The Battle On Anorexia, What To Do To Win.

By: Michael Sampson

With "being thin or sexy no matter what the cost”, a very popular battle cry of most women of all age groups today. It’s no wonder anorexia or anorexia nervosa, which is its proper term, has taken a stranglehold on peoples health today.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by voluntary starvation, exercise stress and decreased sensation of appetite of an individual. Anorexia is a very complex disease, involving physiological, physiological and sociological components. An individual who is suffering from anorexia is referred to as 'anorexic'. The term is frequently but incorrectly shortened to anorexia, which has stuck and is now become a very common, non-medical, term.

The most noticeable physiological characteristics of anorexia are loss of appetite, voluntary starvation and exercise stress. Meaning that an individual who's suffering from anorexia not only intentionally starves herself, she also takes part in high levels of physical activities. It is a fact that anorexic individuals will go through a cycle of recovery and relapse.

The psychological part of an individual who's suffering from anorexia is that she perceives her body as being fat despite the fact that she is not. To an individual suffering from anorexia, there is no such thing as being too thin. This distorted image of ones body produces a great deal of anxiety for that individual, and the most practical solution for them would be to lose weight. But the problem doesn’t end here. When an anorexic attains a weight loss goal, she still feels as though she is overweight causing her to drive herself even more to lose weight. Because of this, a lot of individuals who suffer from anorexia reach a critical low in their body weight resulting in hospitalization and forced feeding to prevent the individuals from totally starving themselves to death.

The psychological state of individuals who have anorexia are almost the same. Mild to severe cases of depression are recorded as a common occurrence in a person who suffers from anorexia. Self-harm may also manifest itself and an obsessive compulsive disordered way of thinking. But bear in mind that not all anorexics display all of this conditions.

The most common dangers in an individual who suffers from anorexia are the possibility of death. Because of the individual’s obsession to lose weight and not eat, major organs may start to shut down due to starvation. A heart attack is a very common cause of death for an anorexic. Another threat to someone who suffers from anorexia is Osteoporosis. Again, this can be attributed to an anorexics obsession of losing weight by not eating.

Anorexia nervosa can be treated. But the road to full rehabilitation of an individual suffering from anorexia is a long and tiring road that may last years for families and loved ones. Anorexia is notoriously hard to treat, with sufferers often emphatically denying that they are ill but accepting that they have anorexia. For these individuals, they see nothing wrong with their with their choice on how to lead their lives.

The earlier anorexia is stemmed out, the higher the chances are for the success in rehabilitating an individual who suffers from it.

Different approaches can be tried with each kind of individual. Hospitalization, psychotherapy, clinics or centers that specialize in treating individuals with anorexia. The use of drugs such as anti-depressants is also practiced. Support groups can also help someone suffering form anorexia. But the most important, and believed to be most successful in rehabilitating an anorexic is family counseling.

Anorexia is one of the most expensive illnesses to treat, because of the high-risk of death from the disease. Unfortunately, lengthy hospitalization is required to treat the disease adequately and many health care providers will not pay for adequate care. Hospitalization stays of 45 days are recommended for effective treatment, yet the usual stay that healthcare provider will pay for is 7 days, along with half the adequate amount of psychotherapy, which is recommended.

It is still believed that the best help an anorexic can receive is unconditional love and empathy from family and friends. Anorexia is fundamentally less about food than an individual's psychological need to feel safe, wherein someone suffering from it is in a state of mind where he or she doesn’t feel the least bit safe. In handling someone suffering form anorexia, it is dangerous to "just force" him or her to eat without support. Eating for most anorexics is not as easy as "just eat" compared with people without an eating disorder. As the support group for the individual, being firm is important. It should always be remembered that eating things that are not considered “safe” would most likely trigger fear and panic.

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