Much research has been completed on this
disorder, and results indicate a strong familial undercurrent. Many
individuals with Anorexia come from over controlling families where
nurturance is lacking. Studies suggest that sexual abuse survivors are
more prone to the disorder, as are fraternal twins and first degree
relatives of those who have anorexia, the latter suggesting a biological
component as well.
often diagnosed in females (up to 90%), Anorexia is characterized by
failure to maintain body weight of at least 85% of what is expected, fear
of losing control over your weight or of becoming fat. There is
typically a distorted body image, where the individual sees themselves as
overweight despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
involves, initially, focusing on improving the individuals health. Once
this is obtained, therapy can be useful in helping the individual maintain
normal eating habits and explore faulty thinking which resulted in the
distorted body image and excessive needs for control.
caught in time, Anorexia is very treatable, but can easily lead to severe
physical problems and death if it is allowed to continue. In many cases,
an individual with anorexia is very reluctant to get treatment as this
would mean giving up control. Inpatient or other hospitalization is
often needed when health is at risk.