Ever know or saw someone so thin they actually look like they’re going to be blown out somewhere whenever it gets windy? Ever know someone who eats so little but feels guilty about eating what they feel like they binged out a serving for five people? If so, maybe you should advise them to see the doctor – something is definitely alarming about them.
In this modern era where body figures are a huge deal in the society, a lot of people most especially women are very much concerned about how to keep their figures acceptable by the society. It is as if their acceptance to their society depends solely on their appearance and with that alone, gaining weight has become a concern to some people. For others, it can become a mild concern but for some, it can develop into fear which can result to people developing a health disorder.
Anorexia is a serious mental illness associated with the mentality of keeping their body weight low – excessively. It is a potentially dangerous and life threatening condition characterized by fear of gaining weight resulting for a person with anorexia to resort to starvation to achieve weight loss which can be excessive. Although this condition appears to anyone, it is most common in girls during adolescence which may be carried into adulthood.
People with anorexia (anorexia nervosa) keep their weight low by extreme dieting, induced vomiting, by taking laxatives or exercising excessively. Since it is a mental illness, anorexics see themselves differently compared to what normal people see them in terms of their body. For instance, seeing a distorted image of themselves thinking they are too fat even when they are not. Some patients even often hear from their subconscious voices telling them how fat they are. This leads them to go to extreme measures just to lose the “extra” weight that they think they have.
Anorexic people often see weight loss as an achievement that boosts their confidence. These people tend to have very low confidence and poor self-esteem. Being a mental illness, this is probably one of the reasons why some affected by it often go to great attempts to hide their behavior from their loved ones. However, some may also not be aware that they have such condition. Along with this mentality, comes depression, anxieties, alcohol misuse and even suicidal tendencies.
This mental illness is a serious condition due to the effects of starvation on the body. Since the body is deprived of nutrients that the body needs for normal function, physical problems can occur such as loss of muscle and bone strength that lead to osteoporosis, menstrual cycle for women will get irregular or will stop and men can suffer from impotence.
Correcting the mentality of the patient is needed to teach the body to take in food and not reject it. Family plays an integral part in the recovery of a patient with anorexia. This illness can only be cured through the willingness of the patient to cure themselves with the help of other people’s encouragement.