Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder and although it can affect both sexes, it’s a lot more common in girls and women. There are several different characteristics shown by someone suffering with this disorder, including:
- Body weight around 15% less than what it should be for someone that height and age
- Self-induced weight lost, often caused by self-inflicted vomiting, over-the-top exercising and/or significant under eating
- A morphed body image; they see themselves differently to how they actually look
Quite often, then question of why some people get anorexia and others don’t is asked. Generally, someone will be anorexic as a result of various biological factors, as well as the social environment a child grows up in playing a significant part, too. However, sometimes it can be peer pressure and bullying that results in anorexia, even if they were previously happy with how they looked and felt. Quite often, when someone repeatedly makes a nasty comment, the person they’re saying it to is likely to start becoming affected by it.
Anorexia can be minor or severe. Often it is severe when it is left untreated, as the situation can spiral out of control, sometimes lasting months, but also lasting years in some cases, too. Treatment type is dependant upon the individual’s situation, however, treatment for Anorexia Nervosa normally involves a health professional, helping the patient to understand the situation and address the problem. This is one of the most important stages in recovery, as the focus can then be on the patient gaining weight and eating healthily.
Psychological treatments for Anorexia are also quite common, such as Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT). CAP is used when the patient has an unhealthy way of thinking, with these thoughts causing other problems, such as depression. This treatment involves looking into the patients past and picking out possible triggers for the disorder. It is then hoped that through recognising these negative events and making changes, the patient can start the process of reform.
CBT, on the other hand, looks at how we react to certain situations, and how these actions and behaviours alter our emotions. The therapist helps to advise the client on how they can become healthy again, and works with them to change their behaviour. It is hoped that once the thought process is changed, the patient and therapist will work together to beat Anorexia Nervosa.