Anorexia nervosa is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by extreme weight loss, the intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted self-image. Many people with anorexia are thin but think they look fat—but the full picture of the condition is way, way more complicated than that. Like all eating disorders, anorexia is a serious mental disorder that can affect people physically, psychologically, and socially. It is fairly common, affecting about 30 million people of all ages and genders in the U.S. alone, and it has the highest mortality rate of all mood disorders. So if you recognize these behaviors in yourself or someone you know, it’s really important not to ignore them. People with anorexia live with the constant tension of perceiving themselves to be overweight, no matter how underweight they become. This can lead to obsessive scale monitoring, drastic calorie restriction, and excessive exercise. There are lots of physical symptoms, like dizziness or fainting, fatigue, insomnia, extreme weight loss, abnormal blood counts, low blood pressure, and dehydration. If anorexia is untreated, complications can include anemia, heart and kidney problems, and osteoporosis. It’s particularly important for those of us in the invisible illness community to be aware of anorexia, because it may affect people with invisible illnesses at a higher rate. Studies suggest an association between many chronic conditions and eating disorders, possibly because autoimmune processes influence the brain. Having anorexia or other eating disorders seems to increase the risk of GI-related autoimmune diseases like celiac and Crohn’s disease, for example—and vice versa. Anorexia is treatable, and while some people do get better on their own, it’s definitely a good idea to seek treatment at the earliest signs of the condition to avoid potential health complications. Treatments for anorexia include individual, group, and family psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, medications, and sometimes even in-patient hospitalization or rehab. You also might want to check out a 12-step program like Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous (ABA); joining a 12-step program that’s helped others to recover can give you hope for your own recovery. Some people have found success with alternative treatments, like Appetite Awareness Training, which involves increasing your awareness of hunger and satiety cues and using a schedule to retrain your eating habits. If you have an autoimmune or any other condition, make sure to let your practitioner know so they can factor that into your treatment plan. Meanwhile, if you are struggling with anorexia, it’s great to get support online, but know that social media may not be your friend. Watch out for sites that try to convince you that your condition is a lifestyle choice or encourage you to hide your behavior from friends and family. If diet Insta accounts or images of thin celebrities trigger your anxiety about your body, stay away! If you need to pull the plug on social media for a while, that’s totally understandable. Just try to check in offline with the people who love you, so they know how you’re doing as you seek treatment and work towards recovery. Most importantly, no matter how isolating this condition can feel, know that you are not alone. Many people in the Wana community have experience with anorexia. They may be actively dealing with the symptoms, seeking treatment, or going on decades of recovery. Or they may be a close friend or family member of someone who’s dealt with this challenging condition. You can be sure that your WanaFam will support you in any way they can. We’ve got you!
Recent posts about Anorexia
tagging as anorexia for exposure even though it’s actually ARFID... does anyone else deal with this? I have issues with eating / food groups / trauma / bodily reactions and it’s caused a host of health issues but I have no body image issues. reach out if you have
So, today my world fell apart. I had a telehealth therapy session. I’ve been working through my PTSD/Anxiety and Depression/Abusive Ex and I was also diagnosed with Anorexia. Less than 5% BF and obviously body dysmorphia and underweight. I don’t know what to do. Food to me isn’t the same and I think it will make me fat. I’m devastated.
Some people think I am anorexic since I’m 6’3 and weight 130. I feel fine other than depressed by loneliness.
Videos about Anorexia
Books about Anorexia
Anorexia Nervosa: A Guide to Recovery
Anorexia nervosa, in simple terms, is self-starvation. However, it is a complex problem with intricate roots; and, recovery is best accomplished with a grasp of sound information, specific tasks, and the support of others. All of that is provided in this guidebook, which includes: • Answers to questions most often asked • Insight from recovered and recovering • Monika Ostroff's story of recovery • Specific things to do that have worked • Information on healthy eating and weight • Suggestions for how to stay committed • A special section for parents & loved ones
Eat to Love: A Mindful Guide to Transforming Your Relationship with Food, Body, and Life
In Eat to Love, nutritionist Jenna Hollenstein leads a spiritual revolution against pervasive attitudes towards food and dieting, and demonstrates how to free your mind from the fear, frustration, and shame often associated with eating. Through a series of revelatory exercises, along with simple instructions for time-proven mindfulness and meditation techniques, you’ll learn to identify prejudices around eating and reset your relationship with food. Eat to Love is not a diet book, not a “clean eating” manual, and not a guide to “being your best self.” Rather, it is a liberating path to sanity, and to loving the body you have right now. Since early childhood, many of us have heard that something is wrong with our bodies: with the way they look, the way they feel and the food we crave. This diet culture--surrounding us in the form of media, fashion, food trends, and even messages from friends and family--tells us that the only way to be happy is to be thin and to rigidly follow the latest eating dogma. Eat to Love challenges this insidious, pervasive messaging and resets your relationship with food from one that’s shameful to one that’s nourishing, liberating, and enriching.
