Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a distorted body image and excessive dieting that leads to severe weight loss. Those who struggle with Anorexia tend towards a relentless pursuit of thinness and unwillingness to maintain a normal or healthy weight. Even when grossly underweight, many sufferers of anorexia nervosa still consider themselves “fat”. In order to control their body weight, anorexics will starve themselves, purge after eating, or even resort to diuretic drugs.
Anorexia is a complex illness with many causes and variations. Individuals with anorexia sometimes begin with dieting and a desire to be thin and attractive, but find they cannot stop. For most people, the illness is an expression of unresolved psychological conflict. The conflict may be due to traumatic life experiences such as physical or sexual abuse, or an accumulation of other less traumatic experiences that result in feelings of being “out of control”, “defective”, or “not good enough”.
Because they feel flawed and defective, those with eating disorders experience negative behavioral spirals. They feel they are losing a sense of control in their lives. To relieve this emotional imbalance and psychological trauma, they will anxiously search for ways to regain control through anorexia. Many do not recognize that these are actually self-destructive, life-threatening behaviors.
The following Behavioral Characteristics are common patterns that are often seen in anorexia diagnosis:
Behavioral Characteristics (common patterns)*
- Excessive dieting, food control, and fasting
- Tension at mealtimes, fear of food, avoidance of consumption
- Food rituals, calorie counting, rigid rules and schedules
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and early morning awakening
- Frequent weighting and layering of clothes
- Social withdrawal, focus on job and/or schoolwork
- Self-hatred and feeling of unworthiness
*Patterns, systems and traits may vary from one person to another. For more details on anorexia symptoms, click here
Click here to take our online quiz to see if you are living a lifestyle that shows anorexic tendencies.
Anorexia Recovery & Treatment
Center for Change offers hope and healing for adolescent girls and adult women who are struggling with eating disorders. Our Anorexia Recovery Center offers outpatient services (therapy and dietary), day (PHP) and evening (IOP) programs, residential treatment (RTC) and inpatient hospitalization — depending on the needs of the patient and the severity of the illness. At Center for Change we offer all of these levels of care in order to provide the most appropriate anorexia treatment options and meet the needs of our patients. To learn more about our treatment program for Anorexia Nervosa or to schedule a free assessment, call 888-224-8250.