Anorexia nervosa also known as simply Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by refusal to maintain a healthy body weight, a fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, and, in some cases, a loss of a menstrual cycle in women.
Additionally, anorexia is a psychological disorder, which is often distinguished by a distorted body image, which may be maintained by various cognitive distortions. These cognitive distortions can alter how an individual thinks about his or her body. Although anorexia is most prevalent among women, it can also affect men.
Individuals with anorexia, although hungry, deny themselves healthy quantities of food. What can begin as dieting can develop into a dangerous and addictive cycle of restrictive dieting, which, in extreme cases, can lead to self-starvation and death. Moreover, individuals may utilize excessive exercise, overuse of diet pills or laxatives and diuretics in order to reduce appetite or reduce body weight.
The physiological effects of anorexia include a serious drop in weight, increased fatigue, cardiac problems, gastrointestinal issues, anemia, and loss of bone density. Additionally, anorexia can cause hair loss, brittle nails, dental problems, and skin problems.
In additional to physiological issues, anorexia is often characterized by several psychological concerns. These include: irritability, social withdrawal, concentration difficulties, obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, depression, and anxiety.
The treatment of anorexia involves a multidisciplinary treatment model. This includes nutritional interventions in order to address the need for scheduled eating, dietary education, and the setting of attainable weight gain goals. Additionally, treatment includes various psychological interventions including group, individual, and, at times, family therapy. Also, the treatment often includes medical interventions to address the psychological and emotional symptoms of this disorder.
At the Delray Center for Healing, we proved a multi-model approach to the treatment of eating disorders, including anorexia. Patients are provided with intensive individual treatment and well as group therapy to address food issues, body image issues, as well as other emotional concerns. Additionally, patients are proved with meal support and nutritional counseling and education. Finally, patients are provided with intensive medical care throughout their treatment.