8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience (8 Keys to Mental Health)
A unique and personal look into treatment of eating disorders, written by a therapist and her former patient, now a therapist herself. This is no ordinary book on how to overcome an eating disorder. The authors bravely share their unique stories of suffering from and eventually overcoming their own severe eating disorders. Interweaving personal narrative with the perspective of their own therapist-client relationship, their insights bring an unparalleled depth of awareness into just what it takes to successfully beat this challenging and seemingly intractable clinical issue. For anyone who has suffered, their family and friends, and other helping professionals, this book should be by your side. With great compassion and clinical expertise, Costin and Grabb walk readers through the ins and outs of the recovery process, describing what therapy entails, clarifying the common associated emotions such as fear, guilt, and shame, and, most of all, providing motivation to seek help if you have been discouraged, resistant, or afraid. The authors bring self-disclosure to a level not yet seen in an eating disorder book and offer hope to readers that full recovery is possible.
Podcasts about Anorexia
The Recovery Warrior Show - SERIES
Motivation and inspiration for your journey to recovery from an eating disorder. Host Jessica Flint interviews recovery warriors and treatment professionals from around the world to get their unique perspective and advice on what it takes to heal your relationship to food and body. This show is for all types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and disordered eating
Other People’s Lives: I'm Pro-Anorexia
A woman who runs a pro-anorexia blog explains why she embraces anorexia and what it's like being part of the "pro-ana" community.
Sickboy: Anorexia & Bulimia
This week on Sickboy Podcast: The boys head to Toronto to hang out with the ever so lovely Azura in her beautiful home in The Junction! Azura shares her experience in dealing with Anorexia & Bulimia! The gang scarf down copious amounts of Chinese food and beer while talking about the ups and downs of eating disorders. This was a super special episode and was split into two parts! Enjoy part one!
Sickboy: Anorexia & Bulimia Part II
This week on Sickboy Podcast: Part two of our conversation with Azura about her experience with Anorexia and Bulimia! She reflects on a surreal time in a now defunct therapy centre in the states and being confronted by her father in the middle of binging. Also, is it a good idea for a recovering anorexic to date a cook? How does an eating disorder affect your future health? How do you speak to a friend or a loved one who you think may be suffering from an eating disorder! Tune in to find out!
Simple Health Radio: Anorexia and Bulimia
Dr. Emran is joined by high school interns, Rosa, Thomas, and Victoria, to discuss anorexia nervosa and bulimia. These are psychological and potentially life-threatening eating disorders. They examine a sensitive case study of Rosa’s close friend who has been diagnosed with anorexia for several years. After a thorough explanation of the differences between anorexia nervosa and bulimia, Dr. Emran discusses its complex biological, psychological, and socio-cultural causes. The group then explores some common behaviors seen in people with eating disorders and co-occurring disorders that can develop. Lastly, they discuss the stigma and cultural barriers present in society that can prevent those suffering with mental illnesses from seeking professional help. Dr. Emran provides advice to how we can help loved ones find effective treatment and recovery. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. It is a serious yet common problem that affects an increasingly large number of people -both men and women. It is imperative that we build individual and community awareness to eliminate the stigma and its consequences.
- National Eating Disorders Association. What Are Eating Disorders? National Eating Disorders Association. What Are Eating Disorders?
- Mayo Clinic. Anorexia nervosa. Mayo Clinic. Anorexia nervosa.
- National Institute of Mental Health. Eating Disorders. National Institute of Mental Health. Eating Disorders.
- Pediatrics. Anorexia and Autoimmunity: Challenging the Etiologic Constructs of Disordered Eating. Pediatrics. Anorexia and Autoimmunity: Challenging the Etiologic Constructs of Disordered Eating.
- PLoS One. The Increased Risk for Autoimmune Diseases in Patients with Eating Disorders. PLoS One. The Increased Risk for Autoimmune Diseases in Patients with Eating Disorders.