It's so overwhelming that they"d rather be dead than fat." (110 Brownwell) An abusive disease that kills ten percent of its victims is Anorexia Nervosa. This self-starvation disorder affects one percent of all females and is a silent killer (1 Powell). Although this disease has only been recognized for only 120 years, the pressures of perfection have always affected people and acceptance according to looks. Anorexia can be a deadly or treatable disease where fear consumes its sufferer's life and causes deep emotional and physical trauma.
The official definition of an eating disorder is a persistent disturbance of eating or eating related behavior that results in the altered consumption or absorption of food that impairs physical health or psycho social functioning (135 Brownwell, Fairburn). There are several types of eating disorders, which though common, are very serious. One of the types is Anorexia Nervosa. More than ten percent of anorexics die because of the effects on their body from self-starvation. Anorexia is a very dangerous method of weight loss that involves obsession and fear to the point of it affecting their health.
The first account of researching this disease was the writing of a book by Richard Morton in 1689 entitled "The Treatise of Consumptions". The term anorexia has Greek and Latin origins that give it its meaning. The term anorexia means loss of appetite and Nervosa means nervous. This phrase fits with the exception of the false feeling of no appetite. Anorexic suffers feel no actual loss of appetite but actually trick their minds into thinking they are full. It is a disease of deliberate starvation and appetite control.
Anorexia Nervosa affects over seven million women mainly from ages 15-35. Although this disease affects mainly white middle class women, around one million men also suffer from this disorder. A recovering anorexic, Dawn Langstroth, is quoted in People magazine as saying, "Anorexia is a way to learn how to control feelings.