Anorexia Nervosa

(Also Known As: Anorexia, Eating Disorder, Self Starvation, Unhealthy Dieting, Anorexic, Binge Eating)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by the refusal to maintain a healthy minimum body weight, by an intense fear of gaining weight and by a distorted perception about one’s body image.1 Anorexia Nervosa manifests in a maladaptive set of behaviors that is fueled by an overwhelming desire for thinness and can cause many medical problems (cardiac arrest, kidney damage, liver damage, etc.) and death. 2

There is no single cause of Anorexia Nervosa. The disorder is an extreme response to cultural, social, psychological, familial and biological factors unique to each individual, although the cultural pressure to be thin is seen as one of the main culprits for Anorexia Nervosa. Many individuals who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa feel a compulsion to control their weight as a coping response to other emotional pains or to stressful situations in their lives which they feel they cannot control. 3

Anorexia Nervosa is not a new disorder—symptoms of the disorder were documented in 1964 by Richard Morton who had women patients with decreased appetite, amenorrhea, and aversion to food, and who were emaciated and hyperactive. The term “consumption” was used at that time. In 1874, Sir William Gull and Charles Lasegue published accounts of Anorexic patients. Gull coined the term Anorexia for the condition.

Could You Have Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia Nervosa Topics

Related Conditions

Binge Eating Disorder – Excessive Eating, Uncontrolled Eating Large Amount of Foods, Depression
Body Dysmorphic Disorder – Obsessive, Compulsive Concern of General Appearance, Dysmorphic Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression
Bulimia Nervosa – Eating Disorder, Binge Eating, Purging, Fasting, Over Exercising, Laxatives, Enema, Diuretics
Childhood Eating Disorder – Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Excessive Worry About Weight, Anxiety, Binge Eating Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Disorder – Obsession, Compulsive Behavior, Anxiety, Perfectionism, Recurrent and Persistent Thoughts