What is anorexia nervosa?
People with anorexia nervosa have a disturbed body image. They see their body much thicker than it really is. That’s why they have to lose weight. They do this by extreme lines and excessive exercise and exercise. Sometimes there is also the use of laxatives or vomiting. The result is that they become very skinny, sometimes even skinny. Because of the disturbed body image they do not see that themselves. It is a myth that anorexia only occurs in women. Anorexia in men and boys also occurs.
Ask yourself the question: “Do I have anorexia?” There are signs and symptoms that indicate (the development of) anorexia nervosa, such as:
- a disturbed self-image, finding yourself too fat, while you have a healthy weight or underweight
- very anxious about weight gain
- obsessive thoughts about food, sometimes this also strikes the environment
- lines go drastically while this is not necessary
- become hyperactive, you will exercise extremely much and exercise fanatically
- Excessive weight loss in a short period of time.
- Constant feeling of unfounded obesity and a strong desire to keep losing weight, with active control (looking repeatedly in the mirror, weighing oneself several times a day, counting calories…).
- Delayed growth and development (in children and adolescents).
- Alterations in or absence of menstruation.
- Excessive and constant physical exercise.
- Use of loose clothing, mainly trousers.
- Avoid company meals.
- Runaway from the table after eating.
- Disguise the food so as not to eat it (cut it into small pieces and spread it on the plate, throw it on the floor, hide it…).
Cause of anorexia
There is no single cause for all forms of an eating disorder. It is a combination of factors that cause someone to develop anorexia nervosa. Often anorexia is already present in the background and already plays a role in someone’s life, but it only becomes clearly visible and noticeable after a major event. It is important to monitor anorexia symptoms.
Treatment anorexia nervosa
Depending on someone’s complaints, the practitioner determines which treatment is best for anorexia. Sometimes individual therapy is the best approach. In other cases, group therapy can be chosen. The practitioner explains why anorexia has been chosen for a specific treatment.
This is usually cognitive behavioural therapy. Anorexia is not only about ‘not eating’, but also about wrong thoughts and a disturbed body image and self-image that cause someone to trade in their normal diet for a completely different diet. Thoughts influence how someone feels and behaves. By changing these unhelpful thoughts and paying attention to behavioural change, it is possible to promotes prostate health and overcome the anorexia.
Cognitive behavioural therapy consists of:
- Conversations with the practitioner. In these conversations, we examine your thoughts, feelings and behaviour together. Are these thoughts correct?
- Homework assignments that you do at home. These commands can provide input for conversations.
- Conversations with partner or parents can also be part of the anorexia treatment.
In the treatment of anorexia, there is a lot of attention to changing your behaviour. You learn step by step how to stop eating, stop vomiting and break your eating rules. The more regular food replaces it. Other important topics of discussion in the treatment of anorexia are your disturbed (= negative) self-image and the uncertainty that comes with it. Your possible problems with dealing with emotions and criticism will also be discussed. Conversations with your partner and/or parents can also be part of the treatment.
Group therapy can also be a good treatment approach. This treatment approach often appears to be effective in people with serious symptoms due to their eating disorder. The group therapy investigates what caused the disorder and which factors it sustains. The treatment pays a lot of attention to changing the current behaviour. There is also attention for topics such as self-image, striving for perfectionism, dealing with emotions and bad news and criticism.