Anorexia Nervosa is a very common type of eating disorder. The main characteristic of the disease involves self-restrictive food behaviors, determining the affected persons to keep drastic diets in order to lose weight. Anorexia involves a phobia of being fat and people affected by the disease develop obsessions with food. Although the actual causes of anorexia are not clear, it seems that the disease has a pronounced psychological character. Anorexia occurs on the premises of emotional distress and mental instability and the majority of affected people have a low self esteem and a poor self-image.
While anorexics may at first only follow strict diets, in time they may also engage in acts of self-starvation. People who suffer from anorexia also exercise a lot in an attempt to lose “extra” pounds. In time, anorexics become obsessed with food and dieting, and they eventually develop an altered perception of their physical appearance. No matter how much weight they may lose, anorexics are never satisfied with their achievements, continuously trying to become thinner.
There are many hypotheses regarding the actual reasons why anorexics constantly engage in unusual food behaviors. Medical scientists believe that people affected by anorexia are actually trying to achieve self-respect through their actions. It is believed that strict dieting and exaggerated physical exercise are anorexics’ ways of trying to maintain control over their lives. Anorexia usually affects poorly adapted individuals and psychologists believe that anorexics engage in restrictive behaviors in order to prove themselves and other people that they actually hold control over their bodies and lives.
People affected by anorexia engage in similar behavioral patterns. At first, anorexics keep very strict diets and exercise a lot in an attempt to lose weight. Later, anorexics become so obsessed with food and the idea of being fat, that they may even engage in acts of self-starvation. They become depressed and isolate themselves from the outside world, developing complexes of inferiority. As the disorder progresses, anorexics can’t think about anything else but food, dieting and their intake of calories. They may even have obsessive dreams about being fat and repulsive.
As the disorder progresses, anorexics become more and more depressed and their perceptions are considerably altered. In advanced stages of the disorder, many affected persons lose their sense of reason and they become victims of their own actions. It is very important to understand that anorexics can’t overcome the disorder through their own efforts. People affected by anorexia need all the help and support they can get! Anorexics often need to follow psychiatric programs that can help them confront their fears and fight their addictions.
Psychiatric therapy is not aimed at convincing anorexics that their behavior is wrong; the purpose of therapy is to explore the actual causes of their extreme behavioral acts and to encourage them to overcome their addictions.