Although most people have an idea of what anorexia is all about, the starving, the denial, the compulsion few probably truly understand what Anorexia/Bulimia really involves.
With each case Anorexia/Bulimia there is a different set of reasons, background circumstances, and habits. "Anorexia is a mental illness involving the fear of eating and gaining weight." (P.26 Anorexia) Loss of appetite or refusal to eat anything is known medically as Anorexia Nervosa.
Anorexia is a condition most frequently found in young teenage women. The overwhelming majority of anorexics are young women commonly in their early or late teens. In extreme cases, the loss of weight may be so great that death may happen if the sickness is not corrected in time. Psychological and mental treatment is needed. .
Each case of Anorexia is different each individual manifests symptoms of the disease in different ways. (P.12 Eating Disorders) But is it possible to give a composite of what an anorexic's feeling, behaviour and eating habits might be? In this way people can better understand the disease and be better prepared to recognize a potential or current anorexic and offer assistance.
Anorexia stems from a lack of self-esteem and self-worth. The behaviour doesn't usually begin as extraordinary dieting. In a women's case the disorder may precipitate by startling view in the mirror of her more womanly figure as she reaches puberty.
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It may also be caused by a traumatic event - a divorce, a death or breaking up with a boy friend or even beginning college. Eating may be a form of compensation for a major loss or means of securing attention from adults whom otherwise might not notice a child.
"For a young man, anorexia often begins as a result of a diet to overcome obesity or to make himself more attractive to others." (P.43 Anorexia).
Eating Disorders are psychiatric illnesses that effect over two million men and women usually between the ages of 15 and 35.