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What is Anorexia Nervosa by Melisa Crnolic

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Eating disorders in children and early adults have sharply increased over the years. However, it should come as no surprise, especially in females. Females are more worried than men about their bodies and compare themselves too much to the celebrities and models they see. Young females compare their bodies to their friends and will complain about what they feel insecure about. One major eating disorder that has increased over 100% in the past decade is anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder that leads an individual to worry about what they eat, and how much they eat, and care tremendously about their weight. An individual with anorexia nervosa tries to keep their weight below the average for their height and age. The person will try to avoid weight gain at all costs. The person may starve their self or exercise way more than the body should be exposed to. Anorexia nervosa does not correlate directly to food but serves more as a harmful way to deal with emotional problems.

This disorder is alarming because it not only affects a person’s physical appearance; it also affects their behavior and emotions. Several things could indicate someone has this disorder from their physical appearance, which is the number one way a friend could recognize if their friend is hurting their body. Noticing a large weight loss, complaining if it is too cold even if it may seem normal, a thinner and paler complexion and many more are physical symptoms.

As stated before, this illness also affects a person’s manners. When offered food, the person will refuse automatically. The person also will lie about how much food they have consumed to give assurance to others and for themself. People also with this disorder will have social withdrawals because they have no energy and do not feel like communicating with others. With social withdrawal comes depression, because the person does not have enough interactions and keeps too much to themself.

If someone notices a friend or even an acquaintance they believe to have anorexia they should sincerely confront them. A person who has no genuine sympathy or who confronts them too directly may make the individual not acknowledge the problem. After a person has helped their friend, or if the person recognizes on their own that they have a problem, they should schedule an appointment with a doctor right away.

The first step when seeing a doctor is to answer some general questions concerning the condition. For example, how long have you cared too much about your weight? Or have you ever eaten in secret? After some questioning, the patient undergoes tests. They have to be checked physically to see if any damage was done to the body, such as heart problems. Next, would be a psychological evaluation to see what the state of mind is. Lastly, taking laboratory tests such as blood tests just to make sure everything is fine.

Anorexia nervosa is a growing disorder and do not see it decreasing anytime soon, because of the pressure put by our society. However, people should know that this disorder can be overcome by following the previous steps. It may take a while until the individual is no longer worried about their weight and lives a normal life.


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