I want to talk about this topic because it is quite close to my heart and I’ve known a few people who have been close to dying from this illness.
Anorexia is a serious eating disorder, it usually happens when a girl/boy or even woman/man are not happy with their body image and wish to change themselves. When someone begins to constantly think about becoming skinny and how much better they would feel about themselves it puts them off eating a lot of food because the brain focuses on becoming slim. Anorexia damages your health and in some more serious cases, can cause death however there is so many people who can help you stop feeling this way.
Anorexia Nervosa– this illness features an intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image and refusal to keep a healthy body weight. When a person dreads the thought of becoming even slightly overweight this can drive them to cut down on what they eat and that just isn’t healthy, being healthy would mean eating a balanced diet and cutting down on foods full of sugar and fat. However, if you’re anorexic, you are likely to believe that all foods contain fat therefore if you just don’t eat, you won’t get fat. And it is thoughts like this which trigger off someone to become anorexic. It will be as if losing weight is all that is on your mind, like an obsessive thought and worry of gaining weight. You may become distant from friends and family because your day will consist of ongoing thoughts about food, dieting and calorie counting.. it will become obvious to the people close to you that something is the matter and they will definitely be able to tell if you begin to lose weight you don’t really need to lose. Even if you lose weight and people find it attractive, you will feel as though it’s not good enough and will drive you to eat even less, this is what makes this eating disorder worse. It makes you keep going and going and you become obsessed. Anorexia is an extremely serious eating disorder and when you’re suffering from it you don’t realise how bad it is until people start noticing, and a symptom of anorexia is denying losing weight even when you know you have. It is possible to recover from anorexia but not in all cases. It depends how badly you are suffering from it. But there is many different types of treatment and support you can be given to recover but to go through all that just to feel better about yourself? Is it really worth it? Is it worth the risk of death?
There are different types of anorexia, some people suffer by going on extreme diets and sometimes by just cutting food out completely, this is called restricting anorexia whilst others suffer by making themselves vomit or taking laxatives to get rid of any food they’ve eaten quickly and this is known as purging.
A lot of people have no clue about anorexia whatsoever and think it’s completely ok to make up assumptions about it. No, it is just offensive.. Anorexia and other eating disorders aren’t even to do with weight or food really. When most people are suffering from them there is normally a deeper cause to it. Perhaps they feel like they need to impress someone, they are depressed, they can be lonely, insecure and find the best way to cope is to starve themselves. If people don’t understand anorexia they have no right to judge when they have no idea what could be going on in the persons life.
When suffering from anorexia a typical excuse is ‘I’m on a diet’ but there are so many differences between a diet and anorexia. Dieting is healthy, you have control of losing weight, it’s more than just losing weight it can mean you want better skin, or you could just want to be more healthy and balanced with what you eat and the initial goal is to lose weight in a healthy way. Whereas with anorexia, you are not comfortable with yourself, it’s like an escape route for you, you’re feelings are purely based on weight loss and you’re invaded by thoughts of becoming thin.
I will now list a variety of symptoms associating with food behaviour and changes in appearance.
- wanting to diet even though you know you are slim
- constantly feeling fat when it’s been proved to you that you’re underweight
- obsessed with weight
- always checking for flaws when looking in the mirror
- denial of being thin
- dramatic weight loss
- counting calories on everything you eat
- telling close friends/family you’ve eaten when you haven’t
- constant thoughts of food
- hiding food or chewing slowly to become full quicker
Anorexia can happen without you realising, say if you’re under pressure with family problems, arguments with boyfriends/girlfriends, exams, school work.. if you’re under a lot of stress it can make you focus on that rather than what you need to have to eat. Research suggests that it can also happen if it runs in the family.
This eating disorder does not only affect your body image but it can affect you psychologically for example, you could suffer from random mood swings, lack of energy, gum damage, dizziness, fainting, headaches, poor memory and depression.
Recovering from anorexia can be a long and difficult journey, mainly because the first step of recovery is admitting you have a problem and as you have read in this post, anorexics are in denial most of the time. You then have to speak to someone about this once you have admitted it to yourself. Keep yourself clear of things which remind you of losing weight and becoming thin and finally seek professional help, take someone you care about with you, they will help you through everything until you’re finally yourself again.
The following number is the national eating disorders line, if anyone reading this believes they could be suffering from anorexia/bulimia or any other disorder or perhaps you are worried about someone. Call this number for help.
Also, if you want advice, please leave me asks or message me on my facebook or tweet me. I’ve been in a close situation where I lost too much weight too fast, and I’ve had friends who have suffered, I just want to help. I will leave the link for my twitter and facebook below. Stay beautiful and keep smiling.