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What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa, commonly referred to simply as anorexia, is one type of eating disorder. It is also a psychological disorder. Anorexia is a condition that goes beyond concern about obesity or out-of-control dieting. A person with anorexia often initially begins dieting to lose weight. Over time, the weight loss becomes a sign of mastery and control. The drive to become thinner is actually secondary to concerns about control and/or fears relating to one's body. The individual continues the ongoing cycle of restrictive eating, often accompanied by other behaviors such as excessive exercising or the overuse of diet pills to induce loss of appetite, and/or diuretics, laxatives, or enemas in order to reduce body weight, often to a point close to starvation in order to feel a sense of control over his or her body. This cycle becomes an obsession and, in this way, is similar to an addiction.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Nanasue56, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I have been anorexic for 35 plus years. I took several decades to get it controlled and I was in remission for 15 plus years however my husband died. I have had multiple hospital stays for breathing problems and may need lung transplant and I retired from my job of 25 plus years to deal with lung problems. But I've internalized and gone from a heathy weight 95 down to 70 pounds. I've been in denial of all the above changes and have denied I'm lonely, insecure and don't feel needed anymore. Reality is setting in and I'm going to fight this deadly disease with the help of my children, grandchildren, friends and the staff of therapist and doctors. I know it won't be easy but I have so much I need to offer. Thank you for letting me share. This site has enlightened me.

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Comment from: Stayingstrong, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I began having an eating disorder when I was 14. I'm going to be 17 in two weeks and I still find myself sometimes struggling. I was anorexic/purge and restrictive type. I used to cut myself due to emotional issues I did not face. Last year, I went to treatment and now I have a new perspective of life. Although I still struggle sometimes, I find myself much, much happier. I am at a healthy goal weight and I no longer feel like I have to hurt myself. To girls with eating disorders or those who are thinking about purging, restricting, or cuttingļæ½It may seem worth it now, but in the end, I can promise you it will be your biggest regret. It is a disease. Don't test the hands of fate. Seek help.

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Comment from: sherry, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 23

My head shape is like egg and my body weight is 60 kg. I have hair loss, and sometime pain in body. I have anorexia nervosa eating disorder and constipation from long time.

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