Anorexia Nervosa Disorder: Physical And Mental Torture Chamber

The anorexia nervosa is one of the eating disorder that affects most known and, unfortunately, thousands of people around the world. Its origins are not yet clear, as genetics are considered to play a very important part. On the other hand, the social pressure to which we are subjected daily is an incentive for many people to develop obsessive behaviors with their physical appearance.

What is anorexia nervosa?

The anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized the sufferer, control their weight and body shape to extreme levels. The fear of gaining weight and the constant need to lose it move the patient to perform unhealthy practices. Stop eating or excessively reduce food intake, until spending hours and hours practicing sports. These are some of the symptoms, which we will expand on later.

Even if the individual sacrifices himself daily and loses weight to dangerous levels for health, he will never be satisfied. The totally distorted perception of his own body prompts him to continue to slowly consume himself.

Anorexia nervosa is not only detrimental to our state of health, but it also harms our affective, social, family and even work relationships. This is because these types of disorders are often accompanied by anxiety and depression, as well as irritable and violent behaviors. Common practices, such as going out for a drink with friends or eating in front of other people, become impossible. Anorexia takes complete control of your life and is very difficult to deal with and overcome. Taking care of a person with anorexia in time can save their life and / or prevent fatal organ failure, as well as all kinds of psychological consequences. With the appropriate therapy and the indicated medication, it can be overcome and considered “cured”, although there will always be some other trace.


The causes are varied, and include biological factors, related to genetics; psychological factors, related to borderline or compulsive personality disorders; and, finally, factors related to the environment and social pressure, which encourages thinness. Likewise, going through stages of changes or novelties, such as a breakup, a divorce or a move, can mentally destabilize the individual and lead to the appearance of this disorder.

Most common symptoms

The diagnostic picture of anorexia nervosa is very complete and includes both physical, behavioral and emotional symptoms. Here are the most common symptoms and those that are most easily detected, even without the need for blood tests or other physical tests.

Physical symptoms

  • Excessive weight loss, even if it is within the limits of the BMI.
  • Fatigue.
  • Insomnia.
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Fine and brittle hair. Hair loss.
  • Soft hair all over the body, especially on the back.
  • Absence of menstruation in the case of women.
  • Dry and yellowish skin.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Severe intolerance to cold.

Behavioral symptoms

  • Anxiety.
  • Depression.
  • Irritability.
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Impulsive behavior This behavior often leads to harmful practices such as drug use, compulsive spending of money, or other abusive practices.
  • Food restriction. It includes from stopping eating for hours or days, to the complete or partial abandonment of certain products, such as carbohydrates or fats. Many people panic when forced to eat certain foods. Pasta, rice or oil are “impermissible” foods for people with anorexia.
  • Adoption of “rituals” harmful to health. For example, chewing food and not swallowing it, but spitting it out, or drinking excess water to alleviate hunger.
  • Excessive exercise practice.
  • Abnormal social behaviors related to eating. For example, they deny outings for dinner or, if they accept, they bring their own food. Many patients isolate themselves socially to avoid these situations and most do not eat a bite in public.
  • Periods of binge eating and vomiting ( bulimia ) are also common.
  • Decreased interest in sexual and affective relationships.

The anorexia nervosa, along with other mental illnesses, is one of the most difficult disorders to treat. The cooperation of the affected person is essential for their recovery, and this is usually one of the worst obstacles. People with anorexia often do not recognize the problem. If they accept help, they usually don’t follow their doctor’s instructions. Achieving the appropriate treatment, with therapy and medication, is a complicated task that usually requires numerous sessions with psychologists and psychiatrists. It is estimated that recovery can take years, and very few people who have suffered anorexia nervosa consider that they have managed to overcome it one hundred percent.


It is essential that, as professionals, family or friends, we learn to detect a case of anorexia nervosa and act on time. The mere carelessness can lead the patient to suffer organic failure and the appearance of other physical and mental illnesses and personality disorders. And even more importantly, treating these people in time will prevent suicidal thoughts and even save them from dying.

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