Anorexia, also known as anorexia nervosa, is an eating disorder characterized by a persistent restriction of food intake, leading to significantly low body weight and an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. People with anorexia have a distorted body image and may see themselves as overweight even when they are underweight.
Anorexia can cause a variety of physical and psychological symptoms, including:
- Extreme weight loss
- Fatigue and weakness
- Dizziness and fainting
- Hair loss and dry skin
- Irregular or absent menstrual periods
- Depression and anxiety
- Obsessive-compulsive behavior
- Perfectionism and a need for control
Anorexia can be a life-threatening condition if left untreated. It can cause serious medical complications, such as heart failure, organ damage, and even death.
Treatment for anorexia typically involves a combination of medical and psychological interventions. This may include nutritional counseling, therapy, medication, and hospitalization if the person is at risk of medical complications. Family therapy can also be effective in treating anorexia, as it can help to address any underlying family dynamics that may be contributing to the disorder.
It is important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of anorexia. Early intervention can improve the chances of recovery and reduce the risk of complications.