Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes it difficult for a person to maintain a healthy and stable weight in relation to one’s age height. Anorexia is not a recent phenomenon, but one that has been present for thousands of years. It is a scary and debilitating disorder that destroys lives. In fact, of all the mental disorders, it has the highest mortality rate. About 5% of anorexic individuals are at risk of death within the next 10 years, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders. It is among the major 3 protracted diseases that plagues teenagers and young adults. Out of the 30 million Americans that suffer from eating disorders in the United States, an individual dies every hour as a result of the disorder. For a person to be diagnosed with anorexia, such an individual must present symptoms such as a low weight/low body mass index, great fear of gaining weight, denial of one’s underweight status, the desire to be thin to the point of starvation, food rituals and restrictions, purging, induced vomiting, excessive exercise, the use of diet pills and laxatives, depression, insomnia, isolation, admiration for thin people and anxiety disorders
Some of the persons who suffer from anorexia nervosa have a Type A personality. The traits of this personality allows for an individual to be obsessive about consuming little amounts of food and extreme fitness. As the body loses weight, the effects of malnutrition lead to an inability to concentrate, a vulnerable mental health and complications in every major body organ. This in the long run can lead to an inability to maintain relationships, a fall in school grades or inability to keep up at home and in life in general with suicidal tendencies in some cases. Health complications include heart damage, aspiration pneumonia, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, hypokalaemia, fatigue, muscle damage, paralysis, osteoporosis and infertility. For women, menstrual periods become irregular or stop abruptly.
Risk factors for anorexia include acting, modeling, dancing, advanced athletics and a family history of anorexia. You are not alone if you suffer from anorexia but it is crucial that you get help as anorexia leads to a significant increase risk in dying compared to individuals without eating disorders.
We at Los Angeles Psychiatry are here to help you with specific treatment plans for your diagnosis. We understand that the recovery process for anorexia can be quite frightening so we have a support team to support you and help you overcome your eating disorder. This team includes trained physicians and counselors to provide you with the right support system that your spirit, soul and body needs to recover.
There are forms of therapies for eating disorders, anorexia inclusive. Therapies include as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectic Behavioral Therapy and specific therapies for eye desensitization and traumas. The therapies are centered around the treatment of psychological problems and dealing with the factors that encourage anorexia. In extreme cases, hospitalization may be recommended to restore weight to a healthy and stable point.