Knowing Anorexia

Knowing Anorexia

Anorexia is a serious mental illness, a type of psychological eating disorder whereby the people suffering from it have extreme likeness for thin figure or extremely low body weight.

Anorexia is not specific to any demographic type and can affect any age, gender or background. Also, anorexia is not always about diet control or eating less. In certain cases it also follows a cyclic pattern of binge eating and purging.

An anorexic patient is likely to see themself as large in size even though when they would be already thin.

Types of Anorexia
They are two types of anorexia

  • Binge-Purge Type Anorexia- This is the cyclic anorexia whereby a person first binge eats and then goes into a complete purgatory mode. The binge eating alleviated the fear of weight gain which triggers the purge mode. The purging is done either by natural vomiting, exercising excessively or inducing excretion through laxatives
  • Restrictive Anorexia- The more commonly found anorexia type, restrictive anorexia results in a person starving themselves by restricting their calorie intake. Due to their perceived image of themselves, the patients end up eating far less calories than they actually require.

Causes of Anorexia
The commonly accepted belief is that anorexia is a genetic disorder triggered by the surrounding situations. However, one’s personality traits have a lot to do in inducing anorexic behaviour than anything else. Some of the common environmental factors affecting one’s decisions however can be:

  • Size zero culture- the culture where the thinner one is, the better they are considered
  • Unrealistic body image expectations enforced by the glamour industry
  • Professions such as modelling which require one to stay thin
  • Psychological traumas which resurface later

Treating Anorexia
There is no medication for Anorexia however the following in conjunction have been known to help the patients cope:

  • Family Therapy: Spending quality time with the family in an environment of positivity helps one feel confident in their own skin. The patient’s family in such cases is advised by a trained therapist on how to maintain their conduct so as to ensure a positive rehabilitatory effect on the person
  • Intervention of a trained weight therapist: There are trained therapists who help heal a person on psychological as well as physical level by not just tendering to one’s thought process but also by monitoring their food intake and physical activity to ensure a wholesome body growth
  • Diet Monitoring: Prepared by a dietician, the diet chart helps one take the necessary amount of calories while gradually increasing the intake to ensure a healthy weight gain.
  • Sometimes antidepressants, taken under supervision and as per the prescription of a certified medical practitioner.