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What Is Anorexia Nervosa?
- Eating disorders overwhelmingly affect women. Men account for only about 10% of anorexia nervosa cases.
- Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.
- One in every 200 American women suffers from anorexia nervosa at some point during her life.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes people restrict their food intake in order to lose weight. Many people with anorexia starve themselves, while others binge eat and then purge [see bulimia nervosa]. People with anorexia nervosa can experience life-threatening weight loss caused by risky dieting, fasting, and over-exercise.
Many people with anorexia nervosa have a distorted view of their body weight. To lose weight, people with anorexia nervosa severely limit meals and worry constantly about gaining weight. Most don’t realize the significance of their weight loss or the medical seriousness of their drastic dieting. Their self-worth is tied to false perceptions about body image.
People with anorexia nervosa feel good about themselves when they lose weight, and then become angry with themselves when they gain weight. They think they look fat, even when they are seriously underweight.
Suicide is the cause of death for half of anorexia nervosa sufferers, more than the number of those with anorexia nervosa who die from starvation. In fact, one in five people attempt suicide while they struggle to overcome the disorder.
Angela Guarda, MD
Angela Guarda, MD is the Stephen and Jean Robinson Associate Professor of Eating Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at…Read More…
It is impossible to recover from Anorexia unless you reach a minimal normal weight.
– Angela Guarda, MD
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