Anorexia Nervosa: The Facts

Anorexia is a very serious eating disorder that occurs mainly in young women from the age of 15 to 18, it is defined as the loss of extreme weight through dieting, the person suffering from anorexia will eat very little often actually making themselves sick after eating or use laxatives in striving towards losing weight.

It is a psychological disorder which once taken a serious hold on the person that person will actually convince themselves they are fat, no matter how much weight they lose, they will still see themselves as being overweight.

About every 4 in 10 people who have deep seated anorexia and suffer from this illness will actually make a full recovery and others do improve, 3 out of 10 will however continue to suffer from major long term illness.

If not recognised and help sought 15 percent of anorexia suffers will die from the disease within 20 years of its appearance.

The Cause

Anorexia can arise from several different factors, young girls mimicking there idols brings increasing pressure to gain the ideal weight, a less than perfect family life often abuse within the family is thought to play a part in the onset of Anorexia. Genetic factors also seem to play a role with some documentation of anorexia being hereditary to some extent. Another reason thought to be a cause is depression, exam results as we all know can be daunting and at some time or other we have all lost our appetite a little when under pressure or worried.


The person suffering from anorexia will eat very little, they may sit at the table pushing the food around there plate more than they actually eat it, often excuses will be made for taking the food to there room and eating in private where in actual fact they will dispose of it.

The person suffering from anorexia may be tired and listless due to lack of protein and nutrients and the amount of exercise they do. The anorexic may have trouble concentrating and can be very forgetful; they may become depressed and withdraw into themselves.


The first and most important step in the successful treatment of anorexia is admitting you do have a problem and self help is very important towards the eventual cure of the illness.

If the anorexic has lost a vast amount of weight to the extent they are seriously underweight then hospital admission might be necessary.

Psychological help will also be given and plays an important role in the recovery, helping the sufferer to understand why the illness came about makes sure it won’t reoccur.


For the majority of anorexia sufferers the outlook is a positive one, if help is sought and the disease realised for what it is and accepted as a serious problem by the sufferer then a full recovery can be made, family members and friends will also play a crucial role in the recovery process.

The majority of anorexia sufferers can and will make a complete recovery and go on to lead a full normal lifestyle.

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  1. are there any organisations in the bham area that can family are really frightened and canot understand the stance of the professionals.

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