Over the course of their lifetime, most people struggle with their weight and self-image. For many people, it’s only fleeting feelings, such as “Does this dress make me look fat?” But for others, it can become a pervasive pattern of restrictive eating, over-exercising, and avoidance. These kinds of behaviors are at the core of anorexia nervosa, one of the eating disorders recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, or DSM. According to the textbook, “[a]norexia nervosa is characterized by restriction of food and energy intake and significantly low weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and disturbed or distorted perception of weight or shape” (Parritz & Troy, 2014).
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Definition
The DSM 5 diagnostic criteria for anorexia are as follows: “(1) Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health. (2) Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight. (3) Disturbance in the way in which one 's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.” Someone with anorexia may count calories and restrict themselves to only consuming a certain amount, and often this amount is far below the number of calories that their body needs in order to function. They may worry about becoming fat, or insist that they are overweight, even if friends or relatives can clearly see their bones protruding.
The textbook mentions two main causes of eating disorders: family factors and sociocultural factors. The textbook also mentions a study b...
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...Cardiac issues and anemia are only two of the physical health issues that can arise due to the behaviors implicated in anorexia nervosa. She was admitted to an inpatient unit for eating disorders.
Anorexia nervosa is defined as “restriction of food and energy intake and significantly low weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and disturbed or distorted perception of weight or shape” (Parritz & Troy, 2014). Mental health professionals are currently grappling with how they can prevent anorexia nervosa, and treatment efforts are often most successful if they are sought within the first two years of the onset of the disorder. While many people struggle with their body image and weight over the course of their lives, anorexia nervosa is when those struggles become habits of starvation, over-exercise, and laxative abuse, which can turn into a life-threatening disorder.
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