In order for an adult to enjoy a healthy, balanced life, a positive
self-image is necessary. For many, the image that they have of themselves
is distorted far beyond anything resembling reality, such as in the case
of those who suffer from anorexia.
This debilitating ' often deadly '
disorder afflicts those who either have the inability or unwillingness to
see themselves as they truly are, in the physical sense. As a result,
their lives become more and more restricted, until they've locked
themselves into an invisible prison from which some never escape.
In a nutshell, anorexia is an eating disorder that causes individuals
to starve themselves, as a result of their warped perception of their own
In other words, no matter how thin they become,
people continue to see themselves as obese and take every desperate measure to
shed those unwanted ' if non-existent ' pounds. Inevitably, this
deteriorates into the refusal to eat and, if left untreated, will cause
death due to the breakdown of the body's systems.
On average, those who are anorexic will tend to be at least 15% below
the normal weight for their age, height and build. In addition to refusing
to eat ' or eating very little ' they'll often develop an unrealistic
exercise regimen for themselves and abuse laxatives.
The combination of
these three traits can cause the eventual death of those with anorexia,
since their bodies don't receive adequate fuel, are pushed beyond the
logical limit of endurance when exercising, and are bombarded with the
type of medication that will soon damage the intestines and prevent them
from working properly.
Anorexia is most common among Caucasian females who are entering or
already experiencing puberty, and are of a high socio-economic class.
Those who are also in a high risk category are people who are involved in
activities that stress the need for thinness, such as theater, dancing and
sports activities ' particularly Track & Field related events.
Among the symptoms that may indicate the presence of anorexia are
extreme or rapid weight loss, refusal to eat in public or the absolute
refusal to eat, disruption of the menstrual cycle (three or more missed
cycles, consecutively), shortness of breath, weakness, fatigue, anxiety,
brittle skin and obsessive behavior in the area of caloric intake.
important to remember that not all symptoms are apparent in every
individual. If even some of these become apparent, it's important to
consult a physician immediately. Whether these symptoms are due to
anorexia or some other illness, they indicate a serious health issue.
People who suffer from anorexia can become angry, combative and
secretive because in their eyes, the world is against them since they don't
see themselves as others see them. They don't even see themselves as they
are in reality. Therefore people often resort to such tricks as cooking
large meals for others but will not eat any of it themselves, fearing that
they will become more and more obese.
There are treatments to help anorexics overcome this condition. If
anyone notices a loved one exhibiting the above signs of this illness,
they should immediately contact a physician to take the necessary steps to
get them help. It is also important to provide a strong support system
them throughout their recovery period.
If you are helping someone with
this disease, you have to remember that fear and denial leads them to say
anything, so do not take anything personally. Just offer as much love and
support as you can.
of this article was Anya Konsletto
for any questions or comments about anorexia
Please visit http://www.foranorexia.com/
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© Anthony George 2005 Anorexia
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