Therapy That Works...

Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa - By Chris Gearing

Monday, February 25, 2013

Although all eating disorders are extremely damaging for your physical and psychological health, anorexia is also the most lethal.

According to some estimates, up to 10% of patients suffering from anorexia will die from the disease. While both genders can die from metabolic complications and starvation, anorexia is also highly correlated with suicide.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anorexia is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • The presence of extreme thinness or emaciation
  • Highly restricted eating
  • An obsession with being thin and a fervent opposition to gaining and maintaining any new weight
  • There is often a constant self-loathing of their body
  • Low body weight is redefined to be commendable
  • Sufferers often have extreme denial about the physical emaciation and any health risks

Anorexics engage in two types of approaches to food:

1.) Severe food restriction that is rigid and systematized. There is an unforgiving stance toward eating food and there is a refusal to face the problem with eating.

2.) Binge-eating followed by purging, the possible use of laxatives, extreme food restriction, and high amounts of exercise to keep the body slender.

Anorexia, as with other eating disorders, can often co-exist with other serious mental health disorders. Depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder commonly co-occur with eating disorders.

Eating disorders are very serious conditions, and they can even be lethal. If you think you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, please seek the assistance of a clinical psychologist.

Sources:

Arcelus J, et al. “Mortality rates in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.” Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7):724-731.


Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG, Kessler RC. “The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.” Biological Psychiatry. 2007; 61:348-58.


Zhao, Y., and Encinosa, W. “Hospitalizations for Eating Disorders” from 1999 to 2006. HCUP Statistical Brief #70. April 2009. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb70.pdf


Lock J and Le Grange D. “Family-based treatment of eating disorders.” International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2005;37 Suppl:S64-7.


Lock J et al. “Randomized clinical trial comparing family-based treatment with adolescent-focused individual therapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa.” Archives of General Psychiatry. 2010 Oct. 67(10):1025-1032.

The National Institute of Mental Health


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive