What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by lack of eating. A person who suffers from anorexia nervosa makes themselves not eat for long periods of time. They may crave food desperately or may be disgusted by eating/food altogether. Both feelings are represented by this population. Despite their internal feelings however, they do not eat. People who suffer from anorexia are preoccupied with being thin, food (calories, food, portions, health, ingredients) etc and intense fear of weight gain. This is a life threatening illness which can result in death from many different reasons. For example, lack of electrolytes, lack of proper nutrients/caloric intake, extremely low BMI (body mass index) which can result in organs stopping proper functioning. When someone with anorexia does eat, they may take extremely small portions, spit the food back out to “just get a taste” and/or restrict heavily by not eating all food groups or only eating certain “safe” foods. Someone with anorexa experiences intense guilt/shame when they do eat. Some may have “body dysphoria” in which they view their own bodies with a distorted perception. They may see themselves as vastly bigger than they really are. Many anorexics when asked to draw what they think their body looks like on paper, greatly overestimate their body size.