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Anorexia is a serious illness.

Extreme weight loss caused by behaviors of food restriction and/or excessive exercise to the point of self-starvation, which may result in death. Due to the irrational fear of weight gain, people develop inappropriate eating habits or rituals  in an effort to lose calories. Clients may display an obsession being thin body and have a distorted body self-perception; seeing themselves as fat when they are clearly the opposite.

Individuals with anorexia tend to experience a bizarre fear around food. In a cruel paradox, the more you try to lose weight and engage in food avoidance, the more extreme your fears and odd behaviors.

battling with anorexia

battling with anorexia

The factors contributing to the development of anorexia are complex and include a strong genetic component. These genes tend to get switched on through environmental influences such as dieting behavior or extreme exercising, particularly after puberty. Personality traits of perfectionism and fear of failure, low self esteem, emotion avoidance and OCD are prevalent.

Around 0.5 percent of patients are women, and only 0.05% of men, with the average age of onset in early to mid adolescence.

Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic disorder affecting adolescent girls, with the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric disorders. Statistically about 41 – 52% of people with anorexia will make a full and complete recovery, a further 31% partial recovery and approximately 19% have a chronic course of illness.

Statistics show that adolescents with an illness duration of up to three years have an especially good chance of full recovery. After an illness duration of six years and more, the chances of full clinical recovery tend to decrease significantly.

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