What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia is a serious, potentially life threatening mental illness. The amount of attention they place on their body image can be enormous. Restricting food and weight can be a way of controlling areas of life which feel out of control. A person with Anorexia Nervosa may use body image as a way to define their entire sense of self-worth. It can also be a way of expressing emotions that may feel too complex or frightening such as pain, stress or anxiety.
Disturbed body image
A person with Anorexia can also develop a distorted view of their body. They may see themselves as overweight when in reality they are dangerously underweight.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa?
- Feeling tired and not sleeping well
- Lethargy and low energy
- Facial changes (e.g. looking pale, sunken eyes)
- Fine hair appearing on face and body
- Rapid weight loss or frequent weight changes
- Fainting or dizziness
- Feeling bloated, constipated
- Developing intolerances to food
- Loss or disturbance of menstruation in girls and women
- Decreased libido in men
- Feeling cold most of the time, even in warm weather
- Poor circulation
What are the Psychological Signs of Anorexia Nervosa?
- Preoccupation with eating, food, body shape and weight
- Feeling anxious and/or irritable around meal times
- Intense fear of gaining weight
- Depression and anxiety
- Low self-esteem and perfectionism
- Extreme body image dissatisfaction
- Unable to maintain a normal body weight
- Reduced capacity for thinking
- Increased difficulty concentrating
- Rigid thoughts about food being ‘good’ or ‘bad’
- Having a distorted body image
- Increased sensitivity to comments relating to food, weight, body shape, exercise
Having awareness about Anorexia and its signs and symptoms can make a huge difference to the duration and severity of the illness. Seeking help at the first warning sign is much more effective than waiting until the illness is in full swing. If you or someone you know is exhibiting some or a combination of these signs it is vital to seek help and support as soon as possible.
Are you ready to make a change?
You are very welcome to get in touch, for any enquiries or questions you may have, or to schedule an appointment.