Anorexia is characterized by asignificant weight loss resulting from excessive dieting.
Anorexics considerthemselves to be fat, no matter what their actual weight is. Often anorexics donot recognize they are underweight and may still "feel fat" at 80 lbsand In their attempts to become even thinner, the anorexic will avoid food andtaking in calories at all costs, which can result in death. An estimated 10 to20% will eventually die from complications related to it
Sometimes focusing oncalories and losing weight is their way of blocking out feelings and emotions.For them, it's easier to diet then it is to deal with their problems directly.Anorexics usually have low self-esteem and sometimes feel they don't deserve toeat
To be diagnosed ashaving anorexia nervosa, according to the DSM-IV-TR, a person must display:
- Refusal to maintain body weight at orabove a minimally normal weight for age and height (e.g., weight loss leadingto maintenance of body weight less than 85% of that expected; or failure tomake expected weight gain during period of growth, leading to body weight lessthan 85% of that expected).
- Intense fear of gaining weight orbecoming obese.
- Disturbance in the way in which one'sbody weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape onself-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
- The absence of at least three consecutivemenstrual cycles (amenorrhea), in women who have had their first menstrualperiod but have not yet gone through menopause (postmenarcheal, premenopausalfemales).
- Or other eating related disorders.