Anorexia Nervosa - Definition, Symptoms & Causes
Updated 06 July 2011
Anorexia nervosa is one of the eating disorders. Anorexia nervosa is characterised by being underweight. There is a fear and refusal around being a weight that is age and height appropriate. Anorexia nervosa involves a preoccupation with body image and shape and weight, excessive weighing and body measuring, distorted eating and weight loss behaviours, and a lack of regard for the consequences of being underweight. Anorexia nervosa usually develops in males and females during adolescence.
Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
The symptoms of anorexia nervosa may include a denial of personal difficulties, and distorted eating and weight loss behaviours, such as a reduction in food intake, self induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, or excessive exercise. In anorexia nervosa, a fear of being overweight may not be alleviated by weight loss. Anorexia nervosa may also involve distress, guilt, irritability, an obsessive use of scales and mirrors, serious physical problems and a lack of insight about them, or social withdrawal and isolation.
Causes of Anorexia Nervosa
In anorexia nervosa, self esteem may be dependent on body shape and weight. There may be a belief that weight loss is an achievement and weight gain is a failure. Anorexia nervosa may be related to anxiety, being overweight in the past, bereavement, or cultural factors. Anorexia nervosa may also be related to depression, emotional abuse, family relationships, having first degree relatives with anorexia nervosa, an oral fixation, obsessiveness, perfectionism, Personality Disorders (PD), sexual abuse, or stress.
Managing eating disorders during 'bikini diet' season842 1722 Sarah Graham | Monday 10 August 2015
It can be incredibly difficult to resist negative body image throughout the summer months. We asked RSCPP therapists for their advice on how to manage eating disorders during the holidays. Read More
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to treat anorexia5202 9887 Sarah Graham | Monday 06 July 2015
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the recommended treatments for anorexia nervosa. RSCPP therapist Beverley explains what it is and how it is
used to treat this eating disorder. Read More
Psychodynamic therapy to treat anorexia4229 0 Sarah Graham | Friday 08 May 2015
Psychodynamic therapy is one of the recommended treatments for anorexia nervosa. RSCPP therapist Beverley Marais explains what it is, and how it can be used to treat this eating disorder. Read More
Therapists explain common causes of anorexia nervosa645 1905 Sarah Graham | Tuesday 24 February 2015
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by dramatic weight loss and a preoccupation with body image, shape and size. We asked RSCPP therapists to explain some of the interlinking causes of
anorexia. Read More
Profile: Men Get Eating Disorders Too466 5679 Sarah Graham | Monday 23 February 2015
Sam Thomas, the founder of Men Get Eating Disorders Too, tells RSCPP how his experience of bulimia led him to found a charity for other men with eating disorders. Read More
How to cope with eating disorders at Christmas684 0 Sarah Graham | Monday 15 December 2014
The period around Christmas and the New Year can be one of the toughest times of the year if you're suffering or recovering from an eating disorder. We asked three RSCPP therapists for their advice on how to cope
throughout the festive period. Read More