormal Psychology ( 6th) Edition Mc Graw Learning

N,D Retrieved from :


American Psychiatric Association. (2014). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. (5 ed., Text Revision). Washington DC: American Psychiatric Association

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2012). The national household survey on drug abuse report. Found online at