Anorexia Nervosa is a very serious eating disorder. It actually means in translation ‘loss of appetite due to a nervous disorder’. This however is not the case; it is not a loss of appetite rather a self placed restriction on food. Sufferers of this condition get a completely distorted picture in their head of what their actual body shape and size looks like. They see themselves as totally out of proportion, much bigger than what they actually are. Due to this they then eat less, exercise more, or fast altogether in order to lose weight.
Sufferers are very good at hiding their problem, and tend to be secretive about food. Signs to look out for are having smaller portions, skipping meals, or wearing bigger clothes to disguise their weight loss. They will tend to constantly weigh themselves and avoid foods which maybe high in fat content. They may use appetite suppressants, laxatives and make themselves sick after meals (similar to those suffering from Bulimia Nervosa).
Anorexia Nervosa is more common in teenage girls, but it can affect anyone at any age. The causes are not really known, however those with low self esteem and depression are at a higher risk of developing the condition.
Anorexia nervosa can lead to serious health complications if left untreated. It is vital that help is sought due to the damaging effects it has on the body.