This Article is About
anorexia
cold hands and feet
starvation diets
lengthy periods
skin dehydration
anorexia and bulimia
How To Treat Anorexia
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Anorexia. What exactly is it? Are there any particular social groups it affects? What are the symptoms? What are the causes? What are the treatments? How many individuals does it affect? What is bulimia?

Over the last few decades anorexia has become more and more frequent. From the perspective of the psychotherapist, anorexia is primarily a gender condition particularly among young adolescent females where it begins after first menstruation. Because anorexia symptoms continue beyond 6 months, it is classed as one of the psychological disorders. Treatment therapy requires lengthy periods of time because it is long-term throughout the adolescent years.

Feminine adolescent psychology obsessions with being overweight and food can become severe to the extent that it can disrupt everyday living. Secret obsessions with food lead to the individual becoming undernourished and dangerously underweight. Many adolescent anorexics have dry skin with painfully thin and almost skeletal appearances. Fear of putting on any weight leads to many anorexics establishing elaborate rituals where they weigh themselves before and after eating.

What triggers anorexia is the hormonal changes and rapid increases in body weight young women experience during the start of their adolescent period. Fear of not being able to control their body weight leads onto the development of anorexia. About 3-4% of the female population experience anorexia during their teenage years with some occurrences of anorexia continuing into their twenties.

Specific physiological symptoms are manifested by anorexics. Such as dry dehydrated skin, callouses on the back of hands, puffy face, puffy fingers, discoloured teeth, cold hands and feet. Many anorexics have fatigued appearances displayed in their skin. Another symptom is involuntary hand clenching. Yet another symptom manifested is tingling in the hands and in the feet. At this stage of the condition, starvation diets have profound psychological and physiological effects.

Behavioural symptoms manifested by anorexics include excessive exercising for long hours of the day to keep weight under control, wearing oversized clothes to hide the emaciated frame they have, avoiding taking food by hiding or disposing of food or by periodic vomiting. Many avoidance strategies regarding food are practised by anorexics such as washing the dishes or cleaning up at the family meal. Instead of eating, anorexics always find new ways to divert family attention away from the fact that they are actively avoiding food.

Much more serious patterns of disordered behaviour include dangerously low or high levels of fluid intake such as either drinking too little in order to control weight or drinking too much in excess to make it easier to secretly vomit their food. By diluting the blood like this, low plasma and sodium levels can cause kidney disease. Any secret starvation diet leads to loss of blood glucose and therefore energy with minimal amounts of glycogen in the liver. Blood becomes alkaline due to loss of potassium, chloride and bicarbonate.

Some of the commonly identified causes of anorexia are the following: fear of being fat, feelings of being in control regarding food, social approval from social pressure to stay slim, body image distortion, social withdrawal, family strife, low self-esteem, bereavement from the loss of parents, seeking to achieve an autonomous teenage identity as an act of rebellion against overbearing and interfering and overdemanding parents and secret sexual abuse from parents. Having to meet high expectations while living in the shadow of high achieving parents is another reason.

In fact, distorted thought processes at the root of anorexia nervosa are so extreme with regard to body image that they are in fact classes as delusional disorder. Distortions of perceptions regarding body weight can be stopped by anti-psychotic medications. Anti-anxiety drugs stop anticipatory anxiety and are beneficial in any dietary intake therapy designed to encourage normal eating. Negative automatic thought processes can only be changed by cognitive behaviour therapy.

Upon starting dietary therapy, psychotherapists can focus on food intake issues, nutritional requirements, meal planning and how to change the eating patterns of those previously following starvation diets. Early in the therapy there has to be close observation of the anorexics eating habits. Until the anorexic individual loses the sense of control and empowerment that distorted thoughts provide them with the starvation diet mentality will become entrenched.

Not only are there physiological symptoms associated with anorexia, there are some other symptoms which we have to consider. Such as self-harming, suicidal thoughts, obsessional thoughts, diabetes. To affect any changes in behaviour and attitude will take at least 6 months. Unless social factors, personal factors, interpersonal factors which foster the disorder can be challenged by psychotherapy there will be no improvement.

Group psychoeducational therapy is particularly valuable when treating anorexia as distorted thought processes can be influenced by education based therapy. Parents have to be taught the basic facts about the physical and psychological symptoms of anorexia. Even the anorexic has to be educated about the condition. Each of these steps has often proved to be beneficial for the anorexic.

Whenever supportive psychotherapy is introduced there are positive progressive improvements in the condition of the anorexic. Despite this, there is still the danger of the anorexic relapsing back into dangerous purging habits. While cognitive behaviour psychotherapy and counselling lead to individuals being able to overcome anorexia , it requires comprehensive treatment to challenge entrenched body image obsessesive thoughts.


