Anorexia - Weight Is In The Mind Of The Beholder

 By: Michael Russell Platinum Expert Author
Eating is one of the simple pleasures of life, plus, it gives people the substance they need to survive. But eating isn't an enjoyment for everyone; some people develop major illnesses when it comes to eating. One such illness is anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa actually means nervous loss of appetite, but people with anorexia haven't lost their appetite, they're just afraid of gaining weight. They're so afraid that they're willing to starve themselves.

Females are more likely to get anorexia than males. Anorexia usually starts to develop during the teenage years, but some people may acquire the disorder during adulthood. Caucasians appear to be more affected by anorexia, than people of other races, plus, the disorder seems more prevalent in middle to high income groups. People with anorexia become overly obsessed with the shape and size of their bodies. They may become easily irritated and have problems with concentrating. Even though anorexics try to avoid food, they spend a lot of time thinking about it; they even go as far as creating eating rituals.

Although anorexia has been very well publicized, there is still no clear cut reason for why it happens. Some feel that society and its unrealistic demand for thin, perfect people may factor into people thinking that they need to be slim. Others think that there maybe a gene or genes, which makes someone more susceptible to developing anorexia, but so far, this hasn't been proven. There's also a theory that people in certain dysfunctional families may be more prone to anorexia. Of course, malfunctions in the brain are also a popular motive that people use when they can't pinpoint the real cause.

Finding out that someone has anorexia isn't so easy. Most people suffer in secret and would probably deny having the disorder. It usually takes some medical condition, probably caused by the disorder, before anorexics will visit a doctor. There are certain factors doctors take into account when trying to diagnose anorexia. These factors include normal body weight in accordance with height and age, if the patients have a fear of being fat and a distorted self image and if it's a woman, missing periods are also factors to consider.

How anorexia is treated will depend on it's severity. If weight loss has affected the body's normal functions, then hospitalization will be required. The initial focus is on restoring the individual to a healthy weight. After weight has been restored, the individual will probably need psychological therapy. Psychiatrists with medical and psychological training, may provide the best treatment for anorexics. Since anorexia doesn't just affect the individuals, their families maybe included in their treatment.

Whenever people bring harm to themselves, it's hard to understand. Survival seems to be the one basic trait that all people have, so it goes against human nature, when people do things that put their own lives in danger. Maybe that's why no one has discovered the cause of anorexia, because it's so illogical. The world is full of different people in different bodies, but anorexics are so focused on their own imperfections that they become oblivious to all the imperfections around them.
Author: Platinum Expert Author
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Article Tags: eating disorder

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