Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder commonly called anorexia. It is also a psychological disorder. The disease exceeds concern about excessive dieting or obesity. Individuals with the disease start dieting to cut off weight. Consequently, the weight loss becomes a sign of control and mastery. The motivation to lose weight is less than the concerns about control or fears correlating with one’s body. The patient persists the unending cycle of restrictive feeding, frequently followed by other behaviors like overuse of diet pills to stimulate appetite loss or excessive exercising among others. The cycle results into obsession, which is comparable to an addiction (Smith & Segal, 2012).
Individuals living with anorexia constantly hide their habits thereby making it difficult for family or friends to identify the warning signs. The person can attempt to explain away the disordered eating and ignore concerns when confronted. However, close people begin to notice when the disease progresses. The person becomes more preoccupied with weight, looks in the mirror, and selects what to eat. The symptoms associated with food behavior include dieting regardless of being thin, fascination with nutrition, fat grams, and calories, lying about eating or pretending to eat, preoccupation with food, and secretive, or odd food rituals. On the other hand, the symptoms related to appearance and body image include striking loss of weight, feeling fat despite being thin, and concentration on body image, insensitively critical of look, and denial that one is too thin. Last, anorexia’s purging symptoms include using diuretics, diet pills, or laxatives, vomiting after eating, and irrational exercising (Smith, 1999).
Anorexia is caused by a combination of factors; biological, biological, and social. Individuals with anorexia are thorough and enterprising; they obey and succeed in everything. However, inside they feel powerless, insufficient, and insignificant. If they are imperfect through their critical lens, they are a complete failure. Socially, anorexia can result from cultural pressure to be slender. Additionally, it can occur because of activities that require thinness such as modeling, gymnastics, or ballet. It can also result from parental overly control, especially from emphasizing looks, diet, or criticizing the children’s look. Similarly, stressful events like a breakup or dropping out of school can stimulate anorexia. Biologically, anorexia may result from genetic predisposition, which may run in families. Brain chemistry has some role in causing anorexia. Individuals with anorexia have more cortisol, which is a brain hormone associated with stress and lowers the levels of norepinephrine as well as serotonin; the hormones related with feeling well (Smith & Segal, 2012).
The solution to anorexia is restoring healthy weight, reducing the initial cause, and curing the psychological disorders linked to the disease. Some ways to increase weight include using eating schedules, decreasing physical activity, and raising social activity. To overcome the psychological problems, several therapies can be used such as family therapy, group therapy, and individual cognitive behavioral therapy. These can change the patient’s behavior or thoughts to persuade them to eat healthily. Medications may assist certain anorexia patients; for instance, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, and antidepressants. These medications may be administered as part of a complete healing program to cure anxiety and depression. Despite the use, no medication has shown ability to reduce the desire to cut weight (A.D.A.M, 2012).
Anorexia although an eating disorder, is mainly psychological because the mind is the center of control. The mind controls the body activities including hunger and satisfaction. The symptoms of the disease are in one way or the other related to weight loss. On the other hand, most of the causes affect the patient feeding habits. The disease can be treated with numerous interventions like weight restoration and use of therapies. Individuals should take care to avoid the disease because ‘prevention is better than cure.’