Unfortunately, it really is true that someone with Anorexia can never be too thin. Despite being dangerously underweight, anorexics see a fat person when they look in the mirror. What they don't see is the tremendous physical and emotional damage that self-starvation inflicts, so they continue to diet, fast, purge, and over-exercise.
It is very common for people with anorexia to deny having a problem. Anorexia is a serious and potentially deadly eating disorder. Fortunately, recovery is possible. With proper treatment and support, you or someone you care about can break anorexia's self-destructive pattern and regain your health and happiness.
What is Anorexia?
Anorexia is characterized by an irrational dread of becoming fat coupled with a relentless pursuit of thinness. People with anorexia go to extremes - to reach and maintain a dangerously low body weight. But no matter how much weight is lost, no matter how emaciated they become, it's never enough. The more the scale dips, the more obsessed they become with food, dieting, and weight loss.
The key features of Anorexia Nervosa are:
• Refusal to sustain a minimally normal body weight
• Intense fear of gaining weight, despite being underweight
• Distorted view of one's body or weight, or denial of the dangers of one's low weight
Anorexics are referred to as either the restricting anorexic or the purging anorexic. In the restricting type, weight loss is achieved by restricting calories. Restricting anorexics follow drastic diets, go on fasts, and exercise to excess. In the purging type, people get rid of calories they've consumed by vomiting or using laxatives and diuretics.
Anorexia is most common in adolescent girls and young women, with a typical age of onset between the ages of 13 and 20. But people of all ages — including men and children — can suffer from anorexia.
Anorexics believe that their lives will be better — that they'll finally feel good about themselves — if they lose more weight. No amount of dieting or weight loss can repair the negative self-image an anorexic has of themselves. In the end, anorexia only leads to greater emotional pain, isolation, and physical damage. Anorexia is a serious and potentially deadly eating disorder but with the proper therapy and care there is hope and a full recovery can be made.
If you or a loved one is suffering from Anorexia, please call Eating Disorder Associates, we can help. Call us at (631) 724-7152.