Street Talk

No comments present
You May Also Like
Anorexia : The Avoidable Killers
Anorexia is an eating disorder, that not only effect the way way you look, but also your health. According to the Department of Mental Health there are currently eight million people with some sort of eating disorder. (True or False)Is an eating disorder considered a mental disorder? The answer is…
By: PrinceStringer  in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   May 20, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

5 Effective Anorexia Treatments
It is not easy to treat anorexia. Firstly, it's hard to make the anorexic person admit that they need help. The patients aren't characteristically distressed by anorexia signs. Regardless they accept examining and treating. It's often challenging to keep an anorexic person participating in treatment often. Below are effective ways…
By: Sara6 in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Jan 31, 2013  
0
  Likes: 2

Iron And Ferritn
Have you ever felt totally drained, no matter how many hours sleep you put in a day. Just no energy at all and watching your neighbour wake at 5am for her run, drains your energy too. Over 75% of women,at sometime in their life, will experience Iron Deficiency and low…
By: Sinead Eire in  Health and Fitness  >  Supplements   Feb 15, 2012  
1
  Likes: 1

Hormones And Hair Loss
Losing your hair? Before starting a skincare company - Celgenics - I worked in complementary health as a Nutritionist, Cranio Sacral practitioner and Kinesiologist. One of the conditions I treated was thyroid imbalances and so I've decided to write a short question and answer article about a problem that many…
By: Marian Bourne in  Womens Interests  >  Menopause HRT   Jan 24, 2012  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Lose Weight Quickly
Let’s be real here. Most people who are looking for a diet plan want to learn how to lose weight quickly. If you are one of these people you may find yourself turning to restricted calorie, low or non-fat, or some other gimmicky, impossible-to-sustain-long-term diet. Some of you may, in…
By: Kate Coffman in  Health and Fitness  >  Weight Loss   Mar 10, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

The Road To And Out Of Eating Disorders
Did you know Anorexia cases can reach children as young as 6? External influences such as magazines, T.V and social media are huge factors in the development of Eating Disorders, such as Anorexia in Children. However there is more personal causes that can cause the development of such disorders, including…
By: Gemma Bailey in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Feb 26, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

5 Natural Liver - Cleansing Tips
The liver is like the housemaid of the human body. It cleans up all the toxins you put into it and keeps all internal systems running smoothly. Modern diet, environmental pollutants and our increasing dependence on toxic personal care products have put a serious strain on our livers . They…
By: aqib in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Aug 26, 2015  
0
  Likes: 0

Eating Disorders: What Lies Beneath
What defines eating disorders? I am writing this article from experience to help you understand what your young person is going through. Eating Disorders are a complex and irrational condition that is difficult to understand. I personally suffered with Bulimia Nervosa for 20 years without knowing what was wrong with…
By: Sharon King in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Mar 21, 2012  
0
  Likes: 5

What is Orthorexia Nervosa? - Signs And Symptoms
What is Orthorexia nervosa? This is has become a fascinating topic in the medical field and especially in terms of weight loss and eating disorders. Healthy eating has been emphasized by medical experts and for years now people have been advised to eat healthily and more consciously. However, it has…
By: Sara Reynolds in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Mar 24, 2011  
0
  Likes: 1

Colon Cleanse Constipation - 4 Tips for Colon Cleanse Constipation
How many people around the world are having problems with colon constipation. A good girlfriend of mine are struggling with constipation, I can see that she is having pain and usually give her tips to try in her diet. Sometimes she goes overboard with takeaways and not eating healthy then…
By: edster in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Nov 28, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Overcoming Binge Eating
Binge eating is when you eat too much. Not just eating too much, but having intensive eating outbursts where you really piggy out and completely overeat. Even though you're already full - you're still cramming food inside your body, munching away more and more calories. It isn't really a voluntary…
By: Bob Walsh in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Sep 13, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

As Childhood Obesity Numbers Taper Off, Another Trend Starts to Peak
The CDC has warned that obesity numbers could be near 100% if something doesn’t change dramatically. Children as young as five and six are facing heart disease and diabetes related to their weight, some of them as much as fifty pounds or more over the suggested weight for their height…
By: Cara M in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Sep 28, 2011  
0
  Likes: 0

Risk Of Eating Disorders Increases With Constant Dieting
The risk of developing certain types of eating disorders dramatically increase when a patient is focusing dieting efforts solely to lose weight and not for other reasons, a recent research study has shown. The research, conducted by counselors at the Lewisham Counseling and Councilor Association, in the UK suggested that…
By: Sarah Jones in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   May 09, 2011  
1
  Likes: 0

Available Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Options
Binge eating disorder treatment can be very crucial because not all over-eaters are open about their disorder. Over-eaters are secretive about their status for the fear of judgment from the society. However, Binge Eating Disorder treatment can help greatly in overcoming this disease. Professional guidance from a psychologist, who is…
By: Kristin Gerstley in  Health and Fitness  >  Eating Disorders   Apr 16, 2012  
0
  Likes: 1

Article Views: 1421    Report this Article