Anorexia, scientifically referred to as anorexia nervosa is a disorder that affects the eating habits of a person. It is characterized by fear, which is obsessive in nature where a person develops an excessive phobia of weight gain. Due to this fear such individuals normally will literally starve themselves as a means of keeping their weight in check.
Normally such people attempt to control the weights of their bodies either by not feeding properly, taking excessive exercises, use of pills to control their weight, forcing themselves to vomit what they have already eaten among other methods that can control weight gain. The people who are commonly affected by this order are adolescents especially the female gender. The question that is frequently asked by many people is, how do you know whether a person is anorexic? The following discussion focuses on various symptoms of anorexia nervosa and the major causes of the disorder.
Normally psychologists mainly study or observe a person’s behavior to be able to diagnose if they are suffering from anorexia or not. Although biological tests are also used, observation and study of behavior patterns is said to be the most effective method to diagnose anorexia. Some of the major symptoms that one can look out for include excessive loss of weight, growth that appears stunted; this condition can also affect the reproductive systems especially in males so that they become impotent.
Other symptoms that one may look out for is the intense phobia of gaining weight and missing of periods in case of women for three consecutive months, having ruled out the possibility of menopause. The self esteem of a person is also badly damaged as one battle with the fear of becoming obese or gaining weight. Normally such people have instability as far as their moods are concerned so that they have great swings. Such individuals also experience intense depression and stress.
In terms of behavior such individuals engage in excessive exercises as an attempt to reduce their body sizes and they restrict their eating habits intensely and there are quite secretive about their various habits of eating. During its advanced stage a victim of anorexia nervosa may suffer instances of pass outs or fainting and unconsciousness. Due to the depression, the stress and the damaged self esteem that characterizes anorexia nervosa, individuals suffering from this condition always attempt to abuse substance that are harmful to the human body. Such substances include drugs, injection and any other substance which they consider as one that helps ease the stress and depression.
Another very notable characteristic of people suffering from anorexia nervosa is that they get quite agitated and irritated when any issue that regards food is mentioned. To be more particular when they are urged or sometime forced to eat they can get very hostile. Anorexics as is the medical terms given to individuals suffering from anorexia are very particular and choosy about the foods they eat and they very much avoid foods that are known to contribute to weight gain.
According to research, there is no particular cause of anorexia nervosa and that it is caused by several factors, social, psychological and biological. Nutritional factors have also been said to contribute largely to the anorexia nervosa condition and deficiency in zinc has been said to be a major cause of anorexia nervosa as it has the effect of reducing the appetite of a person. In the case of Felicia and her daughter Yvonne, these are things to look out for to know if Yvonne is suffering from anorexia nervosa.
Watson Stephanie (2007) Anorexia, London. Rosen Publishing Group