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What is Anorexia: Answers to Common Anorexia Questions

Anorexia is a complicated and dangerous mental disorder that can occur in both men and women including adults, teenagers, adolescents, and children. Because this disorder includes specific characteristics, symptoms, causes, and treatment methods, the answer to “what is anorexia” cannot be answered in one sentence. The following are some questions that help to answer the broad question “what is anorexia” and allow you to learn more about symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment for this disorder.

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is a mental disorder that is characterized by an overwhelming and irrational fear of becoming fat as well as a relentless pursuit to be as thin as possible at any cost. People who suffer from anorexia will use dangerous and extreme methods to lose weight including self-starvation, denying hunger, excessive exercise, and extremely limited diets. No matter how much weight an individual suffering from anorexia loses, they may never feel "thin enough". Other key characteristics of individuals suffering from anorexia include:

  • A refusal to sustain even a minimally normal body weight
  • An intense fear of gaining weight despite being underweight
  • A distorted view of one’s body size or weight and / or denial of the dangers of one’s low weight
  • Fear of foods that become "off limits" as the illness progresses
  • Sufferers typically have an anxious temperament, typically struggling with change

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Treating Eating Disorders: Anorexia  •   Bulimia  •   Binge Eating  •   Emotional Eating  •   Compulsive Exercising

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