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Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes a person to lose an unhealthy amount of weight by trying to control what they eat. If left untreated it can cause severe physiological damage and may even lead to dangerous health problems that they cannot recover from. However, when help is sought, people with anorexia generally do recover and continue to lead healthy lives.

Triggers - The Causes

  • Biological - Some people may have a genetic tendency toward perfectionism, sensitivity and perseverance — all traits associated with anorexia.
  • Psychological - people having obsessive compulsive traits, or who have an extreme need for control
  • Environmental - peer pressure, and a need to follow can lead to the influence towards staying thin.
  • Transition - changes in the current dynamics of their life, an event that changes their life

Symptoms - What it looks like

  • Excessive weight loss in a brief period of time
  • Constant worry about their body image
  • Maintains an excessive, rigid exercise regimen – despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury
  • Using laxatives and similar medications to purge their body of food
  • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams, and dieting
  • Withdraws from usual friends and activities and becomes more isolated, withdrawn, and secretive
  • Consistently makes excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food
  • Physical problems such as lack of sleep, energy, stomach cramps and/or fatigue

Treatment - The way to healing

Treatment for anorexia with a mental health practitioner can follow any of the below approaches:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Maudsley Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults (MANTRA)
  • Specialist supportive clinical management (SSCM)

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