All about anorexia nervosa - signs, symptoms and treatment
Anorexia nervosa is an illness that affects mostly teenage girls, but cases of anorexia have been encountered at elder women and men also. In short words, those with anorexia intentionally starve themselves in order to lose weight, and the main problem is that they continue to starve themselves even after losing a lot of weight, which greatly endangers their health and can lead them to die of starvation eventually, if they are not stopped.
It usually begins in the puberty, and its main cause is nervous-based. Modern society's beauty standards consider slim to be beautiful and many people think fat is ugly and disgusting, so girls try to do anything they can to be as slim as possible, and they take this obsession too far. Although the hunger causes them pain and suffering , those with anorexia pretend that they are not hungry and they do everything they can to get more and more thin. Their image of their own body becomes distorted and they see themselves as fat all the time.
Anorexia can threaten the life if starvation continues for a longer period. It can seriously affect the heart and heart rate and lead to heart failure, or it can cause osteoporosis to appear because the bones can be weakened if they are not supplied with the minerals that they need. In the women's case anorexia leads to amenorrhoea, and in men's case to the loss of potency.
Furthermore, in some cases it can also affect the temporal lobe of the brain, which starts to malfunction if the body does not gain enough minerals.
In order to help those with anorexia you must first discover that they suffer from it. Since their own image over their bodies is distorted they are not aware that they have an illness that needs to be treated, and they will refuse to belive it if you tell them. Those with anorexia nervosa can be spotted by the following symptoms:
-they are obsessed with losing weight, they talk about diets and losing weight all the time
-they refuse to eat a meal when you offer them one, by making up fake reasons such as they are not hungry or they just ate
-even though they are very slim they continue to do a lot of physical exercise and try to lose more weight
-some of them can go further, and each time they eat they force themselves to vomit right after, or they overuse laxatives to empty their stomach
The treatment for those with anorexia consists in making them gain weight and eat so they can re-establish the body's balance. Most of them refuse to admit they have a problem so they must be forced to do it. Besides this, psychiatric treatment is needed, in order to make the patients realize that they have a problem and that in fact it's all in their head that they are not thin enough.
There are many non-profit organizations designed to help those with anorexia overcome their problem, so seeking help from one of them is recommended.
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