Anorexia Nervosa – Causes and Symptoms

Anorexia Nervosa can be referred as anorexia and is a type of eating and psychological disorder. It begins in teenagers at the beginning of puberty as they want to maintain a thin body structure. They starve and have extreme weight loss.

Anorexics think that they are overweight even though they are extremely thin as they fear of becoming fat. It is accompanied by behavioral changes, thinking, emotions, perceptions and social interactions.

Causes of Anorexia
The causes of Anorexia includes:
Cultural Pressures

  • In some societies, being very thin is considered to be a beauty for women.
  • It also shows that you are a successful and a happy person.
  • This feeling makes them starve for an ultra-thin body which is very much impossible.
  • This leaves a conflict within them and they become anorexic.
  • Pressure has increased on men to be muscular and lean in occupations like modeling, gymnastics.
  • This pressure leads them to be anorexic.

Psychological Issues
Some of the psychological issues that make a person to become anorexic include:

  • Poor body image
  • Difficulty expressing feelings
  • Low self esteem.
  • Depression
  • Need for control
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Need to feel special or unique
  • Perfectionism
  • Rigid thinking patterns
  • They starve to avoid the social and sexual demands with adolescence
  • Mood swings
  • Obsessive thinking
  • Social withdrawal

Family Environment
Some family styles cause them to develop anorexia.People in such families are more likely to be:

  • Rigid
  • Suffocating in their closeness
  • Overprotective
  • In such cases, they become anorexic to become independent and to bring out their individuality.

Other characteristics of families include:

  • Criticizing a child’s shape or weight
  • Overvaluing thinness and appearance
  • If they are abuse physically or sexually

Genetic Factors:

  • This occurs 8 times more in people who have family members suffering with this disorder.
  • This occurs in families who have history of alcohol abuse or depression.

Perpetuating Factors
Many factors can perpetuate anorexia once it has developed. They include:

  • Starving symptoms
  • Viewing others reaction towards weight loss

Life Transitions
Life transitions trigger this disorder in someone who is vulnerable because of the mentioned factors.
They include:

  • Starting or failures at school or work
  • Initial stages of adolescence
  • Death of a loved one
  • Relation breakup

Symptoms in Anorexia
The symptoms in Anorexia include the following:

  • Intense fear of becoming fat
  • Under eating
  • Vomiting
  • Use of laxatives
  • Excessive exercise
  • Use of diuretics
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Delayed puberty
  • Menstrual periods delayed
  • Hand injuries due to induced vomiting
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder

Anorexia is common in teen aged women who are into modelling, gymnastics or ballet.

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