Anorexia is a complete or partial refusal to eat. Most people became aware of this disease due to the wave of deaths of fashion models who deliberately refused food in order to look thin.
It turned out that anorexia is not such a rare occurrence. At the same time, anorexia nervosa is distinguished, in which the eating disorder is associated with the desire of the person himself to lose weight, as well as mental anorexia, which is associated with refusal to eat under the influence of depression, stress, ideas about poisoning.
About 90% of all patients with anorexia are girls aged 12 to 24 years. Many do not take this disease seriously, content with myths about it, while doctors sound the alarm, seeing the growing scale of the problem. Let's dispel the main misconceptions about anorexia.
Myths about anorexia
A person with anorexia is just trying to get attention. Anorexia should be perceived primarily as a serious disease, at the root of which are eating disorders. It would be wrong to perceive this phenomenon as good or bad behavior, because anorexia is a mental illness. For many, it is anorexia that is the way out of difficult life situations, sometimes the only one.
Anorexia is a manifestation of selfishness. According to this myth, a person suffering from anorexia and saying "I am fat" just wants to hear a compliment. However, in fact, patients have a distorted perception of their own body, they seem to constantly look in a distorting mirror. Because of this, they are not let go of the feeling of their own imperfection and ugliness. One of the indicative symptoms of anorexia is the constant feeling of one's own fullness, and the statements of acquaintances that this is not true only aggravate suspicions.
Anorexia can be quite successfully controlled by the person himself. Unfortunately, the person himself cannot control this process. Anorexia is not so harmless at all, this form of eating disorder is one of the serious psychological illnesses. Cases of lethal outcomes have also been noticed; among psychological diseases, it is anorexia that holds the lead in terms of mortality.
Eating disorders are related only to weight and food. With the development of anorexia, as well as other forms of eating disorder, patients get problems that are associated not only with food intake. After all, fasting, cleansing the body, as well as constant monitoring of the amount of food gradually become an obsession, which is symptomatic for more serious mental disorders.
Anorexia can only be in white-skinned girls. It is generally accepted that anorexia is a female disease that manifests itself in adolescence, and only in white-skinned girls. However, numerous studies have refuted this point of view. Anorexia can affect both men and women, regardless of race, age and social status.
If a person is sick with anorexia, then he cannot suffer from gluttony. In fact, almost every second of patients with anorexia nervosa has bouts of binge eating, which are then "compensated" by laxatives, artificial induction of vomiting or exhausting themselves with excessive physical exertion.
If a person eats three times a day, then he cannot develop anorexia. It is much more important not how often a person eats, but what he is and in what quantity. Some patients refuse a whole group of foods, while others severely limit themselves in the total amount of food consumed. For example, a person can eat quite normally for several days, but then, in order to get rid of excess calories, he significantly restricts himself in food.
People with anorexia eat mostly wholesome food, albeit little. This statement is also incorrect, it is even noted that in order to give themselves vigor and replenish the missing energy, patients abuse sweets and, in general, sugar-containing products.
Anorexia is not a threat to those who constantly exercise, strengthening the body and heart. Belief in this myth is fraught with those who suffer from anorexia and do not take their condition seriously. Many people even believe that a simple and constant intake of vitamins is enough to replenish the missing nutrients. But with great physical exertion, in combination with starvation, malnutrition, the most serious consequences and severe complications are possible.
Anorexia is a control. This statement is partially true. People with anorexia already have experience of defeat and helplessness in solving important life problems. These patients have a heightened need for success and independence, but they tend to satisfy this in a maladaptive way. Some experts view anorexia as a reaction to protest against helplessness, which is based on the loss of control over life situations. With the decrease in the possibility of control over the state of affairs, the feeling of helplessness grows, and the need to achieve control in at least some area grows. In such a situation, it is the control over food intake and own weight that becomes the very area that compensates for the feeling of helplessness. At the same time, refusing to eat becomes the first successful attempt to compensate for failures in life. Therefore, the patients are afraid, under the influence of doctors, relatives, and their own appetite, to return to their usual meal - after all, this will mean a loss of control in this last sphere of their own dominion. This phenomenon also prevents patients with anorexia from returning to a normal diet. To successfully resist anorexia and treat it, one must try to find in the patient's life those areas of life in which he is able to fight and make decisions. This becomes an excellent alternative to the self-destructive efforts that patients make when fasting. Any person has a lot of life opportunities, they just sometimes do not notice them. Perhaps you just need to give a person the opportunity to touch them, then the need for anorexia will disappear.
Anorexia is a temporary phenomenon, just another life period. Again, it is worth recalling that anorexia is a serious mental illness of eating behavior and should be treated immediately. Anorexia cannot be expected to go away by itself. Delay in resolving this issue is fraught with complications.