Overview of Anorexia Nervosa
Eating disorders are listed as one of the 10 highest causes of disability among young women. Anorexia Nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by obsession and restriction of food, has a 5% mortality rate, which ranks it as the mental disorder with the highest amount of fatalities (Bulik & Striegel-Moore, 2007).
According to the DSM-IV, Anorexia Nervosa is classified as one of the three major categories of eating disorders. Anorexia consists for four main criteria, which include marked weight loss, body distortion, a fear of gaining weight, and amenorrhea (loss of menstruation). However, amenorrhea seems questionable because it is not a reliable way to indicate weight status. Continuing on, Anorexia is divided into two subcategories. The first comprises those who restrict their food consumption and exercise to control their weight. The second includes those who engage in binge eating and/or purging (Crosby, Williamson, Keel, & Wonderlich, 2007).
Anorexia typically occurs around adolescence and young adulthood, and can continue throughout life. This can lead to overwhelming effects on not only patients, but their loved ones as well. In many cases, Anorexia often co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, impairments in social functioning, obsessionality, and more. There are physical complications that could result as well, including cardiovascular issues, neurological complications, and developmental impairments (Chavez & Insel, 2007). It are these devastating effects which can eventually lead to serious illness, and even death.
As mentioned before, Anorexia can mainly be described by it’s 4 major criteria: seeing the body as distorted, having an obsession with food, high weight loss, and amenorrhea. There are other symptoms as well, which may include having a strong fear of gaining weight, exercising too much, being secretive around food, performing food rituals,...