Definitions & Profiles

Profile of Anorexia Nervosa

   Anorexia is a disorder characterized by a significant weight loss resulting from excessive dieting. Most women and an increasing number of men are motivated by the strong desire to be thin and a fear of becoming obese. Anorexics consider themselves fat, no matter what their actual weight is. Anorexics do not recognize they are underweight and may still "feel fat" even at 80 lbs. Anorexics close to death will show you on their bodies where they feel they need to lose weight. In their attempts to become even thinner, the anorexic will avoid food and taking in calories at all costs, which can result in death. An estimated 10-20% of people suffering with Anorexia will eventually die from complications related to this disorder.
   Anorexics usually strive for perfection. They set very irrational standards for themselves and feel they always have to prove their competence. They usually always put the needs of others ahead of their own needs. A person with anorexia may also feel the only Control they have in their lives is in the area of food and weight. If they cannot control what is happening around them, because they use food control as their way of blocking out feelings and emotions. For them, the idea of therapy is seen only as a way to force them to eat. Once they admit they have a problem and are willing to seek help, they can be treated effectively through a combination of psychological, nutritional and medical care, and large doses of love and friends are a huge help.