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Anorexia Nervosa

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Anorexia nervosa is an illness that can control the mind. Anorexia nervosa is an illness that usually occurs in teenage girls, but it can also occur in teenage boys as well as adult women and men. People with the disease anorexia are obsessed with being thin. They lose weight excessively and are terrified of gaining weight. They believe they are fat even though in reality they are not fat at all; in fact they are very thin. Anorexia is not just a problem with food or weight. It is an attempt to use food and weight to deal with emotional problems they have with in them.

Most people confuse anorexia nervosa with bulimia. People with anorexia starve themselves, avoid high calorie foods, and exercise constantly. People with bulimia eat huge amounts of food, but they throw up soon after eating, or take laxatives or diuretics to keep from gaining weight. People with bulimia do not usually lose as much weight as people with anorexia. Not to say that bulimia is not as harmful to a person as anorexia is, but anorexia is a disease that attacks the body and mind more than bulimia.

The reason that some people get anorexia is unknown. People with anorexia may believe that they would be happier and more successful if they were thin. They want everything in their lives to be perfect including being thin because that is what society portrays the successful to be. People who suffer from this disorder are usually good students. They usually are all involved in many school and community activities. They blame themselves if they do not get perfect grades, or if other things in life are not perfect.

Girls that suffer from anorexia usually stop having menstrual periods. People with anorexia also have dry skin and thinning hair on their heads. They may have a growth of fine hair all over their body. They may feel cold all the time, and they may get sick quit often. People with anorexia are often in a bad mood. They have a hard time concentrating and are always thinking about food. It is not true that anorexics are never hungry, actually they are always hungry. Feeling hunger gives them a feeling of control over their lives and their bodies. It makes them feel like they are good at something; they are good at losing weight. People with severe anorexia may be at risk of death from starvation.

There is treatment for the disorder anorexia nervosa. Treatment of anorexia is difficult because people with anorexia believe there is nothing wrong with them. Patients in the early stages of anorexia (within the first 6 months) may be successfully treated without having to be admitted to the hospital. But for successful treatment, patients must want to change and must have the help of their families and friends for emotional support. People with the more serious anorexia need care in the hospital, usually in a special unit for people with anorexia and bulimia. Treatment involves more than changing the persons eating habits. Anorexic patients often need counseling for a year or more so they can work on changing the feelings that are causing their eating problems. These feelings may be about their weight, their family problems, or their problems with self esteem. Some anorexic



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