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Anorexia nervosa, often just referred to as anorexia, is a disorder caused by severe self-imposed dieting. This most commonly affects teenage girls, but anorexia can affect all ages, races, socio-economic backgrounds as well as both males and females.

Many anorexics are masterful liars. They will tell friends they are eating at home, and tell their parents or spouse they ate with their friends. Many become fabulous cooks, and will surround themselves with food, yet rarely eat more than a bite.

Symptoms of anorexia include:

  • refusal to eat
  • extreme and rapid weight loss
  • excessive exercise
  • loss of menstrual periods
  • body image distortion
  • preoccupation with food and/or cooking
  • low self-esteem
  • constantly cold (due to the lack of body fat)
  • body hair over entire body (as the body grows hair to try and keep warm)

Because it is psychological, anorexics will refuse to admit they have a problem, and many can’t even admit it to themselves, because their body image has become so distorted they still see a fat person, when in fact they are extremely skinny.


2 Comments

  1. Solace Counseling
    10:58 pm on March 11th, 2011

    An eating disorder, like bulimia or anorexia, not only affects the person suffering from it, but their friends and family as well. If you believe that one of your loved ones may be suffering from such a disorder, it is important to know what to do and the best way to handle it in order to help them overcome it.

    Eating disorders are serious mental health disorders that involve a serious obsession and preoccupation with food and weight. They have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, so seeking help is critical.

    The first thing you should do to help a loved one with an eating disorder is to let them know that you care about them and that you are worried about them. Don’t be judgmental or ridicule them about their weight. That will only push them further away. You may not understand why it is so hard for them to just eat normally, but that’s okay. What you need to understand is that an eating disorder is about much more than food. Oftentimes, eating disorders coincide with depression and anxiety disorders.

    When approaching someone about their eating disorder, don’t do it in public or in front of anyone else. Talk to them in a place where you know they feel comfortable. It is important to know that they may not come right out and tell you that they do in fact have a problem. Try not to argue with them about this. Just be there to listen. You may also want to come armed with resources regarding treatment. Also, don’t give up. Confronting someone about their eating disorder can be an emotionally draining task, but don’t let it go until they seek help.

  2. Lucia
    3:24 am on October 6th, 2012

    Isn’t that why they invented Turkey Trots on Thanksgiving monrnig? Seriously though, I wonder if people who link more running with permission to eat more actually do it in the other order…..binge and then guilt themselves into running longer. Either way it can get very unhealthy very quickly. We all know that calories in equalling calories used is important for maintaining weight but I think adding hyper-emotional responses (fear, guilt, sadness, obsession, etc) to eating and/or running is dangerous. I also think, as runners, we have a responsibility to keep each other in check when we notice things getting out of whack.

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